Giorno Due: Matera

We’ve had a full day and are now resting for pausa. Will write commentary later, but wanted to upload photos from phone. I am teaching Richard and Caroline Italian. They really want to learn now that so few here speak English!

This morning Richard and I went to the mercato verdure, and it was so fun to hear the guys shouting out to passerbys to buy his wares. Everything was so inexpensive. When Richard asked for two oranges, the boy said, “Two kilo?” When we said only two oranges, he gave them to us as a gift. We found a little coffee bar for cappuccino and will return tomorrow. I love to chat up the baristas. Speaking of chatting, my favorite word in Italian is the verb: chiacchierrere, which means to chit-chat. If you say he/she would chit chat, you spell it: chiacchierrerebbero!

Pointing out the best catch

Pointing out the best catch

We went on a tour of the Crypt of the Original Sin, which was fascinating. We met out of town at a gas station, and then we followed our guide, Antonio, to the caves a few miles away. The paintings are frescoes on rocks painted by 9th century Benedictine monks over a period of thirty years. Rupestrian just means rock frescoes. In 870 AD, the Muslims invaded and wanted to destroy any art that represented life. The caves were undiscovered for centuries, but local shepherds used to shelter their sheep there. The paintings reminded me of the Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna because they were of a similar style and time period. The show was well done with lights highlighting various niches and Gregorian chants. I love the way Mary is adorned as a wealthy woman of the time. Also, it is the first painting ever of a fig instead of an apple. Antonio told us that the Bible only mentions the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil is male, and it got mixed up with mela, which means apple. That’s why the fruit is more commonly depicted as an apple. At any rate, it was fascinating. I could not take photos but have uploaded these from the website:
Mary as a woman of 800s.St. Peter with Andrew and JohnThe Adam and Eve story among others
Here’s a one-minute video if you are interested:

http://www.criptadelpeccatooriginale.it/multimedia.html

We drove out of town and climbed up on the rocks for a great view of I Sassi followed by lunch at La Latteria. They serve local cheeses and meats. One cheese from sheep was served in a bowl with strawberries. It looked like yogurt. Wherever we go, we chiacchierrerano with the Italians, just like these men on the street below, or perhaps not as animated.

Richard has been doing a great job driving, but Italians tend to tailgate VERY close and pass you when another car is coming head-on. Richard made an astute observation later as we were walking to lunch: Italians drive fast and walk slow. About sums it up!

Sorry photos out of order and not captioned, but I want to live in the present moment, which means rest now. Will clean up blog when I have time at home.
                  

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About ssteven2

I'm a reader, writer, swimmer, and school librarian. I love my summers so I can travel.
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6 Responses to Giorno Due: Matera

  1. sandra062013 says:

    Wow, Sara – you guys hit the ground running, leaving your travel woes and drama way, way behind! Good for you. What beautiful photos! Love all of them. You keep getting better with your photo skills. Your photos appear larger in your blog than mine do – do you resize them before you put them on the site? Mine are tiny compared with yours – please advise.

    • ssteven2 says:

      Sandra,
      I have wanted to enlarge your photos because they are so beautiful. I love the one of Ali going into sea, the pears, everything. I wish I could better advise you, but it may have to do with the template you chose. When you choose your subtitles, isn’t there a place to choose the size? I choose large, NOT full size. Full size is enormous. Another trick is using wifi on my iPhone and uploading photos is so much faster on a phone. I will go back and make captions later.
      I think you’re right, but I’m afraid to admit our suffering has been on the front end of this trip. Since Rome, everything has worked beautifully. Knock on wood! I’m so much less fearful. Google map app has been a godsend and really makes me less anxious. I have not been sleeping well, but I am still feeling fine so far. I have restless leg syndrome! It jerks me awake often. Maybe too much caffeine? At any rate, I’m sad we lost a day here, but I always tell myself I will return. I really love it here: fascinating. Am looking forward to seeing the trulli tomorrow on our drive to Cisternino in Puglia. It’s about an hour and twenty-minute drive.
      When do you all leave for Ravello? Did you go to Delfino’s in Marina Grande? We briefly heard about the Charleston shooter, but I’m trying to avoid reading about it because I’ll just get angry at gun nuts, and I’m feeling so happy and relaxed, except when my leg twitches. Richard wants to bring you some wine from this region. We will do our own taste test. We are writing down the names because we can’t remember anything, including Italian. I am making so many mistakes, but everyone is so helpful. A martedi!

      • sandra062013 says:

        Just sent you an email, so won’t repeat myself here. Your trip is so exciting, exploring new territory! We are in Ravello now, just posted my blog. We didn’t have a chance to go to Delfino’s, were only there two full days – next time! We also are trying to economize a little by only eating out once a day, but that is not a hardship, as you know, with so many beatiful fruits and vegetables, cheeses and meats, and wines available. How thoughtful of Richard, can’t wait to try the wine you guys pick out. This area is known as much or more for their whites as their reds, so I am a happy camper. We usually try the wines of the region we are in, and they have been very good.

      • ssteven2 says:

        It’s amazing how good the rosso della casa is! So glad you figured out how to make your photos larger. Must now check your blog on Ravello. Excited about our drive today to see the trulli!

  2. jmkennon says:

    I love looking at all the beautiful produce in the market! And, once again, you capture so well the old Italian men discussing things! I think your explanation of the word Evil and its association with mela/male is really interesting–I am going to tell Matteo about it. And, coincidentally, he just taught us chiacchierrerebbero a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think anyone in class has dared to try to write or pronounce it as yet, but it is a great word!! As always gorgeous photos–Caroline is a perfect model!

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