A local guide makes a visit to the ancient town of Matera, Italy, much more rewarding. I asked Italian friends for a recommendation, and three of them gave me the same name: Francesco Foschino. When we met at a café to plan a half-day tour of the city, Foschino immediately delighted; his English was excellent — he has traveled extensively in the U.S. — as was his sense of humor. He inquired about our interests over coffee and then put together a fascinating afternoon tour. This included several behind-the-scenes places, including a magnificently restored cave dwelling that is not open to the public. Foschino makes his town come alive as only a proud native can. He is highly sought-after, so reserve his services as far in advance as possible. Tel. (39) 347-573-6470.