The period residence "Ridola" was built in 1872 by Leonardo Ridola, brother of senator Domenico Ridola, who was a doctor and an archaeology lover as well. The National Archaeological Museum in Matera was named after him.
From the unification of Italy to the beginnings of 20th century some noble families of Matera (The Ridola family was one of them) used to build residences called "casini" in their country estates located in the southern area of Matera (Regione Poliero) because of the healthy currents from the Ionian Sea.
Later on a Heliotherapy Center, called "Bagno del Sole", (Sunbathing) was built in this healthy area. During the Second World War the site was chosen from the Germans as their headquarters. In the 60s next to the Center (now seat of the Istituto Professionale Albelghiero di Stato) a sanatorium was built since the area was considered healthy.
During his stay in Matera from 1882 to 1884, Giovanni Pascoli, aged 27, used to walk in the nearby of the residence of the Ridola Family with which he kept a close relationship for a long time. In one of his letters he wrote: "Yes, among the towns where I have been, Matera is the one which smiles at me more, the one I can see much better, through a cloud of gloom and poetry" because there " I broke the little bread of science I had, and ate the very sweet bread of work for the first time".
Leonardo Ridola was a skilful architect and when he planned his country residence he took personally care of the structure with good taste making it perfectly fit to his own living needs. During the hot months the Ridolas lived on the first floor while the land agent lived downstairs all year round.
In 1900 Leonardo assigned the residence to his son Gregorio who, being keen on street lighting, decided to establish there the seat of his "Studio tecnico elettro-industriale G. Ridola". Time passed and in 1952 the Ridolas entrusted the residence to a friendly family reserving for themselves the use for the summer months: in the meanwhile the furniture was transferred to the main house in Via Duomo.
In 2003 the residence was sold to the present owners.
Cosimo Dell'Acqua, an architect from Matera, and his wife Lucia, have lovingly adopted the residence spending two years in restoring it in order to get all the original qualities. After a painstaking work of historical research they have restored all the elements not completely damaged by the effect of time. They have bought and restored some of the original furniture and the ancient sundial, which was used to tell the time in 1900, works again.