Welcome to Basilicata

In the north the landscape is a fertile zone of gentle hills and deep valleys; the interior is dominated by the Lucanian Apennines and the Parco Nazionale del Pollino. The Tyrrhenian coast is a fissured wonderland of rocky coves and precariously sited villages. Here, Maratea is one of Italy's most charming seaside resorts.

But it is inland Matera, where primitive sassi (caves) lurk under grand cathedrals, that is Basilicata's most precious gem. The third-oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, it's intriguing, breathtaking and tragic in equal measures.

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Basilicata activities

$126.10 Walking & Biking Tours

Discover Matera Walking Tour

The tour goes around the Caveoso District of the Sassi of Matera. During the tour it's possible to visit one cave dwelling and one church. At the end of the tour you can visit the part of the historical center with Baroque churches. Approach Matera from virtually any direction and your first glimpse of its famous sassi is sure to stay in your memory forever. Haunting and beautiful, the sassi sprawl below the rim of a yawning ravine like a giant nativity scene. The old town is simply unique and warrants at least a day of exploration and aimless wandering.Although many buildings are crumbling and abandoned, others have been restored and transformed into cozy abodes, restaurants, and swish cave-hotels. On the cliff top, the new town is a lively place, with its elegant churches, palazzi and especially the pedestrianized Piazza Vittorio Veneto.

$52.06 Tours & Sightseeing

Guided Tour Sassi di Matera: I Due Sassi and the Rupester Churches

Itinerary:Visit Piazza Vittorio Veneto: the beautiful central square built in 1880 and the church of St. Francis of Assisi: the second for beauty and importance after the Cathedral of Matera, the church of the first impact Baroque-Leccese built on an ancient underground crypt, the first construction dates back to 1200.Square Seat: ancient political and administrative center of the city dominated by the Palace of the seat. Via Duomo: the main access road to the Civita, the highest spur that divides the two Sassi, bounded by two ancient entrance doors Porta di Juso and Porta di Suso.Cathedral of Santa Maria della Bruna and Sant'Eustacchio: the cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and Sant'Eustachio is the main place of Catholic worship in Matera, mother church of the Archdiocese, built in Romanesque style in the XIII century, It stands on the highest point of the city, called "Civita".Chiese rupestri di Santa maria della virtù and San Nicola dei Greci: rock-hewn churches and their walls are decorated with frescoes of excellent workmanship.Porta Pistola: square, which boasts a sullaGravina overlooking Matera so you can understand the geological aspect of our territory and the main set of the latest film by Mel Gibson, "The Passion" (2004).Church of San Pietro Caveoso: built between the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century. The church overlooks the square, offering a very impressive view of the Sassi of Matera, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Cave House: typical house of peasant Matera exactly furnished in period style in which he lived, to better understand the habits and customs of our ancestors.Cemetery barbaric-Lombard: an ancient necropolis located in the heart of Sasso Caveoso, above the former monastery where there is the necropolis known as "Cimitero barbarico" that must have impressed Carlo Levi, so much that he wrote in his book-report the poor living conditions in Matera in the 40es "The dead are above the living." These are the graves of the Lombard era carved into the bedrock, but on a human scale that now seem small, because the average height of man, at the time, was far lower than today.Stop Illustrative c / o Local crafts: the characteristic shop, in the heart of the Sassi of Matera, where you can watch the master craftsmen who produce their work and have a small museum of rural life. At the end of the tour we will offer you a tasting of local products.

$59.03 Walking & Biking Tours

Guided Tour of Italy's Sassi di Matera: Parco della Murgia Materana - Murgia Materana Park

Archaeological Historical-Natural Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera, also called Parco della Murgia Materana, is a regional park of Basilicata. Since 2007, the definition of Sassi di Matera in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites has expanded to include Sassi and the Park of the Rupester Churches of Matera.The Park, located between the towns of Matera and Montescaglioso in Basilicata, is characterized by a soft rock called "limestone," which played an essential role in the forms assumed by the landscape, drawing cliffs, gorges and caves. Just a few kilometers away from the border of Puglia, Murgia Park has 150 rock churches, different in architecture and iconography, made mostly in the Middle Ages. What's most surprising is that despite being born as places of worship, the churches have, over time, also been used as homes or places of shelter for animals.These churches now represent an important evidence of human presence, in particular relation to the Benedictine monks, Lombards and Byzantines. The Murgia plateau acts as a natural backdrop to this scenario, with many rock churches scattered along the slopes of ravines, protected by the institution of the Park Archeologico of the Rock Churches of Matera, also called Parco della Murgia Materana.The Park is very charming, engulfed by ravines with cultivated areas and some survival of the ancient Mediterranean culture. There are also fortified farms, as well as lively and fascinating paths carved into the rock to collect water in cisterns, wells and water troughs—all evidence of the centuries-old agro-pastoral development.You will walk on a paleosol of prehistoric fossil-rich rangoli that transports visitors on a journey through time and space. Return to the original departure point to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto where you can enjoy tasting of local products at your own expense.

