THE ASSOCIATION “MURGIAMADRE” SUPPORTS THE COOPERATION BETWEEN MATERA, ÜRGÜP AND IGUALADA, AS WELL AS THE HOT AIR BALLOONING TOURISM
On Wednesday the 8th of October, the leading actors of the “Matera Balloon Festival” will be the European capitals who will sign a Memorandum of understanding to start ambitious projects of international cooperation.
“Food, culture, territory”. These three elements are part of the name of the Association “Murgiamadre”, which has organized for two years the “Matera Balloon Festival” but at the same time they define the nature of the strong bond that unites the city of Matera with Ürgüp (Turkey), and the Igualada (Spain), where the European Balloon Festival, the largest festival of hot air balloons in Spain and Europe, has taken place for eighteen years.
On Wednesday the 8th of October at the conference hall of the hotel “Le Monacelle” in Matera, the delegations and the institutional representatives of the cities of Matera, Ürgüp and Igualada signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start a new relationship of international cooperation based on the cultural exchanges and ambitious and forward-looking projects, starting from the similarities existing between them: the hot air ballooning tourism, that in Cappadocia and Catalogna has developed for years; the morphological aspect of the three regions, characterized by different forms of karstification; the architectural aspect of the three cities; the Mediterranean Diet that makes them leading actors all over the worldwide culinary panorama.
After a careful research work, analysis and evaluations, which had lasted for months, characterized by meetings based on the comparison and then the exchange between different skills and abilities, Murgiamadre has identified two geographical areas, and then two potential partners, that for certain aspects, are similar to the territory of Basilicata: Cappadocia and Catalonia. Particularly, the cities of Ürgüp (Turkey) and Igualada (Spain) seem to have the characteristics that Murgiamadre was looking for.
The ancient city of Ürgüp, is one of the first settlements in Cappadocia (Turkey). Its ancient cultural charm has been able to endure to the time; for this reason it is one of the symbols of that ancestral link between the nature and man, and of the latter’s capacity to adapt himself till to mix with it. Its houses and churches digged into the volcanic rock are a proof of that.
Igualada is without doubt one of the most representative cities of Catalonia and, at the same time, is the only one for the production of hot air balloons at national level. The creativity is one of its greatest virtues. Indeed the leading factories of balloons are all concentrated in this city which has organized for 18 years the European Balloon Festival, that is the most important one in Spain and Europe.
And finally Matera, a lively and creative city, bearer of a culture that has been able to mix modernity and antiquity. Many things have changed over the past 50 years. Matera has passed from the epithet of national disgrace to be the first city in the South of Italy to gain the nomination of UNESCO World Heritage site; and than from unknown town, it has become an important center experimentation and innovation, and also an important cornerstone for the major filmmakers and artists in the world. But Matera continues its climb to give a new impulse to this ongoing growth and transformation. With its candidacy as “European Capital of Culture 2019″, Matera proposes a new model of city, where they can meet not only considerable tourist flows, but also valuable creative resources. This model, however, does not stop just to the city boundaries, but extends his horizons beyond the City of the Sassi, embracing all the regional community.
Matera, Ürgüp, Igualada: they are not only three “sisters of the wind” and the nodal points of a new “district of the hot air balloons”, but they are three cities strongly linked to each other, so to create a unique entity that can compete in Europe and beyond.