Matera and Lucania
The city of Matera is located on a slope of the canyon formed by the Gravina stream and represents one of the oldest settlements in the world. The current old town is the millenary evolution of the original system of natural caves that represented the residential core up to the Paleolithic era. On the opposite side of the city, some rock environments dating back thousands of years are still clearly visible.
The architectural system that characterizes Matera is known all over the world as "I Sassi di Matera" and indicates two districts of the city: the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. Located on a summit that divides the two Sassi, there is the Civita district, dominated by the Romanesque Cathedral. Together with the Piano district, located at the foot of the other three, they form the old town declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
The Sassi represents a wonderful historical example of urban architecture of how man has been able to adapt to the environment by exploiting its natural characteristics. The amphitheater of historic buildings and the houses of Matera represent a mine of beauty for a photographer. You can walk for hours in its labyrinth of streets and discover extraordinary photographic locations. The advice is to do it in the hours just after sunrise or, even better in the evening during the blue hour, when the city lights come on and the urban landscape of the Sassi becomes magical.
However, Matera is not the only photographic pearl of Basilicata. The wonderful villages of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, built in the fantastic mountain environment of the Lucanian Dolomites, represent an unmissable stop on a journey in search of splendid photographs. While another place I love to visit in Basilicata is undoubtedly the white city of Ferrandina and its fabulous skyline of historic buildings and churches.