Posted by: gardner310 | August 28, 2012

Matera the Magnificent

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826  I flew into Naples, picked up a Hertz car and actually found my way out of town to the A3 quite easily.  My first stop was Matera in Basilicata, the state just west of Puglia.  Matera is an OLD city based on homes built out of the stone called sassi.  It looks so much like ancient Israel that Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of Christ, was filmed here.  There were actually people living in the caves of the city up until 60 years ago or so.  The sassi are currently inhabited by locals and many of them have been turned into retail establishments.  The city is a mixture of new and old and it has turned itself quite an attraction.   The evening I left, they were erecting a stage for a concert in the piazza.  My stop was for only a few hours and I was wishing that I had planned the night there to enjoy the outdoor cafes and music.

“This is the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem. The first inhabited zone dates from the Palaeolithic, while later settlements illustrate a number of significant stages in human history. Matera is in the southern region of Basilicata.”

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It is normally just over an hour to Alberobello but I lost Route 604 somewhere so my arrival was delayed for a bit.  The Hotel Ramapendula is not the easiest to find but once there, I discovered it is a lovely place conveniently located to both the city center and the zona trulli plus it has free parking. I was impressed with the hotel’s rooms and pool especially since the large room cost me only 65 euros per night including breakfast.  I would send anyone to stay but would provide detailed directions to the driver.

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Hotel Ramapendula Lobby


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