If you are in southern Italy or more specifically near the Basilicata region then Matera is an unmissable stop! A very beautiful city that is referred to as subterranean as it is literally carved out of a small canyon! Unique to say the least!
This prehistoric settlement, literally dug into the rock itself, is thought to be among the first ever human dwellings in what is now Italy! The streets lie on top of one another, layered in its formation, and make for a topsy turvy but fascinating walkabout.
The soft and warm stone colours also seem to be particular to this place and very seductive against the blue sky and surrounding green countryside! Bird song and church bells ringing also add to the already exciting atmosphere of this wonderful place – at times it seems like a perfect film set up!
There are many stunning view points, hanging balconies and charming places to sit and really take it all in … which is no hardship when the local delicious antipasti is on offer! A setting for lunch which we found hard to beat!
With any new place that you visit we would always suggest to just wander off the tourist path and get totally lost … here really is the perfect place for that as there is no end of intriguing buildings, ancient facades and vistas to discover!
If you can get there early enough in the day – ideally before mid morning – then you may be lucky enough to have many of the streets to yourself and get to enjoy the beauty, the calm, the history of this amazing city before the tourists arrive in force and the heat of the day kicks in! It is one of those places you could visit again and again discovering something new each time – we loved it!