Unfortunately we don’t know why and when Acquafredda village was founded in Maratea but it was named after one of the rarest sea spring of fresh water in Italy (the water gushing out of this spring is colder than the surrounding sea one and the fishermen called it “ acqua fridda”, meaning cold water).
Santo Janni Island in Maratea
Santo Janni is a small island in the gulf of Policastro, situated almost in the middle of Maratea coast.
The little island was named after the ancient San Giovanni chapel which was on its taller rocky spur. Santo Janni island is 200 metres long and in its widest point it is 80 metres; its tallest rocky spur is 18 metres on sea level. In the island sea bottom hundreds of anchors of Roman ships have been found and on the spurs even tanks to produce “garum” ( meaning: anchovies in salt) have been discovered. For more the sea bottom surrounding the island is one of the most rich deposit of amphoras and anchors dated back to Roman age and all these artefacts are visible at the Underwater Archaeology Exhibition in Palazzo De Lieto in Maratea. Due to the great exposure to sunrays the flora on the island is very limited. The fauna is very interesting instead because on the island there is the so-called Dragon of Santo Janni, a bizarre zoological phenomenon living in its rocky little bays; actually it is the Podarcis sicula paulae, a brown and blue lizard which is protected by specific environmental laws.
The towers of Maratea
All along the Maratea coast you can see the ruins of six sighting towers: Crini, Acquafredda, Apprezzami l’Asino, Caina, Filocaio, Santa Venere. The towers were used to protect the village and to signal the pirates’ danger.
Apprezzami l’Asino Tower
It was named after a bizarre little story: the tower is above the road that once was the only narrowest street from Sapri to Maratea and every time that two donkeys (and their owners) met along the pat there wasn’t enough space for both. The only thing to do was to estimate the value of the two animals and the worthless one was thrown into the sea to clear the street.
It is one of the antique towers built during the kingdom of Naples and it is in the municipal territory of Maratea, in the province of Potenza. Its construction was ordered in 1566 and then completed in 1595; nowadays the tower is only ruins but we know that the plan was square with solid foundations in section of pyramid. Each architrave had three or four drains in counterscarp. The tower vault is now destroyed but maybe it was barrel one.
Maratea castle is the most ancient village in the area which we can still see the considerable traces of. It is placed on the top of Monte San Biagio and, as it was a fortified town, the residents still call it the castle.
The Statue of Christ the Redeemer
It is placed in the old Maratea, also called the Castle; it was built by sculptor Bruno Innocenzi from Florence (1906-1986) and commissioned by count Stefano Rivetti from Valcervo; it was erected on the top of Monte San Biagio where a commemorative cross in stone was located, the most ancient area. As dimensions it is second only to Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro; actually the statue of Maratea is 21 metres tall, the opening arms measure 19 metres and its face is 3 metres. The statue was built in reinforced concrete and covered with a mixture of white cement and marble from Carrara. For the particular shape of its face the statue (which is also a reference mark for sea-going people) seems to be looking at the sea, but it’s not true: it’s looking at the mountain. The lookout at the foot of the statue is the most panoramic place in all Maratea territory with a 360° degrees of amazing view on the coastline and mountains.
Movies in Basilicata
Basilicata has always been a suitable land for filmmaking, offering its locations to motion picture industry since the second post war period. Up to now more than forty movies have been filmed on Lucanian ground, belonging to different cinematographic genres and proposing different pictures of the region. The most part of works used locations in Matera, along the coast or the hinterland.
The movies in Basilicata since 1949 are:
“Passannante” by Sergio Colabona, 2011; “Un giorno della vita” by Giuseppe Papasso, 2011; “Basilicata Coast to Coast” by Rocco Papaleo, 2010; “Mineurs” by Fulvio Wetzl, 2007; “The Nativity Story” by Catherine Hardwicke, 2006; “The Omen Il presagio” by John Moore, 2006; “Il Rabdomante” by Fabrizio Cattani, 2005; “The Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson, 2003; “Io non ho paura” by Gabriele Salvatores, 2002; “Terra Bruciata” by Fabio Segatori, 1999; “Del perduto Amore” by Michele Placido, 1998; “L’Uomo delle Stelle” by Giuseppe Tornatore, 1995; “Il sole anche di notte” by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 1990; “King David” by Bruce Beresford, 1985; “Tre Fratelli” by Francesco, Rosi 1981; “ Cristo si è fermato a Eboli” by Francesco Rosi, 1979; “Volontari per destinazione ignota” by Alberto Negrin, 1978; “L’Albero di Guernica” by Fernando Arrabal, 1975; “Qui comincia l’avventura” by Carlo di Palma, 1975; “Il tempo dell’inizio” by Luigi Di Gianni, 1974; “Allonsanfan” by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 1974; “Anno Uno” by Roberto Rossellini, 1974; “Il decamerone nero” by Piero Vivarelli, 1972; “Non si sevizia un paperino” by Lucio Fulci, 1972; “C’era una Volta” by Francesco Rosi, 1967; “Made in Italy” by Nanni Loy, 1965; “Il vangelo secondo Matteo” by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964; “Il Demonio” by Brunello Rondi, 1963; “Gli anni Ruggenti” by Luigi Zampa, 1962; “Italia ‘61” by Jan Lenica, 1961; “Viva l’Italia!” by Roberto Rossellini, 1961; “La nonna Sabella” by Dino Risi, 1957; “La Lupa” by Alberto Lattuada, 1953; “Le due sorelle” by Mario Volpe, 1950; “Nel mezzogiorno qualcosa è cambiato” by C. Lizzani 1949.
Vito Riviello was born in Potenza in 1933. He was a Lucanian poet who could express his natural talent playing with words in all his works, his ability to cross all the different language levels combining sounds and meanings which give birth to unexpected juxtapositions and senses. During his life Vito Riviello stayed many times in Villa Cheta and he dedicated a poetry to our Home, entitled “ Il Silenzio al Villa Cheta” (meaning: the silence at Villa Cheta).
Il Silenzio al Villa Cheta
Villa Cheta, villa tranquilla, vita
che ha origine dal silenzio degli avi.
C’era un silenzio di porte, finestre
perfino di minestre serali,
quiete nei cassetti, fra i panni
destinati a sposare.
Le magnolie divoravano le nonne
e i fichi i nonni.
Forse Garibaldi appariva all’onda…
Dal quel balcone Totò, comico eccelso,
sorrideva alla sirena Silvana.
Ora vi è il silenzio del mare
ch’entra nel petto di turisti assolati,
stanchi di lotte urbane,
con i nervi distesi come polipi,
sulle piccole spiagge marateote.
20 Agosto 1981