The other five cities that were short-listed were Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia, Ravenna and Siena.
The formal designation of Matera, together with Plovdiv (Bulgaria) the other recommended city for the European Capitals of Culture 2019, is expected to be made by the EU's Council of Ministers sometime in 2015.
Cities with the European Capital of Culture title should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension, which fosters the participation of citizens in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.
The programme must have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term cultural and social development of the city. Cooperation between cultural operators in different EU countries is also encouraged.
Following Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) 2014, Mons (Belgium) and Plzen (Czech Republic) will be European Capitals of Culture in 2015, Wrocław (Poland) and Donastia San Sebastián (Spain) in 2016, Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) in 2017 and Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands) in 2018.