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

$125.62 Tours & Sightseeing

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.

$51.86 Tours & Sightseeing

Matera Caves 2-Hour Guided Tour with Food Sampling

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Chiesa rupestre di Santa Lucia alle Malve, Matera, Province of Matera, BasilicataThe rupestrian church of Santa Lucia alle Malve is the first female monastic settlement of the Benedictine Order, dating back to the VIII century, and the most important in the history of the city of Matera. Santa Lucia alle Malve is a church in rock of considerable size that develops in three distinct naves that despite having undergone heavy upheavals, after the abandonment by the monastic community, has left many of those signs to allow, with a hint of imagination , to reconstruct its planimetric and architectural development.Duration: 15 minutesStop At: Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, Matera, Province of Matera, BasilicataCasa grotta is a typical dwelling of the maternal, peasant culture , is accurately furnished in the period style in which it was inhabited, to better understand the uses and customs of our ancestors.Duration: 15 minutes

$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.

$187.85 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Italian Hands-on Private Cooking Class in Matera

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Cook'n Fun at Mary's, Matera, Province of Matera, BasilicataCooking class in my private homeDuration: 3 hours

$34.51 Cultural & Theme Tours

WALKING TOUR OF GIOVINAZZO WITH AN EXPERT GUIDE, AT THE END OF THE TOUR TASTING

walking tour with an expert guide to discover the beauties of Giovinazzo, at the end of the tour there will be a tasting of typical products based the local oil from Giovinazzo. the tour will last around 2 hours. The walk won’t be limited in the old town, but it will include the modern part of Giovinazzo, discovering beautiful, sacred and artistic corners there will beIn the old town:Santa Maria’s Church of Costantinopoli with Carlo Rosa painting – Illustration of S. Cristoforo, protector of wayfarers and pilgrims, and S. Michele Arcangelo.S. Andrea’s Church paintings of De Musso brothers and of Carlo Rosa.Carmine’s Church S. Angelo dei Greci alreadyCathedral with Crypt: there are a lot of proofs of the past of the City, inside. The icon of Madonna di Corsignano (byzantine art), the Madonna delle Grazie of Palvisino, the “table of the Saviour” by an anonymous artist of the XV century.San Giovanni Battista’s Church con annesso ex monastero di suore Benedettine.Holy Spirit Church from the 1397with the privileged title of “Colleggiata”, you can find inside an icon of new-byzantine art of “Madonna del Buon Soccorso” of the XVI century.S. Lorenzo’s Church (the smallest one existing).S. Maria degli Angeli’s Church preserves a picture of the “Eterno Padre” from venetian art of ‘500.The modern city:Vittorio Emanuele’ Square with the Tritons’ Fountain S. Domenico’s Church with an annex building which was the Dominican’s convent, with illustrations by De Musso brothers inside and a precious picture of S. Felice in Cattedra by Lorenzo Lotto.S. Agostino’s Church, majestic neoclassical church with the dome containing the wooden Holy Crucifix of Padri Cappuccini, a Christus Exspirans, having a prominent rib cage where devoted people say there is the picture of the Holy Shroud.Not to miss is a visit at the Calvary complex.

$1077.57 Private & Custom Tours

PRIVATE TOUR TO SASSI OF MATERA

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

Basilicata in detail