Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Oct 10, 2019 - Bella Italia!

Buongiorno! This may be short because typing on an iPhone SE is tricky. On Oct 4 I flew from Denver to Newark, then on to Naples, arriving at 8:00 am on Oct 5. Suzan Rozypal, owner of Italy with Friends, picked me up four hours later in a VW Caravelle van and we headed east to the Bari area. By 6:00 pm I could not stay awake and I slept for 12 hours straight. Heaven! The next morning the other tour members arrived: Larry and Peggy from Chicago, Patti and Frank from Austin and Chris and Merrilyn from Phoenix. We have been touring Puglia with...

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Trip Journal

Born to Wanda

Sep 22, 2018 - Vieste to Matera

Buonasera, Yesterday we said goodbye to the historic medieval town of Vieste with its maze of ancient houses and narrow alleyways. We followed the Gargano coast (looking down on the shoreline where we went for our boat cruise the previous morning) and the views were spectacular. We continued our drive down to Bari and then across to Alberobello. Along the way we saw so, so many olive trees - some terraced and some in orchards, fields of vineyards, kiwis growing in the fields that were all covered to keep the birds out, fields of kale and...

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Apr 26, 2017 - Trulli magic in Alberobello and epic Matera

My jaw was aching in Alberobello as I was constantly smiling, delighted by the whimsy of the trulli - the cone shaped stone buildings that are only found in this part of Puglia. Think of trulli as 'homes for gnomes' - tiny round buildings with cones that would perfectly fit the peaked hats of gnomes. I definitely made the right decision to splurge here on my boutique accommodation - a tiny hotel where each room was in its own trullo (the singular of trulli). My room was the smallest of all the trulli - in bed, I could touch the stone walls...

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Jul 7, 2016 - Matera

Wednesday 6th July 2016 Another blue sky day – but we are off East and after a brief stop for fuel we head along the mostly good roads to Matera. However once we are parked the skies darken and we have thunder and lightning for a couple of hours but it does bring the temperature down from 34 Deg C to the high 20’s. This small site is a bit strange - it’s attached to an Agriturismo – which has a large restaurant - but no obvious menus at the entrance – and the site has locked showers! Thursday 7th July 2016 The dawn chorus wakes us and with...

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Jan 29, 2015 - Matera Slums

What a glorious sunny day, all day long. No rain until a light shower late in the evening. A lovely relaxing drive up nice wide roads, no narrow village streets or any agro with Ethel today. We drove up the coast road for about a hundred miles & then turned inland to head up into the hills to a town called Matera, famous for it's 'Sassi' or slums. "The sasssi sprawl below the rim of a yawning ravine on the North side of the hill. Matera is said to be one of the world’s oldest towns, dating back to the Palaeolithic Age and inhabited...

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Jul 30, 2013 - Matera

We arranged last night for pick-up for a tour of the Sassi with an English guide. However, it was his father who arrived and he spoke Italian, a little French and Japanese! So we were shown the sights with a non-stop commentary in animated Italian! One of the women in the group spoke English so she translated bits and pieces for us. For €30 we were taken to the old town in a minibus, then walked through the picturesque old streets. The ancient town was built on one slope of the ravine created by a river that is now a small stream. Some of...

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May 12, 2012 - Wandering in a cave city

Saturday- Today we start with a walk with our local guide Bethany, who introduced us to the cave city. She explained the events that led to the caves being abandoned for awhile until people started filtering back in. We visited a cave that was cleaned up and fitted out as it might have appeared in 1956. It was common for the people to house their chckens, donkey and pigs in the cave with them. The advantage was that they provided needed heat to keep the cave warm. The donkey had its own stall and the pigs had an area. The chickens slept...

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May 11, 2012 - Day of the strange houses

We are off from Vieste and traveling south to Bari then to Alberobello for a visit to the trulli. These are structures that were originally done as temporary structures to avoid taxes. (if you took it down, you were taxed less) but they were adopted as a preferred and more permanent structure in this area. We were dropped off in Alberobello and then Tommaso took us for a tour of a typical trulli, then we went for a wine tasting with appetizers at a wine shop. Then we were free to roam around. Susan and I wandered up the road into the heart...

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