$156.18 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Italian Hands-on Private Cooking Class in Matera

You will be welcome you in the local supplier's private kitchen where you’ll have the opportunity to cook traditional dishes in a relaxed, familiar environment and peek into real life and family routine.You will have the chance to pick the fresh herbs and vegetables needed for the cooking session directly from your host's private vegetable garden and use the best quality olive oil made from their olive trees!During the session you will make 4 tasty recipes – which depend on the day and season (homemade pasta – ravioli, tagliatelle, cavatelli – fresh tomato sauces, eggplant parmigiana, tiramisu, cantucci, etc.), all with fresh organic ingredients.Once everything is cooked, you’ll sit around the kitchen table and enjoy your meal paired with a good wine. According to the most typical Italian tradition, an espresso will conclude this adventure.At the end of the day you’ll receive your Italian cooking Diploma and a gift to remember this special experience. As part of our club, you’ll keep receiving our newsletter and updates on recipes, menus, tips and secrets of the Italian cuisine, and may count on our support if you need help in recreating our recipes.Lessons are in English, but if you know – or are learning – Italian and want a fun way to practice it, classes can also be held in Italian.

$1081.70 Private & Custom Tours


Pick up at your hotel is 7:30am and we start to drive south on the new highway called A2 that connects Naples to Reggio, after 50 km we leave this highway to take the road SS407 that crosses the Apennine mountains brings us to Basilicata. After passing the town of Potenza the SS407 begins to descend towards the Ionic sea and we leave this main road 30 Km before we get to the coast. We start to drive up again for 10 more Km until we get in the city of Matera. We arrive in Piazza Pascoli where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Rione Sassi, this is also the meeting point with our private guide. The Rione Sassi is nothing more then an entire district of homes, Churches, narrow alleys, and stairways. The facade of the homes were built of stones but inside they are simple caves carved into the natural rock where large families lived alongside their livestock (pigs, chickens, goats and the mule) until 1952 and without electricity, running water or sewage. In such unhygienic conditions disease was rife, according to the statistics, after the II WW the infant mortality rate reached a catastrophic proportion, out of 1000 children born, 460 were born dead.  In 1948 one of the most famous Italian writer Carlo Levi visiting the Region of Basilicata arrived in the city of Matera and could not believe his eyes when he saw the living conditions of the local inhabitants. Shocked by what he saw, he immediately denounced this terrible situation on the national newspapers using the expression "national shame". Subsequently, the Prime Minister of the new Republic of Italy Alcide De Gasperi visited Matera to ascertain in person what was previously reported, then immediately he commissioned the Minister of the public works to study and project a solution for the Sassi problem. In may 1952 the new homes were ready and most of the inhabitants of Sassi (about 20000 people) were forced to move into the new districts and little by little the Sassi area was totally abounded. After the abandonment The Sassi begin decades of degradation in the complete and shameful absence of political interventions, both local and national to protect this immense heritage. The new generations did not know Sassi, and even if in theory they were the historical center of the city, almost all the people never went there. After many years of a long restoration and redevelopment works, Sassi district begin to live again and since 1993 have been included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites. They were the first place in the world to be declared a "cultural landscape" and the role model they can play in showing how to live in balance with the environment, exploiting its resources but integrating with it, without distorting it, was recognized. After the two hours tour of Sassi you can have lunch in a local restaurant before returning to your location

$28.92 Day Trips & Excursions

Visita Guidata Parco della Murgia Materana e delle Chiese Rupestri

Visita Guidata Sassi di Matera: Parco Regionale della Murgia Materana e delle Chiese RupestriPartenza per raggiungere il Parco della Murgia. – Visita di tre chiese rupestri: – San Falcione XVIII-IX Sec d.C., con tombe, cisterne, affreschi di stile bizantino; – San Vito e il santo sepolcro di Pasolini; – Madonna delle Tre Porte e gli affreschi trafugati negli anni ‘60 dal professore universitario tedesco. Al termine dell’escursione ritorno al punto di partenza e degustazione di prodotti tipici. Il Parco archeologico storico-naturale delle Chiese rupestri del Materano, chiamato anche Parco della Murgia Materana, è un parco regionale della Basilicata.Punto d’incontro: Sede Altieri Viaggi, Via Domenico Ridola, 61 – Matera – a 100 metri da Palazzo LanfranchiTRASFERIMENTO A/R: SUPPLEMENTO ADULTI E/O RAGAZZI € 5,00Il tour include: guida autorizzata, mappa del centro storico e ingresso Chiese Rupestri.Si consiglia abbigliamento da trekking leggero.

Basilicata in detail