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Robert Camuto presenting at the Matera Film Festival
Robert at the Matera Film Festival

From Matera to the Big Apple

I spent last weekend in one of Europe’s oldest towns

...the troglodyte, primordial, impossible honeycomb that is Matera, carved into the steep tuff stone cliffs above its ravine.

With ancient cave dwellings that were evacuated only after World War II in the early 1950s, Matera has transformed from a pit of poverty into a cultural center of the new South of Italy. Dotted with restaurants, boutiques, cafes and with a growing art community, Matera is indeed a symbol of Italians’ ability to find renaissance.

Robert Camuto in Matera

I presented South of Somewhere to a masterclass of Aglianico del Vulture (A chapter in the book focuses on a group of young producers there called Generazione Vulture) as part of the second edition of the small indy Matera Film Festival.

On a misty Saturday afternoon—after a long-as-it-was delicious Lucano meal in a local trattoria, I headed out on foot alone listening to the silence of the stones and after tourist season.

It was also a pleasure to befriend fellow Italian wine journalists Chiara Giorleo (who interviewed me for the presentation) as well as the bi-national (San Diego and Milan) Laura Donadoni (“The Italian Wine Girl”) and many others.

Later this week I’ll be on a plane to the Big Apple for the presentation of South of Somewhere with a series of events kicked off by a presentation of SoS at Rizzoli Bookstore on Oct. 18 – featuring me in conversation with wine educator, native-Texan-turned-Brooklynite and fellow Italo-phile Jeff Porter. Hope to see you there. Register in advance here .


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