MATERA – Between past and present
Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019, tourist landmark for the south of Italy, fixed destination for experienced travelers and perfect location for the perfect shoot.
In 5-6 years Matera has become famous, but before? Have you ever heard about Matera?
Don’t worry, we know that the answer is “Nope”, don’t be shame of that.
There was a long time when Matera was isolated from the rest of the world and ignored by everyone.
The Carlo Levi’s journey
I found a street with a row of houses on one side and on
the other a deep gully. In the gully lay Matera. From where
I was, higher up, it could hardly be seen because the drop
was so sheer. All I could distinguish as I looked down were
alleys and terraces, which concealed the houses from view.
Straight across from me there was a barren hill of an ugly
gray color, without a single tree or sign of cultivation upon
it, nothing but sun-baked earth and stones. At the bottom
of the gully a sickly, swampy stream, the Bradano, trickled
among the rocks. The hill and the stream had a gloomy, evil
appearance that caught at my heart. The gully had a strange
shape: it was formed by two half -funnels, side by side, sepa-
rated by a narrow spur and meeting at the bottom, where
I could see a white church, Santa Maria de Idris, which
looked half -sunk in the ground
Carlo Levi describes with these wrds his first time in Matera, a little bit sad…right?
Thinking of such a life, of a great misery, of a non-existent hygienic-sanitary conditions, the highest mortality rate in Europe has always left me a veil of melancholy inside.
And as if this were not enough, after the noise for the book “Christ stopped at Eboli”, all the intellectuals, anthropologists, journalists and sociologists of that period, Matera became the national symbol of Southern Italy’s backwardness and the political class labeled her as “the shame of Italy” … a little excessive, I know!
But yet “Sassi of Matera” had their own treasure, the citizens, “i Materani”!