For a great photograph of the sassi, take the Taranto–Laterza road (SS7) and follow signs for the chiese rupestri. This road takes you to the Belvedere, the location of the crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ, which has fantastic views of the plunging ravine and Matera. It's especially impressive at sunset.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matera attractions

1. Chiesa di San Pietro Caveoso

0.27 MILES

The only church in the sassi not dug into the tufa rock, Chiesa di San Pietro Caveoso was originally built in 1300 and has a 17th-century Romanesque…

2. Chiesa di Santa Lucia alle Malve

0.27 MILES

Dating to the 8th century, when it was built as the Benedictine Order's first foothold in Matera, this cliff-face church has a number of 13th-century…

3. Casa-Grotta di Vico Solitario

0.28 MILES

For a glimpse of life in old Matera, visit this historic sasso off Via Bruno Buozzi. There's a bed in the middle, a loom, a room for manure and a section…

4. Chiesa di Santa Maria di Idris

0.29 MILES

Dug into the Idris rock, this church has an unprepossessing facade, but the narrow corridor communicating with the recessed church of San Giovanni in…

6. Museo della Scultura Contemporanea

0.33 MILES

The setting of this fabulous museum of contemporary sculpture – deeply recessed caves and the frescoed rooms of the 16th-century Palazzo Pomarici – is as…

7. Casa Noha

0.34 MILES

Highly recommended as a precursor to visiting the sassi themselves, this wonderful 25-minute multimedia exhibit, spread across three rooms of a 16th…