Poverty and beauty in Matera’s Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro is like a minuscule neighborhood at the heart of the Stones (or ‘Sassi’) of Matera, where a 17th-century structure carved out of tuff stone has recently been renovated and transformed into a hotel.
Bringing the building back to its original state has unearthed the natural luminosity of the stone.
Thus, a simple breakfast in the courtyard – finished with calcareous paving stones traditionally called ‘chiancarelle’ – is an extraordinary experience, not to mention staying in one of the overlooking rooms, surmounted by vault ceilings, leading to inner niches and openings that in some cases dig directly into the rock.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was talking of Matera (where he shot part of his “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”) when he said, “My idea that the smaller and humbler things are the more great and beautiful they are in their poverty has met an aesthetic shock”.
Beware that the beauty of these places truly is a wonderful shock.