Matera-The European Capital of Culture

I am pretty sure that you didn’t know that Matera in Italy is one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in Europe where people live since the Neolithic times. This cave-looking city is actually one of the most unique and spectacular places on Earth. There’s another blowing fact that Matera was considered for the place of poverty until the 1950s. People had lived here without electricity, running water, and had high rates of infant mortality. Later, thanks to Carlo Levi’s book, Christ stopped at Eboli, nearly 30,000 inhabitants were moved to the modern part of the city. The greatest transmigration happened between 1953 and 1968. Despite this fact, the town of Matera retained its original appearance. Its buildings are reminiscent of caves while narrow streets look pretty chaotic. The best way of exploring the town is on foot. You’ll definitely get an impression of wandering through history. You’ll be able to discover all those labyrinths, stone staircases, dead ends, and cave churches.

Although the town looks pretty grey at first sight, it has an undefined and indescribable soul. Most of the caves are now homes, restaurants, hotels, and bars that seduce thousands of tourists every year. Besides the inhabited caves, you can still see a numerous empty and deterrent looking cave homes that kept the spirit of ancient times. If you have the opportunity to visit Matera, I highly recommend you to visit Musma and the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario. The Musma is an art museum settled in a 17th-century cave palace. In Musma, you’ll be able to see dozens of modern sculptures scattered in the crannies and nooks.

The Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario is the 18th-century house that preserved its original appearance. In this cave-house lived the entire family including pigs, chickens, and mules, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

I’m sure that the town of Matera will leave everyone speechless because of its fascinating history, tasty cuisine, the unique and spectacular setting will definitely provide you a memory for life.