Lecce to Matera

If you’ve been following together, you may recall that I mentioned that I would have another horrible travel day in the coming days when I traveled from Salerno to Lecce. Today’s the time. I traveled from Matera to Lecce. You might also remember that my formal definition of a bad vacation day involves two or more contacts. ( A purgatorial travel day is one with just one connection. ) A coach is taking passengers from Lecce to Bari today. Another coach travels between Altamura and Bari. And then a second train from Altamura to my final location of the day, where I’ll spent two nights, Matera. Greetings to Matera. The journey is the place, not the trip. None of the specific carriages were scheduled to take all that much, about an hour and three- rooms for the Lecce to Bari station, an afternoon and ten days for Bari to Altamura, and about 20 minutes for Altamura to Matera. According to the routine, the journey time from Lecce to Matera was roughly four hours long overall, including link times. That does n’t seem too bad, does n’t it? Oh, you know how I said horrible journeys have two or more links. If two of the connecting trains, or whatever mode of transportation, do not appear and then depart at the same location, add a few Devilish reward points. Arriving at Bari Centrale, the northern place, is the Lecce to Bari coach. The coach from Bari to Altamura even departs from Bari Centrale, but Bari has two Bari Centrale facilities, only plain old Bari Centrale, for the major Trenitalia trains, and Bari Centrale FAL. The letters for a different coach organization that, I believe, runs narrow gauge trains are F A L. Between the two facilities, according to Google Maps, is about a 5-minute move. I have about a quarter- minute relation in Bari. ( Despite the fact that the next two carriages were operated by another business, I was able to purchase all three railways using a single seat from Trenitalia. That’s the relationship Trenitalia made with me. Lecce to Matera: Lecce to Bari LegThe second part of the Lecce to Bari foot of my Lecce to Matera trip looked remarkably similar to the entire final leg of my Salerno to Lecce odyssey a few days, that being Brindisi to Lecce. That is not surprising. Brindisi was the first stop on the train from Lecce to Bari. Beyond Brindisi, the landscape was similar, but more pronounced, if that makes any sense whatsoever. There were many olive trees, some even more so than there were between Lecce and Brindisi. Additionally, there were fewer vineyards. The land was still reasonably flat, but the further on we got, the more it began to roll a bit. And in the distance, I even saw some small hills. And as we got closer to Bari, there were some less than modest, some might say boastful, hills in the distance. One might even call them small mountains. Greetings to Matera. It’s still the journey, not the destination. Further on, the small mountains disappeared and the hills regained their modesty. And I noticed a few vineyards and some farms growing vegetable matter, plants that are kept a little bit close to the ground, at least at this time of the growing season. Naturally, there were typically at least moderately dense residential and industrial areas close to the stops. I’m not railway exec, but I think it’s generally considered a bad business practice to put stations somewhere where they’d serve only wildlife. How frequently do wildlife attempt to sneak onto trains without paying their fares would surprise you. The train eventually came to a stop on a small stream run by scrubland over an unimportant bridge after about a mile of Brinidisi. Apart from the bridge and the concrete channel the stream ran through at points, the locale showed no signs of civilization. The train remained there for more than ten minutes. An announcement that was made to inform us passengers in Italian and English that this is not a station stop was made at the time. Duh. Thank you. A quick glance out the window revealed that. Trenitalia has an online train tracking service. We were already three minutes late at that point. The tracking system informed me that I would be arriving 15 minutes late in Bari Centrale, Trenitalia’s Bari Centrale, once more after the train started moving once more and the tracking system had picked up. All of a sudden my connection did n’t look so comfortable. What, I worry? The train accelerated. I checked a couple more times and the tracking system got closer to the original scheduled arrival time. We arrived only three minutes late, as it turned out. I took my phone out and created a walking route between the two Bari Centrale stations before the train arrived in Bari, so I would n’t have to struggle with it at the station. I do n’t know what I was looking at when it previously told me it was a five- minute walk. It now indicated that it was only two minutes. Google Maps also made mistakes in that