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Travel Guide: Matera, Italy



See:
-My favorite views of the city were from Convent of Saint Agostino and Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario.
-The old cave dwellings; there are some you can tour in the Sassi and more you can see by hiking across the ravine.
-Neolithic village and church at the bottom of the ravine.
-My number one piece of advice for Matera is just to take it easy and wander the city; the alleys and colorful doors are nearly as beautiful as the churches and historic buildings.

Pack:
-Good walking shoes; the city streets and sidewalks are all built from stone smoothed down over the years, so pack shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.
-Sunscreen; if you're walking around in the middle of the day there isn't much shade so bring sunscreen or a hat.
-Hiking clothes; I regret not bringing any proper hiking gear because there is a nice walk down the ravine alongside Matera and up to the caves on the other side. In sandals I only got as far as the bottom of the ravine and that was tricky enough!

Eat:
-Matera is known for its bread so they have excellent pizzas, our favorite restaurant was Oi Mari which had a huge selection of pizzas including some with unique toppings like a french fries and hot dog pizza I ordered on accident! Bonus: it's a cave if you dine inside, although it's hard to resist the patio seating on a nice evening.
-While you're sampling all the pizzerias in the city look for pizza with burnt grain flour, once a trademark of the peasants of the area it's now a speciality that gives the pizzas a different color and richer taste. Trust me it was good--so good I never got decent pictures of our food because we were busy woofing it down!
-Stone Age Caffe was another of our favorite spots; a small cafe off one of the side streets of the Sassi that serves delicious snacks like bruschetta and waffles with Nutella all made fresh when you order.
-Another speciality of the Puglia area to try is "orecchiette" or ear-shaped pasta, seasoned with turnip heads and cabbage; it wasn't my favorite, but still worth trying.

Stay:
My opinion here is biased because we only stayed in one hotel, but Hotel Sant Angelo was amazing. We stayed in a cave suite which was such a unique experience and always pleasantly cool to come back to after a long day walking in the sun. We also liked the location which was right in the center of the Sassi; great views and easy walking distance for everything we wanted to see and do. Even if you don't choose that hotel when visiting Matera, I still highly recommend staying in a cave; several hotels offer this option.

9 comments:

thedemuremuse.com said...

oh my goodness, that cave hotel looks BEAUTIFUL! I have never seen anything like that before.

xo,
katrina
thedemuremuse.com

Rhiannon Lorenzo said...

amazing photos! everything looks so stunning!!

http://www.amoderngypsy.blogspot.com

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Stunning photos. I'd love to visit here.

Through the Cat Eye said...

That hotel is beautiful! Sounds like such a lovely trip

Ramona said...

holy bat, that looks like an amazing place!!

Celeste said...

I've been itching to go to Puglia-- now I'm moving it up on my list!

Matea Saric said...

Oh my, I simply have to visit Matera, everything in it looks surreal! :)

Anna said...

Matera is definitely now one spot to visit whenever I make my way to Italy! <3 Lovely photos as always, and that hotel cave suite is seriously the coolest! :3

sara said...

Actually those toppings are pretty typical for italy, the french fries one is a children(and children-at-heart)'s favourite!
Even if i'm italian i've never been to matera but your pictures make me long for it..maybe one day :)
P.s. Matera is in Basilicata, not Puglia (poor Basilicata, people always forget about her xD)