tag archives: cave dwellings

 

my husband, bob, and i could now consider ourselves cave dwellers.*

for two nights, at il palazzotto, our hotel in matera, italy.

 suite number 3 | il palazzotto residence & winery | matera | MT | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is located in the basilicata region of italy (the ‘arch’ of the italian ‘boot’).

west of puglia (the ‘heel’ of the italian ‘boot’).

maps via unesco and isassidimatera.com

 

il palazzotto is located in the historic city center (centro storico) of matera, in the sasso barisano district.

the cave dwellings in the sasso barisano and sasso caveoso districts of matera, which have been continuously occupied since the stone age, are part of the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the mediterranean region.

in addition to the sassi di matera (stones of matera), the unesco world heritage site includes the parco delle chiese rupestri di materano (park of the rock churches of matera), which also dates to the palaeolithic period.  the rock churches are located across the gravina di matera (ravine of matera) that separates the sasso caveoso from the murgia plateau.  so, the national park is also known as the parco della murgia materana (the park of the murgia of matera).

the entire troglodyte settlement covers an area of 1016 hectares (approximately 2500 acres), and includes about 1000 cave dwellings and around 150 rock churches.

the civita district in the centro storico of matera, which dates to the 13th century, is also part of the unesco world heritage site.

view of matera

foreground | il palazzoto in the sasso barisano district
background | the piazza duomo, the duomo (cathedral), and the campanile (bell tower) in the civita district
photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso barisano district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso caveoso district

left | the (unfinished) castello tramontano
center | the campanile in the piazza duomo
right | the rock churches of san giovanni in monterrone and santa maria de idris
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in the sasso caveoso district, there are more cave dwellings.

while, in the sasso barisano district, there are more palaces and houses.

 

before and after.

cave dwellings in the sasso caveoso district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is also a popular movie location.

while we were visiting, they were filming the new james bond movie, no time to die starring daniel craig.

piazza san pietro caveoso

the film crew was just finishing their 11:00 am gelato break
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

a rope bridge crosses the ravine that separates the sasso caveoso district from the parco della murgia materana.

chiuso (closed).

views of the parco della murgia materana

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

most of the rock churches in the national park are also closed.

nine of them can be visited via guided tour.  three of them are visible through protective grills.

map via ceamatera.it

 

so, we decided that the rock churches and the grottoes in the national park were best appreciated from the sasso caveoso side of the ravine.

views of the grottoes and the belvedere in the parco della murgia materana from sasso caveoso

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

from the belvedere in the national park, the views of the sassi di matera are supposedly spectacular.

but, we decided that we preferred to explore the centro storico on foot.

 

from the piazza duomo in the civita district, the views of the sassi di matera are also spectacular.

views of the sassi di matera from the piazza duomo in the civita district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

 

*fortunately, bob and i didn’t dine like cave dwellers.

we paid chef nicola popolizio at ristorante ego our highest compliment.

 ego reminded us of joia, our long time favorite restaurant in milano, when chef pietro leemann was still cooking full time.

talented, passionate, creative, playful, and friendly…

gli autumn della mia giovinezza (the autumns of my youth)

photo credit egogourmet

 

ristorante ego-enoteca gourmet origini | via stigliani | matera | MT | italy

photo credit egogourmet