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2019 European Capital of Culture hosts international Matera Balloon Festival in October

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

matera balloon festival

Matera, a city and a province in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy will host the third annual Matera Balloon Festival. It is the first international balloon festival of the 'City of Stones' that will take place in Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from October 8th to 11th, 2015. Matera was also declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019.

Living a journey in hot air balloons will let adventurers fly over the Lucanian city, enjoy the silence of the wind while touching slightly the rocks, land slowly on the Matera's Murgia Park, carved by deep canyons and whirling cliffs, and enter and admire the suggestive crèche made of caves, built-tuff abodes and rocky churches.

Twenty crews of air balloons coming from all over Europe will participate in the Matera Balloon Festival (MBF), an event organized and promoted in cooperation with the City of Matera, the Basilicata Region, the Chamber of Commerce and the Matera - Basilicata 2019 Foundation.

Whilst, on the ground, this year’s Festival will be a fun-packed four days bringing a variety of sport and cultural experience to the community and tourists, and involving schools and families into the colorful and amusing Iglú de Vent, new temporary architectural spaces made by recycling the sails of hot air balloons - whose artists will come from the Catalan city of Igualada, where the European Balloon Festival, MBF's partner, takes place every year during the first fortnight of July.

matera balloon fest

The festival will present a range of food, music, performing & visual arts events to Matera and the surrounding towns.

In the Stones area and in the Murgia's Park, Slow Food, an international nonprofit, eco-gastronomic organization – that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life - will offer show-cooking experiences and "Flavor Laboratories" aim both at promoting the Lucanian culinary traditions and the rich gastronomic heritage, and at developing sustainable tourism.

Among the MBF's international guests, there will participate Jim Avignon, a German contemporary and pop artist. A cartoon poet, a speed painter, a performer, a designer and a musician, Avignon is best known for being the representative of the Cheap Art Movement.

matera balloon fest2

The festival will be the most sustainable and "without barriers" event in the 'City of Stones': people with disabilities will be able to follow a guided path featured by harsh and charming landscapes that will take them to discover a world millions of light years away from earth. Such a way has been traced by SassieMurgia organization that promotes the total accessibility to Matera artistic and naturalistic heritage.

matera balloon festival logoOn October 8th the initiative "Dinner in the dark" will take place in the "Caveoso" Stone. It is a Grand Gala event that, organized by Sport amateur associations - The Italian Union of the Blind of Matera and Bari - will see guests served by blind waiters.

On October 11th, while waiting for the night and saying goodbye to the balloons, MBF's participants will be staring at the sky and will be admiring "Night Glow", the unique show of balloons that, after sunset, will light up to the rhythm of music like giant light bulbs. Such an event will end the Matera Balloon Festival and, at the same time, will launch "Naturarte", an intense program of wildlife excursions aimed at exploring the Basilicata parks.

For further info visit the official website www.materaballoonfestival.it

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