Coming a cropper in Matera

Coming a cropper in Matera

Continuously inhabited since the 10th century and the world’s third-oldest city Photo credit: CC/Holger Uwe Schmitt

Parkour enthusiasts Team Phat damaged a building in Matera, an Italian city in southern Italy continuously occupied since the 10th century BC.

Parkour, for the uninitiated, entails negotiating obstacles in a manmade or natural environment, usually by running, jumping, vaulting or climbing. Few local or municipal authorities encourage it, owing to the physical risks involved and potential damage to public and private property.

That is what happened in Matera in April, as shown in a video detailing the London group’s Matera mishap that was recently seen by a wider public thanks to a report by the US news channel, CNN Travel.

Devon McIntosh, one of the free-runners, mis-timed a landing as he jumped between buildings and crashed down, taking some masonry with him.  After inspecting his injuries, he and the group were relieved to find that he was comparatively unharmed but were less concerned about the damage to the building.

An unseen Team Phat member suggests “hiding the evidence” and the party move off, leaving later that day for Naples.

According to the June 19 CNN Travel report, the news channel contacted Matera police for a comment and was waiting for a reply.

Team Phat will definitely not be visiting Venice where they have been banned since March 2023, after one of them jumped into a canal.

City mayor Luigi Brugnaro later commented on X that had earned a certificate for stupidity. “We are trying to identify him to denounce him and his companion who made the stupid video for social media,” he said.

Matera has a population of 60,403 and most of its districts and habitable caves carved from the area’s soft limestone have been restored since the 1950s onwards. It has been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1993 and is said to be the world’s third-oldest city after Aleppo and Jericho.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at