Matera, European Capitals of Culture 2019

Some three to four hours from Naples  (depending on whether you're driving or taking the bus/train) and six south of Rome  - not to mention less than an hour from Bari), the Basilicata region sits right atop the instep of Italy's boot. And in the south of this country's most mountainous region, both its Adriatic coast and inland offer fantastic, otherworldly landscapes. But it's one of Basilicata's major cities, Matera (pop. just over 60,000). And in 2019 Europe's oldest continuously inhabited city - and third oldest in the world - is spending a year in the spotlight as one of the continent's two European Capitals of Culture (the other being PlovdivBulgaria). What is it about Matera that makes it unique in Europe - and, indeed, enough to make it an extra special UNESCO World Heritage Site?

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