Matera: true luxury is that of the soul

by Mundi Live

buy Margherita Chiara Immordino Tedesco

Of the cities I’ve been to, Matera is the one that smiles at me the most, the one I can see even better, through a veil of poetry and melancholy.

(Giovanni Pascoli)

In our perennial race for modernity, the rediscovery of our traditions acquires an increasingly priceless value. The refined and rediscovered wisdom now becomes luxury in Matera, Capital of Culture 2019,

in an artistic context of majestic beauty, expression of the territory permeated by millennia of history and culture.

The innovation and revaluation of these places, which took place in recent years, has managed to attract tourism, art and culture, giving new life to the City of Stones and the territory itself.

Unique landscapes and ancient rock constructions and caves, inhabited since the Palaeolithic, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, are now combined with the elegance and sophistication of the locations Materane, in a unique and unparalleled combination.

In 1999 some of the caves in the historic center of Matera were purchased by the entrepreneur Materano, Nicola Ruscigno, with the idea of opening a hotel that was later called “La Casa di Lucio”. A few years later, he bought the property of the district that surrounded the ancient court of Matera, to build a new resort called Sant’Angelo.
In the spectacular landscape of the Sassi di Matera, the Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort is located on one of the most beautiful squares in the heart of the historic center, among the ancient districts of the Sassi.

Margherita Chiara Immordino with the working group “99 Mondi” in Matera
Margherita Chiara Immordino and Nicola Ruscigno at the Sant’Angelo Luxury Hotel in Matera

Our Margherita Chiara Immordino Tedesco met Nicola Ruscigno, the visionary entrepreneur:

One of the most glamorous and exclusive locations in Matera is the Hotel Sant’Angelo. How did your entrepreneurial adventure begin?

It ‘s an adventure that began 30 years ago. I was the first visionary here in Matera, I had the idea of creating accommodation facilities and restaurants, within the City of Stones. It would have been a pity not to enhance an area so rich in history and beauty, where you can also make known our tradition, our culture and our ancient civilization peasant. I was very fond of it. I remember that I opened the first hotel and the term “Hotel” was close to me, did not describe what I wanted to convey, the warmth of the fireplace, hospitality, the fundamental parts of our culture and our way of being. I called it “Lucio’s house”.

The Resort was then born as a result of experience, where elegance and luxury gemmano the soul of these places and the same historical structure in which the Resort stands.

Really wonderful, you can breathe a real luxury, but minimalist. Refined in detail.

Yes, minimalist to highlight the ancient structure. We have dedicated people for each of the 23 rooms, the welcome and hospitality are our absolute peculiarities and our strength. In fact, each of our guests who comes back to visit us, asks to speak directly with them.

You don’t need great technicians, you don’t need great specialists, you need education, love, passion and a great sense of respect.

She herself conveys this to me, a kindness and courtesy that is reflected in the foundations of the Lucanian tradition. How can I further pamper my guests?

Let’s make sure that they can live primarily the territory, for example, once a month we organize village festivals, where we invite many of our friends, blacksmiths, carpenters and other artisans Lucania. Our guests will therefore fully live the expression of our deepest tradition.

An artisan and gastronomic tradition that as made in Italy unfortunately, with the advent of large multinationals, risks disappearing.

A brand was born, with such a proposal, that we called “Più Sud” (More South). With which, in the name of respect and enhancement of regional traditions that have become niches, we deal with giving strength and life to the arts, gastronomic and otherwise, considered niches. We deal with the entire Mediterranean area, including southern Italy, also involving African countries, such as Morocco, whose Royal Family was also recently our guest in Matera.

Soon we will present and make public the whole project.

Matera is now the Capital of Culture. In the near future, do you see Matera as the Capital of Mediterranean Culture?

I firmly believe that Matera will be our gateway to the Mediterranean. We have earned our space, our small space in the world I have to say that I am really happy.

I consider myself the philosophical mind of the project, but who will carry out the projects will be the same guys we train in the eight hours of training per week, with the great masters of the sector. Young new graduates, prepared, awake, who only need a small guide. If we want to give a future to our land is useless to take great professionals out of our territory.

