Craft Tour of Matera

Meet with specialized guide and visit to the Sasso Barisano. First stop at a historic workshop of pottery and ceramics. The group will watch potters working on the wheel throwing objects from the local peasant culture and follow the various phases of creation. Many of the pieces made today gain inspiration from the past, like those inspired by the neolithic ceramics of “Serra d’Alto” or the copies of peasant artefacts or utensils like the flask known as the “cucumo”, recipient that was used to keep drinking water cool or the pignata, terra cotta container used to cook traditional materan peasant dishes. Time for shopping.
Visit to a modern laboratory where tufa stone is carved. This soft versatile stone is used not only in the renovation of homes in the Sassi that often contain walls and vaults made entirely of tufa stone but also for furnishings like fireplaces, coffee tables and decorations. Visit to the workshop/showroom of a young-local contemporary artist in the Sasso Caveoso who works with recycled materials and mid-century modern furnitures and objects. She gives new life to broken or discarded objects creating fascinating and original decorations, mosaics, curtains, furniture and other extremely original pieces, all in the huge labyrinth-laboratory that was recently restored and is a wonder of architecture and design in itself. Lunch break.
The visit continues in the Sasso Caveoso with the laboratory of craftsmen that make the characteristic souvenir locally known as “cucù”, a typical materan whistle made out of terra cotta and normally in the form of a colourful rooster. It used to be a good luck charm that was given to the future bride and groom on engagement and said to keep evil spirits away. Next stop, workshop where papier-mâché is used to make incredibly intricate, often ironic and original works inspired by the peasant past of Matera. This tradition finds in its inspiration the huge triomphal charriot made for the festa of the patron saint of Matera, la Madonna della Bruna, held on the 2nd of July each year, after which the charriot is completely destroyed. Dinner at a Trattoria with a taste laboratory during which visitors have the chance to watch and participate in the preparation of typical local dishes from the peasant past.

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