Discover the 2019 European Capitals of Culture with Andante Travels4th April 2019
This year, two cities share the most prestigious cultural initiative of the European Union – the European Capital of Culture. Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria have both been honoured with this coveted title, making them places you simply must visit.
Which cities made the cut?
A city that can claim the title of Europe’s oldest inhabited city, Plovdiv’s location in south-central Bulgaria makes it a somewhat lesser-visited destination. It is the country’s second-largest city and was developed on seven hills, and is home to a magnificent Roman theatre that dates back to the 2nd century AD. This impressive ruin once held between 6,000 and 7,000 people and it still plays host to events throughout the year today.
During our Bulgaria – Thracians & Churches tour, we visit the Trakart mosaics along with an exhibition on Roman glass, and spend three nights in the city. To celebrate being crowned a European Capital of Culture, Plovdiv has lined up 300 projects and around 500 events to enlighten, inspire and entertain visitors.
Located in Italy’s south, the city of Matera must be seen to be believed. It is famous for its extensive cave dwellings, known as the sassi, which first saw inhabitants around 7,000 years ago. Its unique, ancient appearance as a destination has earned it places in various films and television programmes, most notably the Mel Gibson-directed Passion of the Christ. On our Puglia & Basilicata tour, we spend an entire day in this remarkable location and there will be ample time to explore its treasures.