Our journey to Matera was uneventful apart from a long detour due to roadworks. Italian roads are fantastic in our experience – inner city roads situated in historical centres can cause issues for the GPS lady every now and then, but so far we have managed to get ourselves where we want to go..
We arrived at our lovely B&B, Casino Ridola in the early afternoon. It is a small, pretty pink villa and the rooms feature interesting grotto-like ceilings. Both our rooms had Juliet balconies and overlooked the pool.
Once unpacked, we ventured off into the town to find food as it was after two o’clock. We found a conveniently located parking garage and were soon sitting in ‘Hemingways’ on the Via Domenico Ridola which was busy, with many tourists flocking to the well-known point offering views of the amazing Sassi Caveoso. Later on, we joined those tourists and were blown away with what we saw – layer upon layer of tiny buff-coloured houses cascading down the slopes towards the valley below – and that was just a cross-section of what there is to see in Matera. It is the kind of place that leaves you lost for words ……
Having seen the Sassi laid out before us, we chose to explore some of the shady lanes down past the famous view-point – it was hot and they were cool, but we were soon aware that we needed to take care walking on the large cobblestones made from pietra a trani because they are extremely slippery! We were excited by what we saw in the late afternoon, strolling as we did right up to the C13th Duomo dedicated to Santa Maria della Bruna before returning to the B&B to tidy up and rest a little before we went back for dinner.
Having freshened up, we returned to a lovely little ristorante we had seen on the Via Domenico Ridola when we were having lunch. Van Gogh’s provided us with a simply tasty meal and the opportunity to watch the locals enjoying their passegiata (evening stroll), which we joined ourselves later to walk off our filling dinner.
Next post: Alberobello, Locorotondo and a bit more of Matera