Matera and Crapiata

Matera hasn’t changed a lot since I was last there many years ago to see its most spectacular festival, the Festa della Modonna Bruna which commemorates youth snatching power from their elders.

matera gorge
Matera and gorge. Gorgeous.

Hotels are hidden in the monochromatic landscape. In September, the crowds aren’t so visible, although the restaurant we chose to eat at was fully booked at lunch, Ristorante Nadì. It was so good, we booked a table for dinner. And they have the provocatively titled “crapiata”, a soup of grains and beans like ceci, fave, and white beans, drizzled with some spectacular olive oil. I’m now a crapiata fan. I wish we could get “I heart Crapiata” bumper stickers.

Tourists don’t generally go to Matera for the food. But they’re proud of the local cuisine, born of the poverty of the past. And they should be. I had crapiata as part of a “tris” or one of three primi piatti dishes on the same plate.

Crapiata and two pastas in Matera

Oddly, crapiata sounds similar to mesciua, the simple soup that originated around La Spezia when housewives would come to the docks and glean the fallen beans and grains when ships were unloaded. Crapiata though, is said to have originated with the ancient Romans.

In any case, September weather is perfect; you can eat lunch outside, and you can still climb the sides of Matera’s “bowl” and not feel the effects of too much heat.

Y’all get over here, ya hear? These folks are waiting for you. See where to stay below

Lodging Map for Matera

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Matera and Crapiata originally appeared on , updated: Apr 30, 2023 © .

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