Attractions

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 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…
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 century …
Museum in Matera

Museo della Scultura Contemporanea

The setting of this fabulous museum of contemporary sculpture – deeply recessed caves and the frescoed rooms of the 16th-century Palazzo Pomarici – is as extraordinary as the exhibits. Italian sculpture from the lat…
Viewpoint in Matera

Belvedere

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, …
Cathedral in Matera

Cathedral

Set high up on a spur between the two natural bowls of the sassi, the wan, graceful exterior of the 13th-century Pugliese-Romanesque cathedral makes the neobaroque excess within all the more of a surprise. Following…
Crypt in Matera

Cripta del Peccato Originale

A fascinating Benedectine site dating to the Lombard period, the Cripta del Peccato Originale (Crypt of Original Sin) houses well-preserved 8th-century frescoes – depicting vivid scenes from both Old and New Testame…
Museum in Matera

Museo Nazionale d'Arte Medievale e Moderna della Basilicata

The Palazzo Lanfranchi, built as a seminary incorporating an earlier church in the 17th century, now houses this intriguing museum of sacred and contemporary art. The stars of the show here are Carlo Levi's painting…
Historic Site in Matera

Casa-Grotta di Vico Solitario

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 for a pig and a donkey. You also have access to a couple of n…