Can you think of a better time than summer to go off the beaten road, on mountain trails, or to visit old towns and villages? There is nothing quite like the long, sun-drenched summer days that ignites one’s adventurous spirit and induces travel vibes. This is to say that it’s time for a new photographer story from behind the lens: Sassi di Matera, Italy. Kate Holstein splits her time between Aspen, Colorado, and the island of St. Barth, and travels the world to tell stories of moments and places through her filled with light and wanderlust inspiring photographs. Often times, a photograph speaks for itself. But the truly special photographs are those that awaken in you a desire to discover the entire experience behind them, which will undoubtedly open up new meanings, feelings and perspectives. Kate’s story from Matera certainly does that.
“That’s from Matera, Italy. Matera is a challenging place to put into words, but it’s certainly one of the most unique places I’ve ever visited. It’s surprising that this ancient city is located in the relaxed southern countryside of Italy. When you come upon it, it almost feels like a mirage, or as though you took a wrong turn and ended up in an entirely different country.
From the moment you drive into the historical center, called the Sassi Di Matera (cars of non residents not allowed so there is very little traffic on its ancient streets), you feel as though you’ve left Italy all together and time-traveled to some exotic place from the past. The Sassi Districts (there are 2) feel like a country all its own, untouched by time, with a history going back to the very, very beginnings of human kind.
The historic city is located on hillside overlooking a deep, lush ravine. Across the valley you can see ancient caves which are thought to be some of the first ever human settlements of Italy. The ancient city started with these caves and, over time, more and more caves were carved out of the natural rock making for an organically shaped city that is a feast for the eyes. The marriage between man and nature is displayed in a way that touches the soul on a deep level. We spent hours gazing out on the city in a meditative state, noticing new details, interesting shapes, and visible layers of time.”