Day 5 – Matera and the Caved City!

Well I am typing this from a comfy place and resting my legs, after another day on our feet. All we can hear outside is the crickets in the yard.

Today has been another culture and food fest thanks to our amazing friends and guides! We started the day with the traditional Italian Cornetti and coffee in a place in Torchiarolo. People who knew Richard and Noirin well. Basically it felt odd but cool. A custard doughnut (so to speak) and a coffee for breakfast??? Could get used to this. We then headed on a 2 hour or so drive to Matera. There were some amazing architectural, abandoned sites on the way.

Just outside Matera, we headed up a gravel road, past a concrete works of all things, to the first caves on our trip. It was a church (closed at the time) and cave surrounding it. The view across to the main town both new and ancient areas was amazing. Makes you wonder how they logistically got from that side to the area we were at. History in a nutshell and rather vague too (until I read the book we got!), people lived in these caves up until as close as the late 1950’s before being evicted for heath and safety reasons. So if you bump into people our age (mid 30’s), there parents may have even been born in a cave.

After taking a few (understatement of the century) photo’s from that vantage point, we headed towards the main town. What a treat it was too. I have never seen such a beautiful ancient town.The lower underground the caves the poorer you were apparently, and higher up and bigger caves meant more wealth. There were 2 renovated caves. The first one was a normal family house and looked so small to say they used to fit in all the kids, a horse, and possibly a cow, chickens and even a pig in there too. Bet that smelt just lovely in the heat of mid summer. No wonder infant mortality rates were high. We walked round more blocked up or open abandoned caves where they were in proper ruin states, and amidst all that we came across 2 hotels, a cafe, and a few shops, which were renovated caves. The there was the rich merchants cave. Another reconstructed to the old times gone past. It was a palace compared to the normal family home cave.

The higher you went the more modern the city started becoming with the ancient mixing with now old additions. Then in the end you reached the modern area at the top of the town. The views all around were fantastic and I’m sure if my camera could talk it would tell me to give it a break. Whilst there before the tour, we stopped for a light lunch, and saw this old classic bus outside one of the many churches. Classic as in very stylish, old fashioned and a piece of art in my eyes. Only to realise they were filming an advert with it. Turns out that Matera has been used for all sorts of films. I can see why too. Here are a few mobile phone pics.

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As you can see the pictures do all the talking but as soon as I read up a bit more will impart some hopefully interesting knowledge about Matera. It was then a long drive home, and well needed rest of the legs. I of course fell asleep a few times. I swear I could sleep standing up if push came to shove! Then we went for supper on Torchiarolo, Another haunt of Richard and Noirin. No pizza tonight either. Went for pasta based dishes tonight. Foody pics below for you foodies! 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137

The Italians do some lovely food. Maybe it will inspire me to make more effort, but definitely Italian food, specially the Antipasti type dishes.

On the animal side, the stray cat has returned for a bit tonight, no lizards been seen today, the crickets are all chirpy and I forgot to spray myself today, so been got by a mozzy on the leg this time. Least I am taking antihistamines.

Tomorrow we should be having a lazy chill day till about 4ish, then off to Galipolli for the evening. I am so looking forward to that too, as apparently the sunsets are awesome! Off to enjoy some wine now and recharge the camera battery. See ya!


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