We are going to Matera

Matera in Basilicata

In just under 2 months we head back to Italy for a holiday. This trip we were keen to visit Puglia – the heel of Italy’s boot – and see what this often overlooked province offered.

In the end we will miss by a few kilometres and will be staying, instead, in Matera in the province of Basilicata. So not in the heel of the boot, more in the area between the sole and the heel.

Matera is known as “la Città Sotterranea” (the Subterranean City) because historically many of the dwelling were effectively caves in the hillside. It is one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Park.

It is only recently that Matera has become a must-see for visitors to Italy and we will be staying 3 nights at Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel – breaking up a fortnight spent staying in Positano which is a two hour drive away on the coast.

Matera at night

Our holiday is completed by a week in Chianti in a beautiful villa organised by our dear friend Olga, and a few days in Rome – a chance to reintroduce ourselves to this eternal city.

We fly out of Wellington at the beginning of August. Watch the blog for holiday updates.

What a great time to fly

tuscan-sunset-crete

Tuscany in October 2011

If you are thinking of heading overseas next year – check out the early bird airfare deals that are available at the moment. We’ve just booked our flights to Italy next August and it cost $600 less than exactly the same flights in 2015.

We’ve also booked Villa Arienzo for two weeks over Positano festival time and plan to spend a week in Tuscany when we will catch up with friends.

The fourth week? We are thinking of heading to the heel of Italy to explore Apulia as we’ve never been to this part of Italy before.

 

Lazy afternoons in Positano

Positano from Eden RocThe view from Hotel Eden Roc looking out across the bay is always worth watching. Late one afternoon, on a day the sun had been playing hide and seek, the bay took on shades of pale blue as the sky and the water merged.

We weren’t the only couple watching the view.

Echoes of Italy

Madonna cleaningIt feels like we’ve been home for ages but every so often something reminds you of holiday times.

Like the photo above. We were having breakfast at the villa one morning and two ladies arrived to clean up the madonna next door. It was our madonna apparently – because it was on the villa property – but locals take the responsibility to sweep, clean and polish it.

It was also a useful landmark if we needed to describe which vila we were in – the one next to the madonna – ahh, si la madonna. Bene.

 

Vintage Vespa

Vintage VespaThere is no shortage of Vespas in Italy, in fact the soundtrack of the country is the buzz of two stroke engines. In Positano, where parking is a nightmare, Vespas are all pervasive.

And every so often you see one that catches your eye.

I believe this is a Vespa Sprint VLB made between 1965 and 1974. Don’t you love the split seat with the vintage helmets resting on them.

We saw this one parked outside the Galli Bar most afternoons while it’s owners took a break and had an espresso enjoying the view across the bay.

Bellissimo.