We breathe the crisp air of morning while we leave the Antica Torre di Iuso, that we chose as our home for a relaxing weekend. Leaving the soft sheets of our bed was difficult, also because time seems not to really pass here. Everything is suspended, still.
Our guide is waiting for us to explore Matera: we thought that walking around with a local was the best way to get to know it and appreciate it. You prepared your camera around your neck, ready to take pictures to paste them in an album, as you usually do. I will capture the best moments with my phone, well aware that you will make fun of the quality of my photos. The tour begins and while we stroll hand in hand, we listen to our guide telling us the story of Sassi, that UNESCO made heritage of mankind in 1993. The Sasso Barisano, rich in gates and friezes, and the Sasso Caveoso, placed like and amphitheater, are divided by the Civita, the cliff on which the Romanic Cathedral raises, a few steps away from the Antica Torre di Iuso. In the valley lies the Piano, the post-Medieval old town, that completes the city’s heart.
Matera is breathtaking: we realize that no picture can be at its level, nor the ones I take with the phone nor the ones created by your professional camera. Its beauty goes beyond, and transcending time it also transcends every way that attempts to fix it and limit it. The nine millennia that formed the city show concretely to our eyes, that observe the primitive houses carved in tuff with surprise. Entering one of these cave houses, used as museum, the rest of the group and we understand how the inhabitants re-adapted the city to their own needs in the centuries always maintaining with it a visceral bond. The cave churches, on their side, astound us for their mysterious charm: some of them preserve Latin and Bizantin elements together or were even converted into houses.
The two hours of the tour end up with a savoury surprise: the guide takes us to taste some of the typical Matera’s products in a bar (obviously) carved in rock. The break with cold cuts, cheese and wine gifts the visit with an additional touch, making us try a side of Lucan reality we didn’t know.
An afternoon all for us awaits us: we booked the Erbavento Wellness Center, close to the Antica Torre di Iuso, in Sassi’s heart. After all, wasn’t the weekend just an excuse to spend some quality time together, to cuddle each other, was it? The Spa is marvelous, cut in the rock, and the view itself would be enough to enchant us. But we planned a wellness path mainly composed by steam room and sauna. Completely relaxed, after a bath in the hot tub, we finish the afternoon sipping some infusion in the break room, wrapped in soft terry cloth bathrobes.
If you wish to spend a weekend in this enchanting surrounding, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.