Welcome to Matera


Old Matera is split into two sections – the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso – separated by a ridge upon which sits Matera’s gracious duomo (cathedral). The sassi, many little more than one-room caves, once contained such appalling poverty and unthinkable living conditions that in the 1950s Matera was denounced as the 'Shame of Italy', and the sassi-dwellers were moved on. Only in later decades has the value of this extraordinarily built environment been recognised.


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Matera activities

$126.29 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.

$330.16 Cultural & Theme Tours

Puglia Full-Day Tour: Bari, Trulli of Alberobello, Castel del Monte and Sassi of Matera

Meet you guide in Bari in the morning and head to Bari old town. Learn about the history of the city and see Bari Cathedral, Basilica di San Nicola and Piazza Ferrarese. Next, head to Alberobello. Get a glimpse of what life was like inside the trulli and marvel at its unique buildings. These cone-shaped drywall houses, built in the 14th century, are regarded by UNESCO as remarkable examples of prehistoric construction techniques that still survive today.Then depart to Matera. Visit the Sassi of Matera, the ancient caves from 30,000 years ago. You knowledgeable guide will walk you through the history of these cave-houses. Over the centuries, more than 150 minuscule churches and hermitages were carved into the cliffside, and by the 18th century, a community was flourishing here. Only in 1950s were inhabitants were forced to move to modern accommodation due to poor sanitation and malaria. Make your way to the hills of Puglia (Murgia), where you will visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castel del Monte. This fantastic castle is considered a masterpiece of medieval architecture. After a full-day of sightseeing, return to Bari.

$52.14 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.

$135.55 Cultural & Theme Tours

Matera Day Trip from Bari with Food Tasting

Departure by minivan from Bari to Matera.  Once in Matera, start the walking tour with the knowledgeable guide. Proceed towards Piazza Pastures to visit the Sasso Caveoso, where there are narrow streets and ancient neighbourhoods. Don't miss a visit to the House cave, typically decorated, and then climb on Mount Errone, where you can find the Churches of San Giovanni in Monterrone (11th century) and Madonna De Idris (13th century). Visit the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, with its sober façade of the 17th century. To finish your walk you can visit one of the many craft workshops to learn about products of ceramic production of Matera.At the end of the guided tour in the Sassi, the guide will allow you to do a tasting (very inviting) of typical products such as bread of Matera, garlic bread, bagels, pastries, wine.

$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.

$123.96 Private & Custom Tours

Half-day Private Tour From Bari to Matera and Sassi

After you have met your professional English-speaking driver at the Bari port you can relax on a 90-minute journey to the fabulous Matera. You will get the chance to walk through streets of the so-called "underground city," which is made ​​of caves, with houses carved into the rock, rock churches with frescoes and ancients buildings. Matera is also highly appreciated as a place to shoot movies, such as 'King David' with Richard Gere, 'The Passion of the Christ' directed by Mel Gibson and many others.Starting from the area called “the Piano” (flat), the last level of urban development on top of Sassi, you will proceed along paths, alleys and stairs, which will enable you to descend into past. The route is studded with numerous stops, such as entrances to rock churches, cave houses, water collection systems, and cellars dug in caves. Your guide will help you understand many aspects that determined the lifestyle in Sassi.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Bari port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.