Statement d ’ love in Matera

by Antonio Moresco

You have to walk through miles of rocks, and then bypassing the great Gaur on where the wound is realized and stands, to understand what Matera, This city that materializes already from afar, from first, through the expanses of murgiche stones and then the abyss full of Troglodyte caves by prehistoric men widened and its Rock-Hewn Churches carved in the rock. An expanse of rocks that cover the Earth like a meteor shower and that become little by little rocks, steep, which then become almost seamlessly in caves inhabited by humans, and then to make that cover the entrances of these caves, and then in architectural structures similar to the cities and underground insect larval universes, with their huge underground tanks high and filled with arches and vaults and the network of hundreds of other tanks where its residents collected rainwater, earthenware ducts and coming down from the rooftops of stone houses, supported yet, in any case, the femora of the mules who lived until recently, along with men in the same cave ceilings to cusp camouflaged by small facades built with materials excavated. I happened, in recent years, to see many unforgettable locations, in Italy and in the world, in Russia, in Latin America, in the Andes, in Tierra del Fuego, but I've never seen anything more inconceivable and moving to this city of stone which appears on the precipice of a canyon and that is made of the same material from which surrounds. The Italy is full of unique cities in the world, Rome, Florence, brims of treasures, but that did not have this architectural unity and spiritual concretion that crosses eras and rejoins us in an instant with rock-hewn cave and nature and the particular genius of erupt our species crowds, helpless and fierce. Siena, Mantova, Viterbo, Naples, Genoa, Trieste, Palermo, Lecce and many other cities are unique and marvelous, but it seems to me they're both Venice and Matera Queens. Two absolute opposites: one of infinite refinement, wealth and beauty, the other barbaric and poor and equally infinite beauty, a city of stone and water. But stone was water and, Maybe, even the water returns to stone. How will the new towns to come, on this small planet that revolves around its star burnt, new Venezie and new Material? Will be stone or water?

From the diary of Stella d ’ Italy