What Does Matera Mean?

People are always asking us that question.

First the ‘conservative’ businesses answer:

Matera is a town and a province in the south of Italy, it is home to the Sassi (meaning “stones of Matera”), an entire city of cave houses, rising out of an ancient river channel suspected to be one of the first human settlements in Italy. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago.

Matera has in recent times become a stomping ground for film-makers searching for a biblical landscape. The following famous biblical period movies were filmed in Matera:

  1. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” (1964)
  2. Bruce Beresford’s “King David” (1985) Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)
  3. Catherine Hardwicke’s “The Nativity Story” (2006).

And the casual around-the-office interpretation:

Matera is Latin for ‘a vat for the fermentation of beer’. Late on a Friday afternoon we have been known to take this interpretation to heart and honour the company name with a couple of cool ones.