Welcome to Gourmet Project, the Roman home of the Italian Colors newsletter and Simposio: a series of books about Italy's food, travel, and culture

Matera’s Simposio: a slow travel cookbook

This Simposio is a Matera slow travel cookbook, a way to explore one of Italy’s less known gems deeply and mindfully. Discovering Matera’s traditional recipes, folk stories, incredible personalities, and ancient legends

In the cookbook you’ll find authentic dishes accompanied by their stories, curiosities, or folklore. Each time you’ll cook, I want you to experience Matera’s truest essence!


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Maremma cookbook and slow travel book


Welcome to Matera, Basilicata, the city of Sassi, bread, authentic recipes, intimate relationships, traditions, and mysticism. Which are the themes that will guide our exploration and our cooking adventures.

We will repurpose stale bread – a lot. Discover local ingredients and sit around a bonfire to cook and burn stuff!

We will make pasta, give it new shapes, and season it with succulent earthy seasonings.

We will meet family-owned secular businesses and visit the lab of talented crafters.

We will also play in the streets, strike, and try to catch red pointy hats. 

We will go wild with female brigands and ask witches to remove our Malocchio.

We will celebrate from January to December, even lacerating a sacred cart.

It’s going to be fun; it’s going to be intimate; it’s going to be a new, unique experience.

Get ready to sink into poverty, let culture rescue you, reemerge stronger than ever, and give life a deeper, pulsating meaning!

Benvenuti a Matera!



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take a look inside Matera’s SIMPOSIO TRAVEL COOKBOOK

In Matera’s Simposio, you’ll find:

  • 167 pages
  • 80 and more pictures
  • 24 authentic recipes from Matera and Basilicata
  • stories and legends
  • “monks”, female brigands, and spirits
  • Italian culture and folklore


06 Welcome To Matera

08 Cooking Notes

10 Matera

16 Riti Arborei

22 A Word For Matera: Rivalsa

28 Pane Di Matera

40 Cialedda Fredda

44 Cialedda Calda

46 Orange Salad

48 Polpette Di Pane

52 Fedda Rossa

54 Matera’s Treasures

60 Aglio Olio E Peperoni Cruschi

64 Acquasale Dei Pastori

68 Honey Focaccia

72 Matera’s Pasta

74 Cavatelli

76 Scorze Di Mandorla

78 Taglioline

80 Pasta E Lenticchie

82 Pasta E Cicerchie

86 Amaro Lucano And The Pacchiana

90 Vicinato

96 Crapiata

98 Italian Street Games

100 Madonna Della Bruna

104 Inganna Mariti

106 The White Monk

110 St Eustachio

114 Patate Raganate

116 Wild Asparagus Frittata

118 Magic In Matera

122 Bbascanesche: Grape Delights

124 Matera’s Traditions

132 Agnello In Pignatta

134 Baccalaà A Ciauredda

136 Tarallo Dell’Immacolata

138 Matera’s Ragù

142 Strazzate Cookies

146 Cicirata

150 Matera’s Crafts

154 A Female Brigand

160 Lagane E Ceci


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Snuggle on the couch, pour yourself a glass of Primitivo di Matera and put on soft music – or maybe a Tarantella Lucana: your Matera adventure is about to begin!