“Piazza del Sedile”, the outdoor salon in Matera

Today, I’d like to talk you about a small square in the town centre that has been getting more and more prominence both for citizens and tourists crowding into the town all year round.

I’m talking about “Piazza del Sedile” which is roughly located  between “Piazza Vittorio Veneto” (the main town square) and the Cathedral.  It takes its name from the palace which dominates the square. The “Palazzo del Sedile” is called this way because it was before the municipal building: “sedile” in Italian literally means “seat” and several former municipal buildings were called this way especially in Southern Italy because local politicians use to “sit” upon the “seats” to make decisions about the town.  This palace dates back to the year 1540 and it has a particular architectural structure: there’s a huge arch at the entrance and four lateral niches with four statues representing the Cardinal Virtues, that is Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Courage.  The central arch holds two small towers and two statues representing the two Patron Saints: “Maria Ss della Bruna” and “Sant’Eustachio”.  The palace has been the municipal building of the town for several years; today, it is the House of Music since it safeguards the halls of the town conservatory dedicated to Egidio Duni and a fine Auditorium where several concerts and public meetings often take place over the year.

In the square there are also several shops, bar and restaurants with outdoor seating where people can have a nice pizza or a glass of Aglianico del Vulture, just like in a big outdoor salon.  The cultural development of this square is quite recent but no doubt it contributes to the diversification of the central town areas where people can spend their spare time.

And, this diversification is very important for a town which is about to experience a real cultural and tourist development thanks to the title just gained.  The goal is showing that Matera is an ancient town, with its 9000 years of history behind it, but capable of being polycentric and adapting to the most recent view of modern social centres.

Therefore, not just a single town square as meeting place for everyone but more “town centres“, different from each other from an historical and architectural viewpoint but all capable of offering different forms of accommodation and leisure activities.

Matera, the town of tourist reception!


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