Let me explain the title of the article about this in the introduction beautiful place in the south of Italy. It is connected with film industry, who discovered the charms of the city with an ancient image for its needs. More on that later.
Matera is one of the Italian cities to which time has for some time forgotten or at least stopped for a long moment. She is best known for cave dwellingswho call them Sassi and are carved into the limestone slope above the river Gravino. Only a few, some, remembered the place Italian filmmakers and, of course tourists, who were looking for a difference from standard tourism. They wanted pristine surroundings.
It's 2019 Unseco the city Matera appointed for European Capital of Culture, which certainly attracted more tourists who wanted to see this cultural pearl in one of the poorest regions in Italy. Mother they are also called Citta Sotterranea or an underground city. Famous writer Carlo Levi it is in his book Christ stopped in Ebola described in 1945 as one of the most backward cities in Italy. Why, I'll explain later.
Modern and Ancient Mother
City Matera there are actually two places in one, as we have on one side modern place with restaurants, hotels, shops, museums - everything tourists need - and on the other hand Sassi, the old part of town that adorns it pits, which is estimated to have been inhabited for the first time before 9.000 years. And if we go back to the writer Levi, who called Matero backward, did so because, until Mussolini's reign, the caves had no electricity, but they were full of people living with the cattle. After the war, the inhabitants were relocated and most of the caves were empty.
Today this is no longer the case, because caves or Sassi have revived. An unspoiled and charming place Matera namely discovered by a new generation, it is about the little ones entrepreneurs, hoteliers, gostince in tourism workers, who revived these caves in the form of hotels, studios, shops. When it comes to accommodation, it is very diverse. Near the market Vittorio Veneto square is a hotel San Domenico in the street Via Roma, which offers conventional and cheaper accommodation. There you can join the locals who gather in the square on warm evenings and relive the memories of old times in Sassi.
A city that impressed Salvador Dali
Of course, you can also afford it installation, which will amaze you, but you have to deduct from 100 to 200 euros per night. Hotel Sextantio it has five stars, but the rooms are not modern, but each guest has their own cavity behind the room. The reception and lobby of the hotel are also caves. Exterior but not for a second does it give the impression that it is a hotel with so many stars. For the front door of the rooms is ancient, the tables and chairs in front of them as well. In short, you live as of the past, with a touch of modernity. You don’t have to worry about comfort, as the hotel also offers indoor pool and saunas - of course in caves.
V Materi you will also eat very well as the local specialties are excellent. From - how else - pasta in 1000 and one way, prosciutto, cheese, truffles ... in short, you won't be hungry. All of this, however, can be enjoyed in a city that takes you back in history. Here you can spend a few days without worries and drive to some in your mind other times. The city will take care of this only with its own with a unique ancient look. You will also be able to enjoy art, because one of the artistic giants has left his mark in this city, namely the famous Salvador Dali, whose works of art are placed at certain points of the city.
Mother meets Hollywood, Jesus and James Bond
Well let’s get back to the beginning of this story and to the title. Why Jesus Christ and James Bond? Because it is Matera until recently remained so primitive, it served as a double of Israeli Jerusalem. Matero was the first to discover it for film purposes Pier Paolo Pasolini, who made his famous film in 1964 The Gospel of Matthew. He put the city in the south of Italy on the map of tourists and film lovers Mel Gibson with his film The Passion of the Christ. Since then, interest in the city has increased by a few hundred percent.
It was filmed here as well Judah Ben Hur, a more modern adaptation of the famous film, and Mary Magdalene. For again exponential increase interest in this city was taken care of by the last part of the franchise o James Bondu, an agent licensed to kill. Some shots of the last film "No time to Die“, Which is currently being screened in cinemas around the world, was filmed right in Materi. And domestic tourism workers have thoughtfully labeled it locations in the place where the filming of the listed films was made. Lovers of the big screen are literally making a pilgrimage to this city with an ancient look.
Something about travel
I made the trip to self-directed, because that’s how you see the most. With the help of modern technology you can prepare travel and sightseeing plan, which is tailored to your wishes. Of course, the path didn’t just lead me to Mother, but this wonderful city was included in my travel plan for the south of Italy, namely the coast Amalfi with the island Capri ter Apulia with famous cities Alberobello in Ostuni. Of course, there are other, picturesque and beautiful places worth seeing.
Matera is definitely worth your visit and attention. Yours will be grateful to you too smartphone in camera, who will take unique photos with your help. But you will do your best with your own eyes, soul and heart, and only these framed in emotions and experiences, and save them in your memory. With enough imagination you will be able to imagine wandering around in the old days Materi and you also document it all.
All photos: Bojan Vrbnjak
Facebook: Bojan Vrbnjak