From Potenza to Dallas and back. To Matera

Griffin Nelson is an American man who teaches philosophy at the University of Dallas. Who cares, someone will think. Right, but the Griffin family’s got Lucanian origin, precisely from Potenza. Well but there are millions of Italo-Americans and thousands with Lucanian origins. Griffin, however, has worked for tree years in the Italian branch of his university, in Rome. And last year he decided to return to the land of his grandparents, with a short but intense tour of Lucania ended inMatera, of course. Where he joined a guided tour at the last minute I was going to start with a small group formed by some Neapolitan and Sicilian families. “No problem, I understand Italian well”. He had told a lie, but he did not want to lose the last chance left before leaving. Left the rest of the group at the restaurant at the end of the tour, we had a short chat in his native language and then he promised himself to come back here in Matera, maybe for a longer stay. Almost all say that… but then some of them really do that.

In the Sassi with prof Griffin Nilson and his colleague Liz

In fact earlier last month I received an email: “Hello Luigi, we met last year for a guided tour of Matera. I’m planning to come back in a couple of weeks, this time with a colleague of mine. And I wanted that she did the tour of the Sassi and then we would also like to hike on the Murgia. Are you free? “. Yes Griffin, I’m free. And it was really nice meeting him last weekend after a year, in the same place where we said goodbye then, at Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Hugs and kisses and then he introduced me to Liz, a lovely  teacher of art at the same university, from Califronia but her too for a few months in Rome. “For her it’s the first time in Matera, for me … almost! Last year actually I understood very little of what you said in Italian … “. Easy Griffin, this time only English.

And I spent  two pleasant days with them, they wanted to know and see everything, the Hystorical Centre, the Sassi, the Park of the Murgia and the modern districts: two guests really interested and enthusiastic and two lovely people too (you can see them in the picture). Too bad that in June they will be back in the U.S., their work inItaly for the moment is almost finished. But they will come back again to the city ofSassi, because there is still so much to discover in this unique place. “Anyway, we’ll recommend it to our friends and colleagues.” Meanwhile, for Griffin it’s again time to get on the road. He is used to it by now, it’s a familiar “tradition”. Yeah, from Potenza to Dallas and back. To Matera.

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