After completing our annual month of Italian language study in Rome, my wife Carole and I headed south for yet another tour of Southern Italy’s many cities, towns, and villages. We had traveled to the South on at least three previous visits. Our itinerary included stops from the totally unknown to the familiar, including the now famous UNESCO National Heritage town of Matera.
What we knew from our previous trips to the South was that it is a diverse region of productive countryside, bustling urban centers, well-preserved medieval villages, and neglected towns that manifest still the South’s historic poverty. We designed an itinerary to experience this diversity. Taken together, the well-maintained and the neglected locations, they never fail to tell us something important about Italian history and contemporary culture.