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Town or City?
Right now the article calls Matera as a "town." Is it more correct to call it a "city?" Paradiso 00:18, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
- Is any part of the following statement true: During the Greek expansion, it housed exiled from the Metapont and Heraclea (whence the origin of the name, "Met"+"Era"). The etymological derivation is innocent indeed! --Wetman 11:16, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
- I've returned this here again. Really, this just doesn't happen — unlike the US's Delmarva Peninsula. --Wetman 13:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I am disappointed that the history section ends in 1943. Can someone who knows the facts expand on this? I am interested to know about how people lived in Matera in the 1950s-1970s and how even into the 1950s there was still malaria and high infant mortality which is quite shocking for a European country. And also when did it begin to become a tourist attraction? Can someone describe this more?— Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 00:14, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
- The Sassi is an ancient troglodite dwelling that traditionally had no modern facilities. Even though Italy is a European country, the south of Italy was not as industrialized as the north, and many who lived in southern villages lived much like they had lived for centuries, and this was especially true for those who lived in Matera’s Sassi. For example, there was no electricity or modern plumbing in the Sassi. Villagers would share a common oven for baking. They would carry their water in clay pots from the local stream. There was no refrigeration so they would eat very little meat and would purchase salted fish that was brought into town on horse cart from the ocean every day. Health care existed but it was expensive for the common person. After the government moved the inhabitants from the Sassi to apartments in the modern area of Matera in the 1950s, the Sassi structures still remained, and because it was so historic and unique it became a tourist attraction. Not all the inhabitants left at the same time, I believe, but gradually through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Even when I visited in 1976, there were still some people who lived in the Sassi (mostly elderly from what I could tell) and many visitors enjoyed walking through its streets. More details about its history since the 1940s would be helpful, if anyone has this info. Paradiso 21:40, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I began visiting Matera in 1994, after it had been decided that homes in the Sassi would be renovated but before there was a large number of people doing so. In 1994 in the night the Sassi seemed to belong to the wild dogs and in daylight an interesting place to walk. Over the years since that time I have watched Matera change sometimes slowly but often quite rapidly in some ways. It has become fashionable to live in the Sassi and there is a nightlife, including restaurants and bars. In the early 90's almost few townsfolk spoke English, except those who worked in places like the Italian Space Agency - funded Telespazio site between Matera and Laterza. Some of the older folks seemed to speak only dialect and I had more trouble communicating in Italian with some. Today one can find many people who speak English - perhaps a consequence of the expanded tourism. It is an interesting place to stay and one feels that there is a strong connection between the people living there today and their history. I will be visiting again next month to visit friends. Michael 12-Nov-2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 04:36, 13 November 2010 (UTC)