Visiting Matera …

On the occasion of Matera 2019 European Capital of Culture  the city was stormed by visitors and it is therefore always better not to be caught unprepared for not creating further inconveniences to the small town and not to be disappointed in some last minute booking.

Here is a small guide to Matera 2019, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993!

First of all it is good to know that the city has its own special program for this year and every day there are events and festivals.

The historic center is divided into four parts: Civita, Sasso Barisano, Sasso Caveoso and Il PIano. The ancient civilizations that populated the side of the ravine where Matera currently stands have settled on the Civita. In this area stands the majestic Intono Cathedral, to which many noble palaces of noble families have been built.

Following the demographic increase, the Sasso Barisano was born and with the arrival of the Balkans Sasso Caveoso developed, where the Albanian district is located. The Piano is the most recent part where the eighteenth-century churches rise above Piazza Vittorio Veneto and is crossed by Via Del Corso and Via Ridola.

In addition to churches, the plan offers the opportunity to visit hypogeums, cisterns and museums. Joining the inhabitants of these four neighborhoods is Piazza Sedile, where the town hall was located.

On the opposite side we find the Murgico plateau with the Trinceali villages where numerous finds have been found preserved in the National Archaeological Museum “Domenico Ridola”. the Plateau can be visited by its own means, with Discovered Bus, with a guided tour or for trekking lovers who cross the Tibetan Bridge.

My photos date back to 2015.

Here is the map of the points of interest I chose for Matera! Know what time on Tripadvisor you can create your travel diary? Follow me also on Tripadvisor

How to get there and visit Matera

The ancient city can be visited on foot (with a good sneaker) or thanks to the various means made available by various bodies such as the bee.

If you want to travel by train, the easiest way is to arrive first in Bari (which is connected to the national system, so you can search for timetables and prices on the Trenitalia website, it is a 4-hour train from Rome to Bari). Then go to the regional site of the train, Ferrovie Appulo Lucane, entering “Bari Centrale” as a starting point and “Matera Centrale” as the point of arrival. A number of pop-up solutions; the ride takes between 1 hour and 15 minutes and 1.5 hours, and the price is nominal (something like 2 euros). From the train station, it is about a 15-minute walk from the Matera stones.

Note that the trains to Matera do not depart from the main part of Bari Centrale station, but from a smaller station just outside the main station. When you come out onto the square outside the station, look to your left and you should see a building with the words “Appulo Lucane Railways”.

And the car?

The main artery that delimits the area of ​​the historic center and of the accesses to the Sassi is via Lucana.

There are some parking lots near the city center where you can leave the car and then walk down to the city (ZTL).


A privileged vantage point from which you can enjoy the view of all of Matera.

“Belvedere Murgia Timone is a must for a trip to Matera. We reached it with a public bus departing from Piazza Matteotti in Matera and at a cost of € 1.50. Return ticket € 3. The view is enchanting and do not deny that it excites! The caves are not kept very well and on this the municipality must work a lot on it! I
recommend comfortable shoes and long-sleeved jacket as it pulls a considerable wind! “

– Tripadvisor Reviewer

What to see in Matera

You can spend your day walking around the city and discovering every corner to find new angles for your photos; Matera will always amaze you! So if you only have one day available, then my advice is to turn it far and wide to admire it from multiple points.

If instead you want to deepen the history and the culture of this magnificent city there are many churches and museums to visit such as:

Rock Churches: Santa Maria de Idris, Santa Lucia alle Malve, San Pietro Barisano, The Crypt of Original Sin, Convicinio Di sant’Antonio, Santa Barbara, Madonna delle Virtù.

Cave Houses:  Cisterna House, Laboratory Museum of Peasant Civilization, Grotta C’era Una Volta House, Casa Grotta Del Casalnuovo

Hypogea and Cisterns:  Palombaro Lungo, Matera Sum, The Water Collection, Crypt Of Sant’Andea, Casa Cava

Churches : Cathedral, San Giovanni, Purgatorio, San Pietro Caveoso, San Francesco D’Assisi, Sant’Agostino, San Francesco di Paola, Santa Chiara, Santa Lucia and Sant’Agata alla Fontana

State Museums:  National Archaeological Museum Domenico Ridola, National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art

Private Museums:  Casa Museo – La Casa Di Ortega, Musma, Casa Noha, La Palomba Sculpture Park, Sassi in Miniatura, Laboratory Museum of Rural Life

Castles and Fortifications:  Castello Tramontano, Torre Metellana, Walls of Castelvecchio, Torre Capone, Torre Quadra




On the Civitas hill, at the highest point between the two Sassi, is the Romanesque-Apulian cathedral of the thirteenth century. Recently reopened following a mammoth 10-year restoration project, this is an extremely popular attraction for visiting Italians. Even those with less Catholic persuasion will appreciate the fantastic view from its privileged position overlooking the Sassi Barisano.

You should also stop at the Madonna de Idris, a small church carved in the rock.

Visit the Musma

If contemporary art and sculpture are your passion, do not miss the Museum of Modern Art of Matera, located in a beautifully renovated palace excavated in the 17th century.

Where | Located in Via S. Giacomo

When | Open from 10.00 to 18.00

Cost | Admission € 5

Where to sleep in Matera

Whether you want a luxury cave, the best value option or something in between, this wonderful city is full of accommodation options; here is our choice of the best.

The Ostello dei Sassi | Located in the Sassi, this is an excellent opportunity to get the “cave experience” on a limited budget. Staff available with modern facilities. We would certainly recommend the six or four bed dorm to the larger one. Check availability.

The Stone Hotel | It’s actually quite surprising that you can stay at this phenomenal hotel for a very reasonable price of 70 euros a night – it’s really beautiful! Set in a 13th-century monastery, this boutique hotel boasts spacious rooms and spacious suites with vaulted ceilings, mezzanines and stunning city views. Check availability.

The Caves Of Civita | Looking for the luxury hotel in the caves? Le Grotte Della Civita, with its medieval love story in a spectacular hillside setting, could very well be. Beautifully unique rooms and suites with vaulted ceilings, sandstone walls and freestanding bathtubs with wood-burning fireplaces. Delicious food, cooking lessons and spectacular views.

This image will be enough to warm your heart!

Nearby in Basilicata

The Lucan territory is rich in numerous unique villages, attractors that attract visitors from all over Italy, Pachi Nazionali, Woods and nature reserves.


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