The blinding white of the complex contrasted the deep brown of wet earth all around upon our arrival. It seemed almost like a mirage, but it was all true. Before us an expanse of whiteness and homes almost glued to each other. We were all aware that we had arrived in a very sacred place, a jewel in the heart of the Basilicata countryside. It was not easy to access but for this very reason it was a gift from God, I thought, given to all those who have had the privilege to reach or spend a few days immersed in the light and intensity of this magical place.
I remember the next morning, after breakfast, I went to the kitchen of our hotel and began to chat with the lady who had prepared our scrambled eggs. They were genuine, healthy. They tasted like my childhood, freshly-picked eggs from our chickens. They tasted like all the goodness that our kitchens always give to us Italians and to all lovers of Italian cuisine around the world. We jumped from one subject to another until she said, “Francesca, not everyone can fully understand Matera, only the most sensitive people, those who are most open to its spiritual energy, its intensity.” I just wanted the recipe for the scrambled eggs, so it was interesting how we moved to higher spiritual, philosophical discourses. Yet, the Signora was right. I think Matera is the proof, the testimony of hope and the commitment of an entire community and its passion and love for their city.
Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels are carved in stone that combine the latest design to what already exists in nature, along with restaurants, cooking schools, and eclectic boutiques. The local Literary Festival has now been celebrated for over a decade and highlights the passion for reading and writing - welcoming renowned international writers from around the world. Matera is a destination definitely worth a visit, the ideal place for expression and experimentation.
The renowned Conservatory of Music erected here fills the footsteps of those who are walking around with sublime melodies. The Sasso Baresano with over 2,000 candles is scattered in the heart of the city. Matera is a magical place that reminds us that to look at the stars, we must not always look above. It‘s often better to look around.
Francesca and her sister Giovanna are the owners of “Sicilian Sisters Travel,” an online travel boutique specializing in personalized journeys to Sicily and Italy. They invite you to visit their facebook page and website for more info.