Monday, 27 June 2011

Getting down with the trogladytes in Basilicata

After a certain amount of customary dithering en route from Taranto (changing our minds and direction three times) we settled on the town of Matera in Basilicata. It is famous for its sassi, stone houses cut into the two ravines which slice through the town, which were home to more than half of the population until the late 1950s. It is a delightfully atmospheric place, though we did our usual trick of arriving during the deadzone of 2.30-4pm, where everything is closed and it is impossible for three hungry travellers to get a bite to eat or a drop to drink. We parked up for the night on a street above the castle and were woken multiple times by dogs barking or drunken students canoodling.

Basilicata is one of Italy's poorest regions and one that is rarely visited by tourists. We decided to stay a while. Driving through its wild and rugged mountainous interior we didn't see another vehicle, let alone another camper. We were on our way to another Agritourism stop and had our fingers crossed that the GPS coordinates were correct and that we would be allowed to stop for a day or two.

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