Good morning Matera, it was finally clear sky! Early in the morning, we walked to Chiesa di San Pietro Caveoso as the sun light up the stone colored Sassi.
We walked the S-curve road hugging the cliff of Matera and on the other side, I can see clearly the small canyon underneath the Sassi. The sun only lit up half the canyon.
We walked up the Sassi to Matera Cathedral and we were the only ones there except for the worship mass in a separate room. I was shocked by how grand the interior is, never judge a book by its cover!
The golden leaflets woahhhhh!
Good morning Matera!
We walked all the way to Convent of Saint Agostino for another panoramic view of Matera…as we were on the other side of the Sassi and started to see the opposite side….too bad those two big buildings were covered with scaffold and ruined the postcard view!
Inside Convent of Saint Agostino, this one looked so much different than the Matera Cathedral. This convent is simple but charming on its own way!
After our morning walk, we went to the garage to take our car and headed to Castelmezzano which was an hour away. The day was beautiful, look at the blue sky and white puffy clouds!
We drove up down the mountain and up onto another one…it was so green; the air was so fresh!
Even though we took the exit to Castelmezzano, there was no sign of Castelmezzano, a colorful village built on the side of a mountain top. We drove through a long tunnel into the mountain and out from another side, as soon as we drove out of the tunnel, there is Castelmezzano on the left side of us. OMG, it just suddenly appeared; the village was hidden that you will not see it until you get there; it literally took us by surprise!
We were screaming “wowww”, Jason please find a safe spot to pull over so we can take photos!!!
We drove into the village, there was a parking lot and they were additional spaces along the road overlooking the village from across the cliff:
The village was photogenic, it looked even better than the photos we have seen online which made us decided to pay a visit there. It was totally worth the day trip!
I love cute little Italian villages like this!!! Beautiful and not touristy at all!
The locals we passed by were all elderlies so we were thinking how they make a living on top of a mountain?
The village has a few restaurants and we had our lunch at the #1 rated: Trattoria Al Vecchio Scarpone. The waitress (mid-aged) doesn’t speak English but they had an English menu. We ordered a set menu but somehow the food kept coming and coming!
The antipasto was a mix of ham, cheese, bread, etc dish:
And then a cup of pea like soup?
The pasta was quite interesting on the right side, they were thin sliced and the sauce was not sour (unlike other pasta dishes with tomato based sauce) and with pan fried vegetables. The dish was very good, it suited our Asian taste bud well! The homemade ravioli tasted homemade 🙂 The lunch cost us €20.50 each.
After lunch, we strolled around the beautiful tranquil village, look at the view! We had so much fun photographing with the unique village!
Their cathedral, simple and nice!
After Castelmezzano, it was only 3 pm and on the way back, we saw a few mountain top villages like this one, isn’t this one cute too? But this one doesn’t have the hidden behind the rock feel than Castelmezzano! Hum..do Italians like to live on top of the hill, we were thinking?
Our one hour drive back….since it was still early….Sokunna begged Jason to drive to one of our favorite Italian villages – Alberobello (we visited two years ago in 2015)! Sokunna has never been to Alberobello and kept hearing from us that how unique the village is all these two years, Jason decided to drive another hour to get there!
We parked our car right on the center of the historical village and then guided her to the most picturesque places in the village. This time, it was crowded with tourists and school groups, urg!
Nevertheless, the village was as beautiful as before! It really brought back memories!
We bought Sokunna to our favorite gelato shop in Alberobello – Arte Fredda and she said it was the best melon gelato she ever had, so refreshing! That gelato made Sokunna after the trip to order an ice cream maker to try it to make it herself LOL!
I remembered this mini road when we were there two years ago in early July, the flowers were all gone. This time in early May, the flowers were in bloom 😀
The cute souvenir shops we browsed in!
The toy figure like church, so cute!
We love Alberobello…besides the crowd!
Then, we showed Sokunna the little fruit market where we brought a watermelon two years ago from the friendly store owner. The store owner was still there!!! I showed him a picture of me and him two years hahahaha and we took a photo together again!
It was definitely not the watermelon season so it was smaller 😛
We didn’t plan to go back to Alberobello and we went last minute, we were thinking will we see that store owner again in two more years? hahahaha!
We felt mission accomplished! We drove back to Matera, an hour away and stopped by the Viewpoint of Matera and the Sassi (Belvedere di Murgia Timone). It was not the right timing as the sun was behind it and totally in shade so we decided we should come back tomorrow morning instead! The walk down to the viewpoint:
We got back just in time for the sunset, oh Matera!
We had dinner at II Mare Nei Sassi and it was a challenge to find the restaurant because it has another name, we found out later, as La Grotta nei Sassi. This seafood restaurant is highly rated for its seafood…..Matera is nowhere near the water but the seafood dishes we ordered were definitely fresh!
We ordered so much food!!! Both pasta dishes were so salty…..I really thought Southern Italian pasta are more on the salty side for our Asian taste buds!
With all those seafood dishes, the total came to be €25 per person which wasn’t bad at all 🙂 We really enjoyed our stay in Matera.
We really enjoyed our stay in Matera; wonderful place with wonderful people!!! It was definitely our favorite stop in this trip so far!!! Next, we headed to Positano in the famous Amalfi Coast!!!