When I started writing The Wonderingchef, just a little a year ago, I wanted to create a travel-food-recipe-restaurant blog, but lately I`ve been concentrating more on the recipe part of the blogging. Even thou I did travel (cruise ship, holiday etc) I have been taking the pictures, collecting information, just the posts never happened. This one i been planning to send just about a year ago, and a few months ago, when i finished the whole editing, writing, wordpress played a cruel joke with me and deleted my draft. So Matera Sassi post Volume 2 here I go again and hopefully will make it this time!
Italy, this amazing country, struggles with weird politics and leaders, constant financial crisis and unemployment, with its problems could be anywhere in the world. Still it`s tourism is glowing like always, I mean a country which can call the cities Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice their own, must be proud..even if their are not. I listed the most popular tourist sites, but still it has much more to offer. Much much more! It would be difficult to name a region, or a small city that has nothing unique to offer, like making the best bread, or balsamic vinegar, or have amazing views, castles or churches. Some of them are right on the map, some of them are a bit more isolated and hidden from the masses, some of them have not much more inhabitants then a few hundred people, still when you arrive will be treated with friendly, welcoming hospitality.
Only recently I started discovering south of Italy, and just cant wait to go back and learn more. One of the most favorite places I found was Matera Sassi, in Puglia. As you can see from the pictures the view is magnificent, the atmosphere is just peaceful. Now I could give you a short history lesson about the place, but you will find the background in Lonely Planet or on Wikipedia. The city is most lilley to be one of the first human settlements in Italy, the houses are dug in the stones, which is characteristic for Basilicata and Apulia regions. When you walk around…and you should take this one seriously..try to avoid the siesta, as it will be completely empty and very very very hot! Of course I mean summertime.. if still you pick the 12-16.00 hour time, bring a hat and plenty of water with you.
When you are here make no plans, its easy to spend hours around the little hills/streets/houses, getting lost finding better and better views for photography. Some people still live here, there are coffee shops, churches (of course), restaurants, galleries everything a tourist needs. Still the strange thing for me was, there were no tourists, I was wondering did no one ever heard about this place? Is it really so isolated? And people apparently did hear about it, and to be honest it is easy to reach. You either sign up for a day tour at a travel agency, or rent a car and on the way you can visit other fantastic places as well.
In case you were wondering which region to visit again in Italy, Puglia and Basilicata is highly recommended!
- Puglia: a taste from ITALY’S HEEL (charlesscicolone.wordpress.com)
- Hollywood, Basilicata and a big white wedding (primociak.wordpress.com)
- Just back: finding your bearings in Puglia (telegraph.co.uk)
- Higher up into the Hills of Basilicata (powerofpilgrimage.wordpress.com)
- Colle Bereto Restaurant in Florence, Italy (friendseat.com)
- Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Tenuta Viglione Primitivo, Puglia, Italy, 2008 – GOODD VALUE (spiritofwine.blogspot.com)
- Frugal Traveler: In Apulia, Vacationing Like an Italian (frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com)
- #scriptchat Fantastic #scriptwriting workshop opportunity (uwsscriptwriting.wordpress.com)