regard. The two stations are essentially in the same block. Between the two, I had less than two minutes to walk between them. On my way from Lecce to Matera, I had plenty of time to catch my next train, which would be from Bari to Altamura. You’ll hear more here about Bari in a couple days because I’ll be back to spend some time there. The Lecce to Matera expedition’s Bari to Altamura leg was uneventful and uninteresting. The train appears to serve primarily commuters, and many of them. It was quite full out of Bari, but it thinned out a little after a few stations. Greetings to Matera. Yada. Yada. Yada. The final destination. Stops are frequent near Bari, passing through residential clusters and industrial areas in the early part of the trip. There were groves further along. Although I’m not entirely certain whether these were olives like I was when I saw the Lecce to Bari leg. Then again, I suck at identifying types of trees. I’m pretty sure that the olive trees I first identified during the trip were n’t maple or palm trees. If I were you, I would n’t believe in me to narrow it down to olives. But I’m not you, which is probably to my detriment. The spacing of the earlier stops is significantly longer than the distance between Altamura and the stop before it. The terrain was mostly flat throughout this leg. I only had an eight- minute connection in Altamura. When I arrived, the train to Matera was already on a different platform in the station. I quickly climbed a set of stairs, quickly climbed them, hurried up the stairs, and quickly climbed back onto the train. I was on board for three or four minutes before it pulled out. That was a good connection, then. The Lecce to Matera expedition’s Altamura to Matera leg was shorter than the other two legs. It started to get a little more hilly, but not back to particularly braggadocios hills. I had anticipated hills. I was surprised that I had only passed a few, largely modest, hilly sections of today’s travel. I’d seen pictures of Matera. Its historic center is carved into the middle of a steep, high gorge. I was wondering where that was. Something I learned as the train got closer to Matera is that it’s not a small town. Before my, Matera Centrale, and one Matera stop are there. I made my way to my stop roughly on time. Matera Centrale is in the newish part of Matera. However, Matera’s historic town is well known. Very traditional town. The station, while not huge, is very modern and clean. I had to walk about 20 minutes from the station to my hotel in Matera’s very old part, the old part. I had to travel down a lot of old stone steps with my luggage for the last part of the walk out of the station. I’m old. Enough said, folks. I arrived at my hotel at about three in the afternoon, giving me plenty of time to check in and take a stroll through Matera’s very old town. All in all, it was n’t really a hellish travel day. I ca n’t change the classification because it had two connections. My hands are tangles. MateraBefore I jump into the narrative, let me start with this about Matera. A brand-new, worn-out MateraQue bello. Absolutely bello. Que absolutely freaking bello. It is said that Ralph Waldo Emerson,” It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” is a saying that. They repeatedly repeat that incessantly annoying phrase. I hope their loved ones convince them to seek professional help. They are crazy. It was n’t the journey from Matera to Lecce. It was very definitely the destination, Matera. Let me get to the story’s central tenet. A cave occupies my hotel room. Not a Disney recreation of a cave. a cave. The entrance to my cave is what Matera is most renowned for. Caves. Feel free to call me Caveman Joel for tonight and tomorrow. The receptionist took me to the large room next to the restaurant’s restaurant, which is a cave, when I checked in. The breakfast room is a cave that used to be a cave church. When was the church consecrated, she informed me. Although I believe it to be the 13th century, I believe I’m missing something by a century or two, making it more recent than it is. But when you’re talking about that far back, what’s a few hundred years between friends. In Matera, there are also wine, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres to be had in that room or on wood tables in front of the breakfast area with a view of a stunning gorge in the afternoon and early evening. Alcohol and food are not included in the room rate. According to the reception person’s introduction to the hotel and its history, people lived in caves in the area up until only 60 years ago. That’s right now, on a geological scale, I do n’t know how many orders of approximation. Even if you only consider the entire human evolution’s timescale, it still amounts to a number of orders of magnitude. When I think of people living in caves I think of the Stone Age. I’ll admit that I think a lot