Even to an Italian Matera, in the south of Italy (Basilicata region), is unique, you wonder if you are in Italy. Walking through the city on your own is already an experience; A grey, clay color dazzles you and you wonder if you are on the moon. Having your private guide as I did adds so much to understanding this city. The guide will talk of antropology, archeology, rupestrian churches that are already in the old city itself or can be reached during an easy hike thorough the “Murge Maretane” /karstic landscape which combines nature and rupestrian churches. Not too long ago – until the 1950’s people had their homes in the caves on which the city was built. Each home had its cistern under the paving. The whole city had a connected system of terracotta pipes and cisterns (check out Palombaro Lungo for the most extraordinary water cisterns under
Barisano and Sasso Caveoso are the neighborhoods that you want to visit. The new city of Matera is around the old neighborhoods.
I’m used at exploring cities on my own; in the case of Matera – the city of stones – I recommend having a local guide.
Nicola Ruggieri of Matera Culturale in the first picture below was my guide, an incredibly knowleageable expert of the city!
Matera has been elected to be the European cultural capital in 2019. Do not miss visiting this city and the Murge Materane
How can you best reach Matera?
If you are coming from the north on your own and do no have a car (and by car it’s quite a distance!) you can head in the direction of Salerno (the city south of Naples) and then get on a connecting bus provided by Trenitalia and Italo train companies. Say you are coming from Rome, it will take you around 5 hours. Otherwise you can fly to Bari and from there there is a connecting bus. From Bari train station there is a train that takes around 2 hours. As usual, the best is to be able to hire your own driver and to reach the city in an quicker way from Bari.
The italian city with most bicycle riders
You could visit Italy a 100 times and still not have seen everything!
Ferrara in the north of Italy offers a magic atmosphere, friendly people, and so many outstanding monuments that made me wonder why I had non vesited this city before!
In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance Ferrara enjoyed its gratest splendor, especially thanks to the dinasty of the ESTE family. Their power lasted until the end of the sixteenth century and then the city was taken over by the State of the Church. To this contributed the fact the Este family did not have any heirs and maybe also the repeated earthquakes from the 1570s that lasted for four years scaring people to death and making them abandon the city.
Palazzo Dei Diamanti
In the heart of the city is the CASTELLO ESTENSE, (Estense Castle) still surrounded by water. In the cellars are the dungeons where the enemies of the family (members of the family as well!) were kept and later executed. Don Giulio spent 40 years in those prisons and at age 81 he was set free! Graffities of those times can still be seen on the walls. In the upper floors are spacious rooms whose ceilings are decorated with fresco paintings.
The cathedral has so much precious work! Lots of marble galleries with little columns in the outer decoration.
Ferrara is still surrounded by the old city walls. One can walk, jog or ride on the walls providing amazing sport facilities!
The most beautiful palace is the PALAZZO DEI DIAMANTI “, the “Palace of the diamonds” with 8,500 stones in the shape of a diamond point that decorate the outside.
Detail of the Duomo facade
The City Hall
The northern city of Genova, in the Liguria region, is not a city known to the majority of visitors to Italy and maybe not even to Italians. Yet, in the eleventh and twelfth century it was one of the four leading “Maritime Republics” of the Italian peninsula, in 1451 Christopher Columbus was born here, and in the Renaissance period it enjoyed incredible prosperity prompting important artists such as Anton Van Dyck to move here.
Spending time in the city center is the best way to experience the many historic art buildings. There is quite a list of things to see and do here: (Doge’s Palace, just like in Venice!), the tiny “carrugi” alleys, the food tradition (world-known “pesto” sauce made of Basil, “pinoli” pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic), the sea port ambience (the most important harbor in Italy) with its aquarium, ships, yachts, BIGO the metallic crane offering quite a view over the city built by Italian contemporary architect Renzo Piano and/or the opportunity to attend an opera performance at the “Carlo Felice” theater.
For you, we have chosen for you a five-star historic hotel characterized by unique furnishing elements of the architectural tradition of the Liguria region, which utilizes sea and sunset colors. Each room is embellished by many authentic period pieces of old transatlantic liners. Mediterranean classic atmosphere and refined menus of Ligury tradition can be enjoyed at the hotel’s restaurant.
Day excursions can easily be organized from Genova to Portofino, the Cinque Terre, Forte dei Marmi (chic town in Tuscany) and Pisa ( world-famous leaning tower).
For further details about events in the dates you want to visit please contact us at email@example.com
No matter what season you go, Verona is always worth a visit! This is the city where William Shakespeare chose to set the love story of star-crossed teenage lovers Romeo and Juliet, a city full of romance and ancient art, including the famous arena where the world-known opera festival takes place every summer.
We have chosen for you the romantic atmosphere of a 5-star hotel in the historic center of Verona near the church of Sant’Anastasia, which is a stone’s through from Juliet’s famous balcony, piazza Bra’ and the arena. Here you will also be able to enjoy exclusive and intimate candlelight gourmet dinners.
Depending on your interests and preferences you can decide to explore the city on your own and just relax or we can suggest a walking tour accompanied by a professional guide, and/or an excursion to the beautiful Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, situated at the foot of the Alps.
From mid June to the end of August the open-air Opera Festival takes place at the arena: We will be happy to reserve and purchase for you in advance tickets for the best seats.
For further information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org