Discover the Timeless Beauty of Matera

Looking for a hidden gem to add to your travel bucket list? Look no further than Matera, a small city nestled in the mountains of Basilicata, where time seems to stand still.


The surrounding landscape is like a painting come to life, with a complex beauty that can only be truly appreciated by wandering through the narrow streets of the historic center and the houses carved into the tuff. Matera is a surprising open-air museum, where the layers of history and the delicate relationship with the surrounding nature make it a must-see destination.


How Long to Stay in Matera?


To fully experience all that Matera has to offer, plan to spend at least 2-3 days exploring the city's main tourist attractions. During your visit, be sure to take in the Sassi, the Cathedral of Matera, the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, the Parco della Murgia Materana, the National Museum Domenico Ridola, and the rock churches and caves. Don't forget to participate in a guided tour to learn about the city's history and traditions.


If you have more time, consider dedicating a day to excursions around Matera, exploring nearby towns like Altamura, Gravina in Puglia, and Castel del Monte. You'll also find numerous museums and art galleries in the city, perfect for immersing yourself in the local culture.

Where to stay

Multi-Centre Holidays including Matera


The Sassi di Matera


The Sassi di Matera: The two neighborhoods of Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso are a tangle of staircases and narrow streets, where it's easy and enjoyable to lose yourself while discovering caves and rock churches.

The Cathedral of Matera


Situated on the highest point of the city, the Cathedral offers a magnificent view of the Sasso Barisano. The façade boasts Romanesque-Pugliese architecture, while the interior is Baroque.

Castello di Tramontano


With its Aragonese-style mass, the castle overlooks the historic center of Matera. Despite its incomplete state, the castle has three imposing towers, a moat, and a drawbridge that are still visible today. The motto of the city's coat of arms, "Bos lassus firmius figit pedem," meaning "the tired ox sinks its foot more firmly," pays tribute to the castle's historical significance.

The Cistern of Palombaro Lungo


Located in the main square of Matera, the cistern was built in 1846 as a water reserve for the inhabitants of Sasso Caveoso. It's an imposing, silent work of hydraulic engineering that represents a "cathedral of water."

Rock Churches of Matera


These real gems are set in ancient stone and are precious legacies of the Byzantine and Benedictine monks who settled in the area in the early Middle Ages. Between the Sassi and the Murgia, there are as many as 155 of them. San Pietro Barisano is the largest, housing statues, altars, frescoes, and the pit for casting bells.

Santa Lucia alle Malve


The first female monastic settlement of the Benedictine Order in Matera dates back to the 9th century. On the upper level, you'll find a necropolis known as the barbaric cemetery (8th-11th century).

Santa Maria de Idris


This small church of Madonna delle Acque is carved into a rocky spur that overlooks the Sasso Caveoso and offers a spectacular view of the Murgia plateau.

The Magnificent Crypt of the Original Sin


If you're looking for a unique experience during your next trip, don't miss the Crypt of the Original Sin. This breathtaking frescoed crypt is located just outside the inhabited center of Matera, nestled among vineyards, olive groves, and wheat fields with a magnificent view of the Gravina.


The Crypt of the Original Sin is a single room entirely covered with brilliant frescoes painted by an anonymous artist known as the "painter of flowers." The stunning colors and artistic skill of the paintings will leave you awestruck. The beauty of the crypt is so remarkable that it has been compared to the famous Sistine Chapel of rock art.


As you explore the crypt, you'll feel a deep sense of awe and wonder. The aesthetics and emotions evoked by the paintings will transport you to another time and place. The crypt is a remarkable testament to the artistic skill of the ancient peoples who once inhabited the area.