It would be easy to spend an entire holiday in Matera but that would be a mistake. A drive 50 km (30 miles) south brings you to the ancient Greek settlement of Metaponto, with its ruins, including a temple dedicated to Hera, the wife and sister of Zeus, and a superb archaeological museum.
On the way, reserve to take a tour (8 euros per person) of The Crypt of the Original Sin, sometimes described as “the Sistine Chapel” of the region’s “rupestrian”, or rock cave, churches (www.cryptoforiginalsin.it).
The 9th-century monks who painted it were no Michelangelos, but the Eve emerging from Adam’s rib leaves little to the imagination about why that original sin happened.
(Reporting and writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Crispian Balmer)
Foto fatta a Matera