of” The Flintstones” However, I’m sure I’m wrong, but I do n’t believe” The Flintstones” accurately depicted the Stone Age’s life. You just ca n’t trust what you see on television. The hotel’s breakfast room is empty, so let’s get to” The Flintstones.” ( How old do you have to be to know who” The Flintstones” were? I forget where I heard this, it might have been from my oft- cited regular reader, but I found corroboration of it through an online search that led me to a story in the New Yorker. Mussolini reportedly detested the fact that people still lived in Matera’s caves. He believed that it made Italy appear dated and unimpressive. It did, but really? He accepted that the world would view Italy as a brutal fascist nation for his actions. However, who reside in caves? That was too much of a blow to Italy’s reputation. Yes, that’s correct. About 60 years ago, the government did push people out of the caves of Matera, including a view of the gorge from outside my cave. Back then, the caves did n’t have electricity, water, or sewage. My cave currently has all of that, including a toilet, a bidet, a sink, a large bathtub, a separate shower, heating, air conditioning, and good WiFi. Although my room has electric lights, my cave also had several day candles burning when I arrived. Wandering MateraFor the time I had in Matera this afternoon, I wandered. simply wandered. Despite my untrustworthy memory, I’m completely certain that I have never seen anything quite like Matera’s old town. Not even close. I had originally predicted that I would n’t come here. I had it mentioned in my guidebook. It sounded unique, but I did n’t think it would be worth the diversion from the route around the rest of southern Italy that I wanted to see. However, the regular reader who was frequently cited above strongly suggested that I leave. She has never been, but she was much more knowledgeable than I was prior to this trip. Now that I’m here, I’m in awe. I ca n’t even begin to express how happy I am that she persuaded me to come along with the assistance of someone who shall remain even more anonymous. I’m in complete, unwavering awe. I have n’t been here long yet, but I’m already thrilled I came. I’m fairly certain that when I leave, I’ll be disappointed that I only booked two nights, one full day, here and not more. More traditional stairs When I step out of my cave’s wooden door, I have a view of a great gorge. Across the way, in the mixed rock and green steep slope on the other side, there are more caves. From the distance, those appear rough, bones, and abandoned. I saw more caves that have been converted into restaurants and hotels as I wandered around the old town of Matera. The new town is at top, so little of it is visible from the old town. The unsettled opposite side of the gorge or the old town on this side of it provides pretty much the entire view. It is truly stunning. The old town is n’t all caves. Additionally, its streets are lined with stone-block construction structures. As you can see from the photo of the entrance to my cave above, it’s not always simple to tell what’s a cave from a stone-block building, despite what I’ve already said. The entrances to the caves on the town- side of the gorge have stone- block fronts on them to cover up the hole into the cave and create someplace to put a lockable door. To determine whether the stone block wall is actually facing the hill or whether it is a cave entrance rather than a free-standing structure, you must check whether the stone block wall is pretty much straight up against the hill. Additionally, in my cave. the walls and ceiling are mostly stone block rather than raw rock. That results in perfectly vaulted ceilings and flat walls. There is one small section, though, that does have a rough rock ceiling. Chiesa di San Pedro Caveoso exteriorThere is a large part of the old town further along the gorge that I did n’t walk to. It appeared to be more like the same from a distance. I overheard a tour guide point it at her and inform her small group of English-speaking guests that it will be left abandoned as far as restaurants, hotels, and residences and that it will instead be turned into an archaeological park. Her use of the future tense made me think it might be blocked off, but I do n’t know. While I mostly wandered this afternoon, I did stop in the Chiesa di San Pedro Caveoso, which is the ceiling of. My guidebook claims that the only church in Matera’s cave-filled sassi is located in the rock of the hill. The church was built in 1300, but according to my guidebook, it has a 17th century Romanesque- baroque facade. Although it has a simple interior, it has a wood ceiling with frescoes painted on it. I’ll visit more of the locations tomorrow. I ca n’t wait, but I must somehow. The area of the old town Matera that will (? ) If my eavesdropping was accurate, the Archaeological Park would be opened up.