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, and in 2019 the city was recognised as a European Capital of Culture.

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Matera activities

$124.45 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.

$325.40 Cultural & Theme Tours

Puglia Full-Day Tour with Bari, Alberobello, Castel del Monte

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Castel del Monte, Andria, Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, PugliaFULL VISIT OF THE unesco CASTLEDuration: 1 hourStop At: I Trulli di Alberobello - World Heritage Site, Alberobello, Province of Bari, PugliaFULL VISIT OF THE TRULLI AREA unescoDuration: 2 hoursStop At: Sassi di Matera, Matera, Province of Matera, Basilicatafull visit of the Sassi caves UNESCODuration: 3 hoursStop At: Piazza del Ferrarese, Bari, Province of Bari, Pugliavisit of the historical center of BARI saint Nicholas area etc. Duration: 1 hour

$51.38 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

$133.58 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.

$122.17 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.