A network of connections, service and offers, as well as greater accessibility and assistance focussing on people, throughout the entire event (19 January – 20 December 2019): that is the commitment made by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane for Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019.
“Matera 2019 is a unique experience, which sees all of Italy involved in an event with international scope. It is a strategically important occasion for the country. The FS Italiane Group, which is increasingly involved in developing the winning combination of culture and tourism, in its role as official carrier for Matera 2019 offers a wide combination of integrated mobility that has been developed to satisfy the requirements of whoever wants to come to the City of the Sassi. We want to provide greater accessibility to Matera and the surrounding area. We aim to promote Italian-made products around the world with widespread involvement in the places where culture is produced, and where there is an expression of Italian style as well as spreading the cultural and creative industry of the Basilicata region, of the south and the whole of Italy,” said Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and Director General of the FS Italiane Group.
The companies of the FS Italiane Group, each with their own experience and willingness to contribute, have made their know-how available for Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019.
FS Italiane Group is the official carrier of the event through Trenitalia. FRECCIAlink, Trenitalia's integrated train+bus service, has six services a day to Matera. From 21 January, two new FRECCIAlinks will link Matera and Bari to connect with the Frecciarossa trains that run along the Adriatic route, to and from Milan and Turin. Added to this are the four FRECCIAlinks that link Matera to Salerno, to connect with the Frecciarossa trains to and from Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Turin.
Twenty-six regional trains link Naples, Salerno, Potenza and Taranto to Ferrandina – Scalo Matera, the station that is closest to Matera. There are two Frecciarossa trains running between Milan and Taranto that stop at Ferrandina – Scalo Matera as well as in the nearby stations of Potenza and Metaponto which are in addition to the four InterCity trains on the Rome – Taranto line, which also stop at Ferrandina – Scalo Matera.
Trenitalia will be present in Matera for the opening day with a stand in Piazza San Francesco d’Assisi where FS Group staff will be available to provide information on promotional and marketing work.
The partnership between Trenitalia and Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019 means that tourists and visitors can use the Trenitalia website to buy the Matera 2019 Passport, which gives access to the over 1,500 events scheduled. Details of the programming for Matera 2019, European Capital of Culture, can be seen on the matera-basilicata2019.it website, where all the information relating to the events on the programme is continually updated.
Trenitalia has decided to extended its Young offer for the whole duration of the event. This is an offer for CartaFRECCIA holders under the age of 30 who can enjoy discounts of up to 50% on trips on FRECCIAlink to and from Matera.
Trenitalia also offers its customers the possibility of buying tickets for the FRECCIAlink service to and from Matera, in combination with the Freccia service and the offer reserved for groups, at the fixed price of ten euros per person. The two offers are valid for departures from 19 January to 20 December 2019.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Italiane Group) has carried out work to improve the comfort and appearances of the Ferrandina – Scalo Matera station. The refurbishment has involved the shelters, the renewal of the waiting room furniture and the areas that are open to the public. The lighting system has also been improved, making it more modern and sustainable thanks to the use of LED technology. The rail station is also equipped with modern lavatories which are open 24 hours a day, and four tracks, with two platforms that are already fitted out to the 55cm height required by European standards to help access the trains. All the platforms are interconnected through a pedestrian underpass which has ramps and can thus also be used by people with reduced mobility and the disabled.
Starting from January 2019, the Ferrandina – Scalo Matera station will become part of the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana's national Sala Blu circuit. Here too disabled travellers or those with reduced mobility, including that of a temporary nature, can request and use assistance services. Requests to use the service should be made – as in all the stations included in the circuit – at one of the 14 Sale Blu located in the fourteen most important stations in the country, including Bari, which are open every day from 6:45 to 21:30.
People who are interested in using the services can send an e-mail, or call the toll-free number 800 90 60 60 (from Italian fixed line phones) or the Italian number 02 32 32 32 (from fixed lines or mobiles, with standard call rates applying), or use the Sala Blu On Line service.
Additionally, RFI is creating a new intermodal bus/car/train parking area to help transport of the numerous visitors who will come to the City of the Sassi because of Matera's role as European Capital of Culture 2019. The project is to have 35 car parking spaces (three of which are for reduced mobility people, and two of which are for pregnant women) and five places for buses. There will also be information points, protected by shelters, where all kinds of information will be available on services provided by the operators of vehicles involved. Work in the parking area will conclude in June 2019, with a total of one million euros being invested.
Launched by FS Italiane Group in June 2018, nugo is available to purchase travel solutions, including for Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019, that integrate different forms of transport: from trains to buses and city metro networks, from ferries to car and bike sharing.
The app is simple and intuitive: you choose a departure and arrival point and nugo lists all the possible solutions to reach the destination, combing different means of transport and indicating for each of them how long the journey takes and how much the ticket costs. Once the means of transport, or combination of means of transport, has been decided upon, all the tickets can be bought with a single click, thus making organising trips much quicker and more practical. Itineraries can also be made to fit individual needs better using filters and preferences.
ANAS (FS Italiane Group) is completing the improvement work on national trunk road 96 (the “Barese”), especially on the Bari – Altamura stretch which is being modernised to have four lanes, thus completing the improvement of the infrastructure links between Apulia and Basilicata. The intermodal connection is thus improved with the rail and airport links in the Bari metropolitan area, as well as the improvements in accessibility for Matera, 2019 European Capital of Culture. The new inter-regional Bari-Altamura-Matera route is over sixty kilometres long and, and involved a total investment of 227 million euros for the Altamura – Bari stretch.
As part of the plans to promote tourism and culture in the region that were promoted by ANAS along the main artery routes that it is in charge of, and given the choice of Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019, it has been designated an Azienda di Promozione Turistica (APT) by the Basilicata Region, which is tasked with promoting the area and tourism there. The agreement has been made so as to allow more visitors to enjoy the rich cultural, religious, landscape and historical sites, together with those related to high-quality food production.
Specifically, the APT together with ANAS has created a general programme to position and rationalise information posters along the tourist access routes to the sites, which will mean that cultural sites and landscape of the Basilicata region will be immediately recognised and placed.
The programme for Matera 2019 and its main events will be promoted on Trenitalia's communication channels, on board trains and through the FS Italiane Group's media, including the monthly La Freccia, which is distributed free-of-charge on Frecce trains and in the FRECCIAClub lounges, the regional weekly NOTE and the web magazine nugomagazine.it.