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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subscribe to the Simposio cookbook series

take a look inside Matera’s SIMPOSIO TRAVEL COOKBOOK

In Matera’s Simposio, you’ll find:

  • 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

26 Pane Di Matera

36 Cialedda Fredda

40 Cialedda Calda

42 Orange Salad

44 Polpette Di Pane

46 Fedda Rossa

48 Matera’s Treasures

52 Aglio Olio E Peperoni Cruschi

56 Acquasale Dei Pastori

58 Honey Focaccia

60 Matera’s Pasta

63 Cavatelli

64 Scorze Di Mandorla

65 Taglioline

66 Pasta E Lenticchie

68 Pasta E Cicerchie

70 Amaro Lucano And The Pacchiana

72 Vicinato

76 Crapiata

78 Italian Street Games

80 Madonna Della Bruna

84 Inganna Mariti

86 The White Monk

90 St Eustachio

94 Patate Raganate

96 Wild Asparagus Frittata

98 Magic In Matera

102 Bbascanesche: Grape Delights

104 Matera’s Traditions

112 Agnello In Pignatta

114 Baccalà A Ciauredda

116 Tarallo Dell’Immacolata

118 Matera’s Ragù

120 Strazzate Cookies

122 Cicirata

124 Matera’s Crafts

128 A Female Brigand

132 Lagane E Ceci


buy on Barnes & Noble

subscribe to the Simposio cookbook series

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!