Mad About Matera

One of the great things about being a writer is the opportunity to travel. I’ve just come back from a three day work trip to Matera in Basilicata, southern Italy. It’s the smallest  and least populated region of Italy and located in the instep of the boot. The city of Matera is unique, perched on one side of a ravine with caves and little churches carved out of the rock and the sassi part of the town is reminiscent of the Holy Land with its houses made of tufa and extending way back into the rock. The city is the setting Mel Gibson used for The Passion of the Christ and going there I could see why. It has an unforgettable atmosphere. I stayed in a B&B in one of the sassi houses and it was immaculate, beautifully restored and so clean I thought I was the first guest, when in fact the owner told me it had been open for over five years!

The region of Basilicata is very little known outside Italy and most Italians have never been there. They are missing out as it has got everything – mountains, beaches, fields, olive groves, vineyards and even a couple of lakes. The food is outstanding and the people outgoing and welcoming. It is an up and comingregion, mark my words.

My midnight return flight from Bari to Pisa was delayed 13 hours because of a problem with the radio. It’s quite disconcerting seeing the pilots of your plane intently studying a book of instructions! I met three great people and we stuck together as the sea of angry passengers descended on the information desk. We found our own hotel and taxi, not easy at one o’clock in the morning. I ended up sitting next to a man called Angelo. I could have been upset by the delays, but I try and view these things philosophically and symbolically. My take on it is this. The region didn’t want me to leave and I had an angel for a companion!


  1. HI! we just linked you to our blog!

  2. TypePad HTML EmailMuch appreciated, thank you. You have a lovely region there, complimenti davvero.
    Best wishes

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