“Cultural landscape”. With this definition, used on that occasion for the first time, Matera was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on December 9, 1993 in Cartagena, Colombia: it was thus certified that the Sassi and the Murgia Park represent a unique territory, in which the work of Man and the work of Nature have created an ideal habitat perpetrated over the millennia – from the Neolithic to the present day – and still utilizable in the future as a model of urban ecosystem based on harmony and beauty.

And so that, together with my colleague Angela Milici from A spasso in Basilicata, we conceived and organized an initiative at the National Museum of Matera on the occasion of the National Landscape Day last14 March: established with Ministerial Decree 7 October 2016 n. 457, aims to “promote the culture of the landscape in all its forms and to raise awareness of the issues related to it, through specific activities to be carried out throughout the country“.

This was the meaning of “Matera, the landscape of History”, two days of “virtual” guided tours (ie in the absence of visitors due to the restrictions due to the health situation) broadcasted live on the Museum’s social networks: the first on Friday 13 March in the prehistoric section of the Ridola Museum to illustrate the landscape of the origins of the Matera area through the finds; the second on Sunday 14 March at the museum of Palazzo Lanfranchi for an ideal journey into the landscape represented in several works exhibited there, which ended on the terrace of the same palace with the extraordinary view of the real landscape of the Sassi and the Murgia (here and here you can see the related videos).

And the landscape of Matera and also of the rest of Basilicata has often been enhanced by the cinema. Many titles filmed in Basilicata: from La Lupa to Il Vangelo secondo Matteo, from Anni Ruggenti to Allonsanfan, from Basilischi to King David, from L’Uomo delle Stelle to The Passion of Christ; and moreover Basilicata Coast to Coast, Nativity, Omen, Un paese quasi perfetto, Terra bruciata, Io non ho paura, Wonder Woman, the remake of Ben Hur and the last episode of the James Bond saga No time to die that will be released in the cinemas all over the world in the coming months; and also the two fiction films by Rai Sorelle and Imma Tataranni, whose shooting for the second series has just begun in Matera. The unique scenarios of our splendid region have inspired directors and actors who have made the history of cinema: Alberto Lattuada, Pierpaolo Pasolini, the Taviani brothers, Francesco Rosi, Lina Wertmuller, Giuseppe Tornatore, Mel Gibson among the first; Nino Manfredi, Marcello Mastroianni, Gian Maria Volontè, Mariangela Melato, Richard Gere, Morgan Freeman and Daniel Craig among the seconds. And many others.

But now our region is no longer just a background or a “stand-in” to other places. The aforementioned Basilicata coast to coast, Sorelle and Imma Tataranni are also set in Basilicata. That has many stories (and history) to tell. The brigands, for example. And who knows, maybe we will watch it soon on our screens.

Landscapes of Basilicata

Landscapes of Basilicata

From Matera to Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano in the Lucanian Dolomites, from the “ghost town” of Craco to the  badlands of Aliano, Tursi, Montalbano and Pisticci, from Melfi and Venosa in the Vulture, to Maratea on the Thyrrhenian coast from the San Fele falls to the Monticchio lakes, from the golden beaches and the Greek ruins of Metaponto and all the Ionian coast to the Mount Pollino…  “Ba ba Basilicata, Ba ba Basilicata, tu che ne sai, l’hai vista mai, Basilicata is on my mind“.