[Get to know MEDUSA's territories] The Cammino Materano, Italy
This article forms part of a series of publications under MEDUSA project to promote less-known natural and cultural touristic assets in our partner territories Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Puglia (Italy) and Catalonia (Spain). Enjoy reading and hope to welcome you soon at one of the wonderful places you will get to know here.
The Cammino Materano is a walking route that crosses Puglia and Basilicata.
The project was conceived by In Itinere aps association to build a new, seasonally adjusted and environmentally sustainable tourism model, that aims to socially, culturally and economically valorize the inland areas that are not usually affected by traditional tourism circuits. The route does not follow a "philological" path as the Via Appia or Via Traiana do, but it intertwines Roman secondary roads, medieval streets, sheep tracks and paths, in order to set the way through unknown internal areas of Southern Italy that have been important for different populations and cultures for millennia.
Walking on Cammino Materano, you will reach Matera, a magical place like no others in the world. It is one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean, a place where man has lived since the Paleolithic era. The rocky landscape of the Sassi area has been defined as "cultural landscape": an expression of civilization and peasant culture, a cradle of mankind, a world heritage site and a cultural model for the extraordinary harmony and balance between natural and human elements. In between, the journey: one day, olive groves, almond and wild trees parade along your way as you walk on an easy, relaxing path – perfect for thinking. The following day you venture through bushes and fields and then you get lost and find yourself again through the stone labyrinths of Apulian villages. At the end of the day, you feel connected with ancestral, simple life pleasures, like a glass of red wine and a cialledda (a typical bread salad with fresh vegetables, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil), by reaching a place, but mostly some people: a lively, welcoming humanity that makes you feel more and more at home.