We must pass on wisdom and respect for traditions to our young people. Apparently we seem to be a people rich in growth and culture, but it is false. There is laziness on the part of families today in transferring and transmitting culture, tradition and education to the present day. In my opinion there are important rules in the family as well as in work; how to have respect and education towards one’s parents and towards others or even just eating and dining with one’s family.

We also try to enhance the gastronomic quality of our products by bringing to our restaurant the “value of the week”, with the intention of reviving the values of the past, bringing to the table seasonal products based on the specific day.

According to your vision, luxury is a search for simplicity and tradition, how do your foreign guests, Japanese, Arabs and Americans experience this concept of luxury?

We have the pleasure of hosting great personalities of culture, politics, finance as well as art and the compliments that derive from them each time make us understand that our guests are happy and satisfied with what we offer and our product. They are very happy to participate in the life of Matera, even before the hotel room. Everyone likes to remember a little ‘who we were, know the culture and tradition of the place they visit. It’s just a matter of not getting in tight but, offer all this with education and simplicity as it is in our style.

I remember an old friend of mine, who was already old then, saying to me when I started: “You don’t have to do more than you are. What you are is more than enough. You don’t need anyone else, no one has your heart and no one will be able to keep up with you.” I have made this point my own and firmly believe that to succeed, you need to express your individuality with passion in what you want to achieve.

“That’s my secret. It’s very simple: you can only see it with your heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Can we say that his investments, like his strategic planning, are dictated in some way by the heart?

Yes, from the heart and soul and this is what I think is missing today, in the vast majority of cases unfortunately.

We always start from the heart, from passion.

You have to have great respect, whoever enters my hotel is not a client of mine, but a guest of mine.

The cost then goes into the background, because it is related to the wide range of resources involved and the service that we can give to our esteemed guests. A guarantee.

With this vision, success is guaranteed.

As we speak, we find ourselves in a cave of the Paleolithic Era where new sophisticated technologies allow a superlative livability, this is not read in the brochure of Restort. A home automation system, connected to sensors, is able to recognize the presence of the human being by acclimatizing the area specifically, also preparing it for the return of the guest, if he is no longer in the room.

I decided to invest in promotion, to create twinning at territorial level with Southern Italy. We are working on a path that goes from Campania to Basilicata, Puglia and we will continue with Calabria and Sicily. We transfer our guests, when required also by helicopter to and from, other three hotels such as: San Pietro di Positano, Matera and Savelletri. It’s our new service that is expanding more and more and we will certainly not stop here.

A path of the highest quality, it is useless to deny that it has its costs but, it is important to emphasize that everything is reinvested in the territory through our projects.

Has there been any kind of help from the institutions?

Nobody. No kind of public funding.

It’s not my intention to make all the grass a bundle, but it seems they can’t perceive the growth of the city, not even realizing where we have arrived. They get the news through newspapers or social publications that we have, knowing absolutely nothing about the growth of business and tourism in the city.

Matera is a city in which the families of Matera themselves have invested, with considerable family commitments.

The risk is that with time, we will weaken that type of response that we receive today.

The institutions cannot deal with the subject at a distance, with coldness and ignorance.

Given the ostraciousness of the institutions, it would almost seem that they perceive it as a nuisance, as if to say: “Matera was so pretty when the poor were there”.

Poverty causes dependence. I hope with all my heart that all our projects will be realized in the shortest possible time, so that we can realize the dreams of families and young Materani.

Recently, I was informed of our annexation in the ranking for a project financed by the region. Since a dialogue with these institutions is impossible, I have refused because of the past.

We must not intervene in politics, but in families. Because the real message must be given by the family to the children. If this is achieved, we will also be able to improve the political and social state. In the past, tourism has been a thing of the past, in a cold and detached way, but it is now outdated. In Matera, me and other talented professionals with passion, we have replaced the realities present in the territory both in the hotel and tourism sector, as in the gastronomic and artistic sector. We consider ourselves custodians of the wealth of the territory and like any good custodian in addition to holding the keys, we remain attentive to everything that happens.

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