Friday, September 2, 2011

Visit the Ancient City of Matera

Matera is a small city in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. Matera is considered one of the most enchanting places in the world, a unique example of cultural tradition and civilation stretching back to the Neolithic age."

Matera has gained international fame for its “Sassi”. The Sassi originated from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first settlements in Italy. The numerous natural caves in Matera were the first houses of the Neolithic inhabitants of the region.

The Sassi are houses dug into the tuff rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia. Many of these “houses” are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. One of the peculiarity of this ancient city, is that there is a great similarity with the ancient sites in and around Jerusalem.

This has caught the eye of film directors and movie studios. Principally due this reason the Sassi were the set of many film, as for example “The Gospel According to St Matthew” (Pasolini,1964), “King David” (Bruce Beresford,1985), “The Passion of the Christ" (Gibson, 2004) and "The Nativity Story" (Hardwicke, 2006). Matera is also a Unesco heritage site.

Visit Matera on your next Celtic Tours vacation to Italy. We offer many vacations to Italy whether you are looking for an escorted tour to Italy or an independent self-drive tour of Italy, give us a call at 1-800-833-4373 to start planning your Italian Vacation today!

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