Tourist are frequently surprised when they first taste traditional Tuscan bread that is always made without salt. Tuscans, especially those from Florence and Prato, would not eat it any other way.
Dante agreed. “Tu proverai si come sa di sale Lo pane altrui, e comè duro calle Lo scendere e il salir per l’altrui scale.” In these lines from the Paradiso of ”The Divine Comedy,” Dante learns of his exile from Florence and is given some idea of the difficulties he will face. ”You shall learn how salty is the taste of another’s bread, and how hard a path the … Read More
To escape the tourist-packed streets of Florence and trendy Tuscany, going south to the Amalfi Coast or Capri doesn’t give much relief. To find a different Italy, the adventuresome traveler goes to the southeastern region of Basilicata and the unique town of Matera and tours the Sassi (Stones) of Matera.
History Made Matera a Cultural Jumble
Almost everyone across Europe and the Mediteranean claimed Matera at some point in time.
Palaeolithic findings and Neolithic and Bronze Age underground settlements have been uncovered in the stone caves in the ravines below and across from the city. The original town center above … Read More
Europe is not known for its conferences for writers. There are many great gatherings for readers, including those in Edinburgh, Wales and Turin. But only the small town of Matera hosts a great symposium for writers and, despite its name, Women’s Fiction Festival (WFF), it’s not just for women anymore. This year the speakers included Nick Hornby (About A Boy) and his editor, Penguin UK’s Publishing Director Tony Lacey.
The roots of WFF are in romantic fiction – Harlequin Mondadori and Book Cents Literary Agency are sponsors. One story has it that Elizabeth Jennings, founder of the festival, … Read More