August 30: Matera

Another beautiful day to wander the streets and alleyways of Matera. Allowing oneself to drift off the "main drag" can sometimes produce some very interesting sites and discoveries. As noted previously the streets follow no modern day logical pattern, so it is very easy to "get lost" in the back alleys and walkways. Knowing that eventually one will either have to return the same way out or discover a new way to the other side of town drives a person into the arena of adventure! What is around that corner?

As mentioned on a previous page Matera in 1950s went through a transition that forced many of its inhabitants to relocate. Prior to that time they were living as their ancestors in caves dug into the hillside. Families with their livestock coexisted within a small cavern. Many of these "homes" remain abandon to date, but some have been refurbished into elegant homes, hotels and restaurants.

A "Back" Alley Dead-end!

A Peek At A Restoration of An Old "Home"

Side Street (Note Donkey Cart Pathway on Stairs)

Sign Says It All!


Inside the Crypt

Well and Wash Basin in Convent

Madonna de Idris

Mock up of Original Cave Residence


Living Area with Stable in Rear



Snow Cistern (Used as Refrigerator For Centuries Before Electricity)

Exterior View of Home

Current Abandon Homes

Refurbished Next To An Abandoned!

Another Side Street

Private Driveway!

Neighbors Across the Ravine!

Palazzo Lanfranchi (Currently Museum of Art)

Modern Matera

Chiesa del Purgatrio


And now on to the group! Arriving from the US as well as UK the six guest and two guides assembled for the initial meeting and tour of the city. Under the expert guidance of the local historian, Anna, the history and architecture of the area were learned. While most had been seen the previous two days, now the explanation of what and why it is were learned.



Anna Explaining to Jen (American Guide) What The Plan of the Day Was

The Group (Sandy, Christy, Shawna, Claudia, Tracy)


Rainbow Over The City

First Supper! (Claudia, Jen, Ilaria, Sandy, Christy, Tracy, Shawna)