As Matera has come up in one of our other threads:

This is a general video on today's Basilicata, but unfortunately for non-Italian speakers, there are no subtitles:

I really recommend this video which specifically concentrates on Matera. It's one of my favorite series on Italy, from the BBC; they're great guys, very nice, very engaging, and very informative, and, for our readers, it's in English.

Strangely, the cheese of the region, which is delicious btw, is made from cows whose ancestry has been traced back to the eastern steppe. I wonder who brought them?

Matera is certainly worth a visit; it's a fascinating place, but it was difficult for me to forget what it was like just five decades ago, when it was home to the most brutal, abject poverty, malnutrition, and disease.


Has anyone read Christ stopped at Eboli? That book seared my heart and mind and soul. The impact is as strong now as when I first read it. Levi said that Matera was like Dante's Inferno.

Christ Stopped At Eboli:

So many movies have been made there, including Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", and Pasolini's "The Gospel According to Matthew", as well as the latest reincarnation of "Ben Hur".

Coincidentally, Francis Ford Coppola's father (the famous director of "The Godfather" fame), who was a flautist with the Detroit Symphony, traces his ancestry to the Matera region, so obviously some people overcame the poverty of the region.