Matera Italy

AHHHH! Matera, Italy

Why should you go to Matera Italy before 2019?! Because Matera has been selected as the European Capital of Culture 2019 which means a huge influx of tourists and this is just the place you want to spend a quiet weekend full of wine, good food, leisurely strolling of the Sassi (stone houses carved out of caves) during sunset. That’s what you want to remember about Matera.

Matera European Capital City of 2019

These flyers are already decorating the entire city!

So after 2 days of gorging ourselves on hams, turkey, perogies, greens, chocolates, pastries, and the list goes on and on, we said goodbye to Christmas and my sister and I with 2 friends embarked on a road trip to see Matera, Italy. What you must know is that Matera is well known for the cave dwellings that have been dated back to the prehistoric era and there have been people living in these caves until the 1950’s with no electric or running water. One of the highlights of a trip over here is being able to stay in the infamous Cave Hotels to spice up your travel experience.

Matera Italy Sassi

You might recognize this city as it was used as a filming location in Passion of the Christ.

The old town or Sassi as it’s referred most regularly is easy to walk around. There is even free parking in a lot right at the top of the hill.

We stayed overnight is the Caveoso Hotel which was right in the middle of the oldtown, a quick walk from everything, and only $200 a night split between 4 people the day after Christmas! Now the other place I was looking at is the best rated hotel in all of Matera but with the best rates comes the much more expensive prices. One night’s stay in Sexitino Le Grotte Della Civita┬áhotel the day after Christmas for 4 people in one room was 700 Euros! We needed a better budget then that. Check it out if you have the money and the means, because it looks pretty awesome.

IMG_8460At the Caveoso hotel the view above was just a 2 minute walk from our room. After parking the car and walking around for a few minutes we realized we were famished!

It was time for some food and off we stomped to the first restaurant we could find for mostly wine and a spritz of food along the way.

Matera Italy Food 2

Antipasti

Matera Italy Food

Grilled vegetables with seared tuna, how can you go wrong?

IMG_0771Matera Italy 12Matera Italy 13 After some really great food we decided go for a stroll around the area and check out some of the sites.

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If you venture up the hill you’ll enter other squares full of shopping, food, drinks, all kinds of wonderful things you might fancy but didn’t even know it!

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One shop full of Presepi (Nativity Scenes covered in moss used as decorations during Christmas in Italy) for you to choose from.

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An old church in the town.

Matera Italy City

From up at the top of the hill there are different views of the city which are worth a peek.

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This is a view of Matera walking down from the small lot where we parked my car. BEAUTIFUL.

Maera, Italy 5

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Up on a hill there is a church carved entirely out of rock. It cost 2 euro for a tour which we did not decide to do.

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We were so excited to be in the Sassi that we decided to jump around!

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Get serious!

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Frolicking around the old town. Jumping pictures are always the best.

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There is the church, there is the steeple, open the doors, And…

Matera Italy Church

Such a beautiful Italian town, it quite literally takes your breath away.

Matera Italy Valley

From here you can see the steps leading down into the valley which you can hike if you are feeling spontaneous.

Matera Italy Valley 2

Rock Church Matera Italy

Matera Italy CavesIn the evening I tried my hand at a few night photos. Across from the city of Matera are caves that they light up at night and it is just a mysteriously beautiful site. After dinner we walked along the road admiring the general splendor of the area and imagining what life must have been like centuries ago.

Matera Italy at night 2

Trying to capture the church with the night sky.

Matera Italy at night Tucking in for the night we rested up and the next morning we decided to do some more exploring and before leaving Matera, we opened google maps, found the point on the other side of the mountain and drove over there for even more exploring.

Matera Italy Cave Exploring

Up and over we drove to see Matera from the other side of the hill. It was only about a 20 minute drive to get over there with a free parking lot at the top.

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Turns out you can walk down to all the caves you see lit up in the photo above.

Marea Italy from across the Valley

Matera, Italy form the other side of the valley. Gorgeous!

Matera Italy from inside a cave

A shot of Matera from inside one of the caves.

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Wondering what’s up there?

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Don’t worry, it’s just me with some awesome poses for the camera.

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S decided she can pose too and wanted to put on a show for us. Ooo la la.

after our cave exploring was complete it was time for us to wave goodbye to Matera and hope for another visit real soon!

Matera Italy traveling fools

The Girls!

Off to the next town called Aberobello. See you over there!

This article appeared first on Dynamic Soarer.

Cassey