Italy's Basilicata region came out of anonymity after the Commission of the European Union named Matera a 2019 European Capital of Culture. Today, it's teeming with projects, but several people were already in on the secret as far back as 30 years ago.What was Sofia Coppola doing in Bernalda? But above all, where is Bernalda? It's not Hollywood. Th...

2 lectures on this quiet and seductive Italian Region by Sandro Naglia  July 9 – 23 2021 at 6 PM EST First session: July 9, 6 PM EST “Basilicata: from North to South” (A general introduction to the geography and history of the region, followed by an itinerary from North to South)  Second session: July 23, 6 PM EST “Basilicata: from East to West” (A...

After more than a year of being homebound, travel enthusiasts are finding themselves torn when thinking about how to approach their 2021 and 2022 trips. On one hand, cabin fever has gripped us all and we can’t wait to hop on the next plane to….well, anywhere, really; on the other hand, the thought of crowded cities and indoor museums and sites pack...

A group of houses, churches, monasteries and chapels were built into the natural grottos of Murgia, a limestone plateau characterized by deep cracks, ravines, rocks and caverns. These are the characteristics and aspects that have made the Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera UNESCO World Heritage Site. The UNESCO Value in Matera...

The South of Italy has no shortage of breathtaking landscapes, rich history and incredible cuisine – but it’s still somewhat unknown when compared to other areas of the Bel Paese. It’s a good thing then that there are several initiatives that aim to make it more accessible and popular, like the Cammino Materano and its newest hiking route.

If you’ve ever walked the Sassi di Matera at night, you know how enchanting they are. Yet, at the same time, they can also be eerie; the dark ravines, mysterious caves and labyrinthine alleys enveloped in silence can give you a certain thrill.   Imagine them on gloomy November nights, decades ago when the Sassi weren’t as picturesque as they are to...

Talking about Matera, the Basilicata’s stone jewel, words of astonishment are never enough. The suggestive Sassi, the ancient houses carved in the rock, the symbol of the city, are increasingly arousing admiration the visitors, not only the first time. Matera is not just Sassi: that’s why we have managed some “taylor-made” itineraries to live it be...

The European Union (EU) anointed Matera, Italy the coveted title of “European Capital of Culture” in 2019, raising the city’s profile around the world. For many of us hooked on the engaging Italian TV series, Imma Tataranni: Sostituto Procuratore, the show’s protagonist, Imma Tataranni (played by Vanessa Scalera) might be considered one of the regi...

A walk to discover the most beautiful towns in Basilicata between history, food and tradition. Basilicata is one of the most mysterious inland regions of Italy and on its Apennines, halfway between its largest provinces, Potenza and Matera, hides a world made of villages and small municipalities with a century-old history. From the Ionian to the Ty...

Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, is, in the words of Unesco, which inscribed it in its World Heritage list in 1993, “the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem.” The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera contains a...