On the way to the station for the bus to Napoli this morning, the taxi driver told me one last tale of Matera. Back in the 1500s, the Count Tramontano, who owned Matera and its surroundings, decided to build a grand castle. He not only owned the lands, but he owned the people too. He forced every woman in Matera to sleep with him on her wedding night. He was so hated that the people of Matera had him assassinated. Ever since, the castle has remained empty, which is incredible given Matera’s history of crowded living conditions.
The bus to Naples is boarded at a square on the outskirts of Matera, so I spent some time this morning watching the produce vendors selling greens from trucks parked around the square.