Not only Matera... to the discovery of Puglia and Basilicata
Matera is located in a particular position on the Murgia plateau from which it’s easy to reach both Basilicata and Apulia cities. This is why Matera is also the perfect place for exploring the surrounding areas characterized by typical small villages of antique traditions.
The “Guardian”(https://www.theguardian.com/travel/ng-interactive/2017/jan/07/where-to-go-on-holiday-in-2017-the-hot-list) has recently published a list of the most appealing 40 places to be visited in the year 2017 among which there’s Matera well known not only for its stunning landscape, but also because Matera has been the movie location of the new film “Wonder Woman”, coming very soon in the cinema theatres. The Guardian, however, promotes the whole territory of Basilicata, underlining all the environmental characteristics of the Basilicata region and suggesting that a trip to Matera can also be an occasion to discover an entire geographical area made by diverse small countries and various landscapes where Nature reigns in all its splendor.
Following the suggestion of the Guardian, we have thought of giving our readers some information about the villages located in the outskirts of Matera; villages and small typical Italian cities that can easily be reached by car and explored.
Matera surroundings are populated by small interesting villages and little cities very valuable not only for their landscapes but also for their artistic and architectural places. In most of the cases you will visit small and cozy suburbs around whom the modern big centers developed.
Here we have for our you some information about the little villages and cities located in Basilicata and Puglia; places that you can easily get from Matera: so you can enrich your trip with a wider series of very typical southern Italian villages.
Its territory is part of the historical, archaeological and natural area of the Natural Park of the rock churches on top of whom is located the abbey of the Archangel Michael dating back to the 12th Century, restored in the last years. You can visit it with specialized tour guides.
A very small village located on a hill in between the Bradano and Basento rivers, very close to a artificial oasis and lake of Saint Julian. Miglionico old neighborhood are located nearby the Malconsiglio Castle (http://www.castellodelmalconsiglio.it /) where the Barons' took part to a conspiracy against the king Ferdinando I of Naples.
In the historical center there are different noble families buildings that testify the importance of this place in the past centuries as the Episcopalian center. Inside the cathedral of the Madonna of the Assumption we find a marmoreal statue of Saint Eufemia sculptures by the great artist Mantegna.
It is the closest Apulia city to Matera. The historical center is characterized with buildings, churches, among which the Romanesque cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption and the very characteristic courts and cloister named “claustri”. In the Altamura surroundings have been recovered important fossils among which the bones of the so-called "man of Altamura", a human skeleton dating back to the Paleolithic Age, and more than 30.000 dinosaurs’ footprints.
The city of Laterza is characterized by its “gravina”, a typical canyon morphologically belonging to the “Murgia Area”. The Laterza territory includes all the villages located just on the cliff of the ravine whose dimensions are impressive and its landscape is quite spectacular. Here it is possible to track the signs that testify the ancient origins of the city, among which the numerous rocky churches. The medieval historical center of Laterza develops inside the boundaries including the castle and several noble family buildings among which historical interest has the Palazzo of the Marquis.
Gravina in Puglia
Gravina as its name just suggests is located in a very deep ravine ( = gravina) in whose immediate proximities there are archaeological sites in which rests of ancient human bodies and testimonies of a flourishing ceramics production have been found in recent years. Not to be missed is the exploration of Gravina’s underground caverns and cisterns check the web site: (http://www.gravinasotterranea.it /).
A very interesting village characterized by a series of different and various landscapes that from inland reach the Jonian sea, the beautiful stripe between Puglia and Basilicata, passing also through the area of the Murgia a majestic canyon where we discover the presence of numerous cave-houses and churches entirely carved into the rock.
Each of these villages has unique and typical characteristics that will for sure enrich your trip with new experiences. Just pick your favorite destination and If you need further information do not to hesitate to ask.