Giuseppe brought along his friend, Giovanni, and we enjoyed a busy few hours of sightseeing in a little black van.
Our first stop was Matera, supposedly the second oldest inhabited city in the world after Jericho. Built over the centuries in many layers, its residents lived harsh lives in caves, along with their domestic animals, but what views we see today.
Our young guide, Lucia, snaps a photo of us.
She chats with an 87-year-old resident whose somewhat broken command of German enables him and Kathy to converse for a few minutes.
Toward the end of our tour, we visit a model of a typical cave dwelling. There’s the family donkey in back.
A small kitchen..,
The next stop is the Grotte di Castellana, the caves discovered in the 1930s, where we joined an English-language tour.
The locals used to use the hole as a garbage dump, and some believed it was the entrance to Hell, until some brave souls decided to explore it.
Our final stop was Alberobello, the home of the famous Trulli houses. Legend has it that the inhabitants built the roofs without mortar, and disassembled them whenever the tax collectors were approaching, thus avoiding taxation.
It was good to return to this most interesting area of Italy.