Matera: a secret paradise in Italy

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Joel Fulleda

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Enjoy the real Dolce Vita in the Basilicata region

For its warmth, its villages, its sea or even its food, there is always a good reason to come and go in Italy. In the north as in the south, the Italian charm is all the rage. Matera, nestled in the South East (65km south of Bari and… 250km east of Naples!), is no exception to the rule. Yet little known by travelers, it would benefit from being so.

Matera, movie star

Perched on her hill, the one that is one of the oldest cities in the world, along with Aleppo and Jericho, offers a fantastic movie set. Its stone streets, caves and stairs overlooking the void, Matera definitely has everything to dazzle. This also explains why many directors have not hesitated for a second to cross the walls of this biblical-looking city for their shoots.

This is how Mel Gibson's famous film, The Passion of Christ, was born on this soil, in this small town of Basilicata which gives all the air of being a living Nativity scene.

More recently, it was Timur Bekmambetov who put his cameras there to make the remake of the legendary peplum Ben Hur.

A fantastic historical setting, a breathtaking view and an architecture of yesteryear, Matera is also (and above all) a forgotten past to be discovered.

Travel through the ages

When you arrive in the city, it's hard to imagine that it is such a strong witness to history and especially to all eras. From prehistoric times to the present day, humans have left many traces on Matera.

Travelers come in droves to enjoy caves which are classified as World Heritage. They are called Sassi and are very popular with tourists and we understand why. the La Murgia Archaeological Park of Natural History is unmissable. This cave carved out by the sea and inhabited by man since the Paleolithic era offers many secrets.

In this captivating atmosphere that literally transports, Matera stands out as a flagship destination, not to be missed.

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