Italy Travel

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Fly High at the Matera Balloon Festival
Published on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, is gearing up to host 20 crews of European hot air balloons at the third annual Matera Balloon Festival next month. The four-day event, which runs from October 8 to 11 will give adventurous visitors a chance to soar above the rocky landscape by paragliding or hot air ballooning; for t...
Italian Blue Waters Get Prestigious Blue Flags
Published on Friday, May 15, 2015 by The International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has once again given Italy the highest number of Blue Flag beaches, bringing Italy's total to 280. The Blue Flag designation means that a beach meets the organization’s high eco-standards for cleanliness and sustainability. FEE Italy President Claudio Mazza says that the constant increase, up from 248...
Matera: Big Remake of Big Film
Published on Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Lovers of cinematic epics, rejoice! 1959’s big-budget, big-screen Roman saga, Ben Hur, is being remade, right now, in Italy’s southeastern city of Matera. You remember it as the Charlton Heston vehicle that had the biggest budget ($15.75 million) and biggest sets of any film of that period, and included 10,000 extras, 2,500 horses and 200 camels, among many other...
Matera Named European Capital of Culture for 2019
Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by After a fierce competition, Matera in the southern Italian region of Basilicata has been named as European Capital of Culture for 2019. The small town expects more than 5 million visitors in 2019, and plans to complete public works projects and city improvements to host the event. A town of 60,000 people, Matera is little-visited by travelers and is best known as...
Italy Travel Photo: The Christ of Maratea
Published on Monday, May 12, 2014 by   In 1963, commissioned by Count Rivetti, who first put Maratea's name on the tourism map,  Florentine sculptor Bruno Innocenti crafted the 72-foot statue called Il Redentore (the redeemer) out of white marble. It towers over Maratea (a beach resort in Basilicata) from Mount St. Blaise near the basilica of the town's patron saint. (If you're wondering, th...
The Italy Mix: Italian Islands, Sorrento, Matera
Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 by The Italy Mix is a weekly post about the most interesting Italy and Italy travel news and human interest stories around the Web each week. Here are our top picks for this week: Sorrento So Cool:  Its cobbled streets are lined with historic buildings, beautiful boutiques, refined restaurants and fabulous hotels.   (Daily Star) Italian Islands: Many of Ital...
Matera: Basilicata’s City of Sassi (Cave Shelters)
Published on Monday, January 2, 2012 by One of the most unusual places I have visited in Italy is the city of Matera in the southern region of Basilicata. Matera has a unique landscape made up of sassi, which are ancient cave shelters built into tufa rock. Stacked on top of each other, they almost look like a honeycomb from a distance. The old, weathered look of the sassi and Matera inspired Mel Gibson t...