Every new year brings with it resolutions, a fresh start, and—for travel junkies—a new crop of bucket-list destinations. In 2019, Italy’s got among the well-known itineraries something in the spotlight for cultural reasons.
Located in the southern Basilicata region around the “ankle” of Italy’s boot, “Matera is a journey back in time,” says Matteo Della Grazia of Discover Your Italy, which creates bespoke itineraries throughout Matera. “It showcases a part of Italy where history, traditional life, and natural and man-made beauty converge.”s. This year, the ancient city is getting a leading role among Itlian new destinations: It’s the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
Twelve months of cultural programming: from contemporary art exhibits, poetry readings, dressmaking workshops to concerts, operas, and theatrical performances, including an interpretation from The Divine Comedy. In between the events, visit some of the more than 150 ancient cave churches in the area, savor the local Basilicata variation on Italian cuisine (and wine), and stay in boutique hotels like the Sextantio, where the atmospheric rooms and suites are set in converted grottoes.