Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sassi

(Click to enlarge - back arrow to return)

Yesterday, instead of experiencing Paris, I sat in a hard chair pushing pixels around until midnight, though I only actually processed a few images. I haven't figured out this version of blogspot and can't move photos around inside the posts the way I do at home.

I've posted yesterday's work at pbase.com/jackielink/gallery/around_world.

While I like the images, they can't possibly convey the feel of the sassi in Matera, Italy, which are so biblical in feel that ol' Mel used the place to film half of - dare I even list it here, since I sure can't stand the thought of it? - "The Passion of Christ."

No one we've talked to, even those who have traveled extensively in Italy, had heard of this place, though I think it gets written up from time to time. We just stumbled onto it, our jaws dropped, we stayed and we could still be there trying in vain to express its weirdness and grandeur in two dimensions.

The thing my photos can't even come close to showing is how big it is. In the photo above someone standing at what I'm shooting would be looking back at an equally huge scene. Looking from any edge - from down inside it, from the modern city around it, while walking up and down the winding narrow roads, is to be lost in time - pick a time, any time. They're all there.

Here's the World Heritage description:

This is the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem. The first inhabited zone dates from the Palaeolithic, while later settlements illustrate a number of significant stages in human history. Matera is in the southern region of Basilicata.

(BTW, this photo was taken after sunset, handheld at very slow shutter speed; I do love my Canon's image stabilization!)

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