Posts Tagged ‘Matera’

Views of Matera (5)

Posted: March 9, 2017 in Italy
Tags:

Some pictures from Matera in South Italy, the city of caves.

dscn1228a

dscn1233a

Looking inside a cave house

Looking inside a cave house

dscn1222a

The oldest cave dwellings in the ravine - thought to have been occupied since pre-historic times

The oldest cave dwellings in the ravine – thought to have been occupied since pre-historic times

Souvenirs

Souvenirs

Views of Matera (4)

Posted: March 2, 2017 in Italy
Tags:

Some more pictures from the fascinating city of Matera in Southern Italy.

dscn1181a

dscn1200a

dscn1159

 

dscn1205a

dscn1199a

dscn1204a

 

Views of Matera (3)

Posted: February 23, 2017 in Italy
Tags:

Some more photos from the amazing town of Matera in southern Italy.

dscn1182a

dscn1170a

dscn1195a

dscn1183a

 

dscn1197a

dscn1187a

 

Views of Matera (2)

Posted: February 21, 2017 in Italy
Tags:

There are many fine churches in the town of Matera in Southern Italy.

dscn1202b

 

 

dscn1177a

dscn1174a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn1202b

dscn1193a

dscn1194a

 

Views of Matera (1)

Posted: February 14, 2017 in History, Italy
Tags:

dscn1155a

Matera is a unique town in Southern Italy. It is built on the side of a gorge and is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited sites in the world dating from the pre-historic period.

The oldest caves in the ravine

The oldest inhabited caves in the ravine

The ancient town was known as ‘Sassi di Matera’ and consisted of houses cut into the rock of the gorge. A front wall would then be built across the cave entrance. Some of these cave houses were still in use until the early 1950’s when the last residents were moved to more modern accommodation at the top of the gorge.

dscn1158a

dscn1161a

dscn1166a

When I was there, in 1997, we were having a drink in a cafe after visiting some of the cave houses, which had been renovated and opened for tourists to see. The lady in the cafe heard what we were talking about and disappeared. A few moments later she re-appeared with her husband, who spoke no English, but pointed to himself and said proudly ‘Troglodyte’ which means cave dweller. It turned out he was from one of the last families to be moved out of the cave houses and, perhaps surprisingly, we learned that many families were very reluctant to leave their homes in the Sassi to move to new flats in the modern part of the town.

The Sassi at the bottom and the modern town at the top of the ravine

The Sassi at the bottom and the modern town at the top of the ravine

The old town and the Sassi are fascinating places to visit.

Lesser Kestrel

Posted: February 9, 2017 in Birds, Natural History
Tags: ,
Lesser Kestrel. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Lesser Kestrel. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

The Lesser Kestrel breeds around the Mediterranean and winters in Africa. Smaller than the Common Kestrel it feeds on insects, small birds and rodents.

dscn1217a

It is declining in range and is now rare in Europe. I saw these pairs nesting when visiting Mattera in Southern Italy some years ago.

dscn1218a

dscn1180