The loveliest and beautiful places to experience

A journey throughout Basilicata

Matera is a city carved out of stone which leaves travellers speechless.
This unique city retraces the history of the people who settled here, perfectly integrating themselves with its natural environment.
The capital of the province of Basilicata, Matera is known worldwide for the historic Sassi districts, the cliff settlements dating back to the early Middle Ages and recognised in 1993 as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A city of hidden treasures, museums, festivals and concerts that have contributed to Matera becoming the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
Things to see and do in Matera:

The Sassi

Matera is famous on account of the Sassi. In the collective imagination, these are the first thing that spring to mind about the city. A unique story of caves and grottos used as dwellings, alleyways, rupestrian churches, terraces, gardens and tunnels.
A unique spectacle that first time visitors will find jaw-dropping.
The Sassi is divided into two districts: the Sasso Barisano, the largest district, and the Sasso Caveoso, the oldest district that still preserves the typical appearance of a rupestrian urban site.

The Cathedral

The Cathedral is located at the city’s highest point, overlooking Sasso Barisano. The cathedral is dedicated to the Madonna della Bruna and Saint Eustachio, the protectors of the city.

The rupestrian churches of Matera

The rock churches were first built in the early Middle Ages, and today there are about 150 of these buildings in the area.
Among the visible rupestrian churches are the church of San Pietro Barisano, rising from the Sasso Barisano district, the church of Santa Lucia alle Malve and the church of Santa Maria de Idris. The Convicinio di Sant’Antonio, an ecclesiastical complex dedicated to St. Anthony, consists of four rock churches grouped around a central courtyard.

The Cave Dwelling

To appreciate how people lived in the Sassi district until the 1950s, it is worth visiting the ‘casa grotta’ in the Vico Solitario in the Sasso Caveoso district. Inhabited until 1957 by a family of 11 people, the house consists of a single-space environment, partly excavated and partly constructed.

Typical Matera cuisine

The culinary traditions of Matera are linked to those of the local country folk. It features simple, natural ingredients such as vegetables, various types of meat, greens, home-made pasta, cheese, oil and, of course, Matera PGI bread.
The specialities include ‘Pignata’, made with mutton, vegetables and herbs and cooked in an earthenware pot in a wood-burning oven; ‘Ciallèdd’ soup, prepared with very dry bread, potatoes, onions, herbs, eggs and turnips, which have replaced the asphodel flowers of the original recipe; ‘Crapiata’ soup made with pulses (spelt, chickpeas, lentils, chickling vetch, peas, broad beans and kidney beans), wheat and potatoes. These dishes are accompanied by strong red wines (‘aglianico’ and ‘primitivo’) and fragrant white wines (‘greco’ and muscat wine).