Italian Capitals of Culture Travel Guide: Matera, Palermo and Parma

Jun 12, 2018 359

BY: David Moseder

When planning Italy vacations for next year, travel professionals’ eyes may be looking south, thanks to the selection of Matera as a European Capital of Culture for 2019 (along with Plovdiv, Bulgaria). It is the fourth Italian city so designated and the first since Genoa in 2004. The others were Bologna (2000) and Florence, the second-ever European Capital of Culture (1986). This honor will also call attention to the surrounding region of Basilicata — the arch of Italy’s boot, between Puglia and Calabria.

“The enchanting city of Matera is famous for its ‘Sassi’ or cave dwellings carved into the hillside,” Jill Taylor, an Italy specialist with Jetset World Travel in Chicago, tells Travel Agent. “The town has flourished in recent years after a period of abandonment. The Sassi are now used as residences, shops, restaurants and hotels. [Guides can] take you on a walking tour of the Sassi district and bring to life the history of this extraordinary town.”

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