Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Matera

Palombaro Lungo

This giant cistern, arguably as magnificent as a subterranean cathedral, is one of Matera's great sights. Lying under the city's main square with arches carved out of the existing rock, it is mind-boggling in its sc…
Top Choice Church in Matera

Chiesa San Pietro Barisano

Dating in its earliest parts to the 12th-century Saint Peter's, the largest of Matera's rupestrian churches, overlays an ancient honeycomb of niches where corpses were placed for draining. At the entrance level can …
Top Choice Wine Bar in Matera

Vicolo Cieco

Matera's renaissance and new-found relaxed vitality come to the fore at this wine-bar in a typical cave-house off Sasso Barisano's main drag. The eccentric decor signals its friendly, upbeat spirit – retro jukeboxes…
Top Choice Museum in Matera

Casa Noha

Highly recommended as a precursor to visiting the sassi themselves, this wonderful 25-minute multimedia exhibit, spread across three rooms of a 16th-century family home donated to the Fondo Ambiente Italiano, relate…
Top Choice Italian in Matera

Soul Kitchen

If you thought Basilicata was somehow lagging behind the rest of Italy in the food stakes, correct your prejudice with pleasure at Soul Kitchen: this cavernous restaurant with sharp colour accents epitomises Matera'…
Church in Matera

Chiesa di Madonna delle Virtù & Chiesa di San Nicola del Greci

This monastic complex, one of the most important monuments in Matera, comprises dozens of chambers carved into the tufa (limestone) over two floors. Chiesa di Madonna delle Virtù was built in the 10th or 11th centur…
Osteria in Matera

Osteria al Casale

While al Casale's secondi are uniformly meaty, this charming osteria does offer more vegetarian options than most. Antipasti such as sformatino (a 'mis-shapen' dumpling) of eggplant with tomato and basil and primi s…
Religious in Matera

Sagra della Madonna della Bruna

This week-long celebration of Matera's patron saint has 14th-century roots. The culminating day, July 2, begins at dawn with the colourful 'Procession of Shepherds', in which an image of the Virgin is carried throug…
Seafood in Maratea

Lanterna Rossa

This terrace restaurant, sitting above the Bar del Porto overlooking the marina, has been knocking out delightful Lucanian seafood for over 20 years. Sit either in the tastefully art-strewn interior or on the terrac…
Italian in Matera

Dedalo

Dedalo's motto 'sensi sommersi' (submerged senses) will either hint at pretension, or indicate the lengths this classy fine diner goes to to wow its clientele. Surrounded by modern art in a softly-lit and impeccable…