The caves are accessible all year round. During summer, June to September, it can get rather hot so it is not ideal if you are planning on many walking tours.
Fun Facts about Matera
Many of the scenic shots from “The Passion of the Christ” were filmed in Matera and the rest at Cinecittà Studios. During filming in Matera of “The Passion of the Christ”, the lead actor was struck by lightning. So was the assistant director – twice! “Christ Stopped by Eboli” by Carlo Levi is what brought attention to the squalid conditions of the cave dwellers which resulted in the mass evacuation in the 1950s.
11. Palombaro Lungo
Vicinato di Vico Solitario 1, 11 Sasso Caveoso, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario+39 0835 310118
9. Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista
8. Museo della Scultura Contemporanea (MUSMA)
Palazzo Pomarici – Via San Giacomo (Caveoso), 75100 Matera MT, Basilicata, ItalyMuseo della Scultura Contemporanea (MUSMA) +39 083 533 0582
7. The Cattedrale di Matera
6. Museo Archeologico Nazionale Domenico Ridola
The National Archeological museum and the street where it is located are both named after Senator Ridola who gifted his personal archaeology collection in 1911. Beginning as a convent in the 17th century, the building went through various changes. New rooms were added in the 50s and a fixed exhibition dedicated to the Senator in the late 70s. The last changes made were in 1985 and included additions of a warehouses, labs, and offices.
Via Domenico Ridola, 24, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Museo Archeologico Nazionale Domenico Ridola+39 097 132 8111
5. Cripta del Peccato Originale
Thanks to the splendid restoration efforts and involvement of the Fondazione Zetama, one can view several classic frescoes from the 8th-century. The Cripta del Peccato Originale which is housed in a natural fissure has been dubbed as the rock art Sistine Chapel. Artworks depict biblical themes including Adam and Eve in Genesis, the Virgin Mary and portraits of Archangels amongst others. Despite the talent, the ancient artist remains anonymous to this day.
Please note that reservations are necessary to view this national treasure.
Info Cooperativa Synchronos Recinto Cavone, 5 - 75100 Matera.Cripta del Peccato Originale+39 320 334 5323
4. Santa Maria de Idris e San Giovanni in Monterrone
Via Madonna dell'Idris, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Santa Maria de Idris e San Giovanni in Monterrone+39 320 787 5341
3. Casa Noha
2. Parco delle Chiese Rupestri di Matera
1.Sassi di Matera
Activities Available in Matera
- Sightseeing - Guided walking tours are available that will ensure that you don’t miss any of the main attractions.
Walk through the modern upper city - The Sassi are full of stairs and narrow walkways, which will lead you to a variety of restaurants and stores on your own.
- Hiking - Enjoy scenic routes through many popular hiking trails.
- Sleep in a Cave - There are dozens renovated caverns that allow you to relive history, but with a twist of modern amenities.
- Bird Watching - Matera is rich in birdlife. Visit San Giuliano and spot up to 150 bird species.
- Cycling – Join others on several bike routes in Matera or at Colle Timmari.
- Cultural Enrichment – Matera is a cultural hub with multitudes of museums, art galleries, and other ancient sites.
- Nightlife – Wine bars and lounges afford travelers with the rare opportunity of mingling with fellow tourists and locals. Cinema – See movies at Cinema Cine Teatro Duni and Nano-Theatre. Cooking Classes – Classes are available for half-day sessions or extended periods. Some even offer Diploma’s upon completion.
Top Events in Matera
- Festa Madonna della Bruna is celebrated every year on July 2nd.
- Women’s Fiction Festival (WFF) is held yearly in September.
- Luciana International Film Festival happens every year in August.
- Matera Bar Festival is held annually in March.
- Swing Hopping: Matera in Swing 2017 is a dance event held this year in Matera over April. More events are hosted across the world at different times throughout the year.
What to eat in Matera
- Daring Icy Delights beyond Your Wildest Dreams
For the most exotic ice cream and sorbets in Matera, make sure to order a scoop at I Vizi degli Angeli for a variety of unbelievable tastes in surprisingly delicious combinations of lavender and blueberry or tangerine and basil.
- Customary Christmas Cookies All Year Round
Happy Hour O’Llammord offers full meal spreads ending off with the Matera Christmas time-honored and exceptional cookie known as Strazzate. For the full of experience of Matera you have to have one of these which are also available in vegan friendly versions with or without eggs.
- Bread is Best, Sir!
Pane di Matera is traditional salty bread with a hard crust made of wheat and served as a side dish or used in pasta. The Restaurant Le Botteghe is widely renowned as the best restaurant in Matera and serves sumptuous bread and other customary dishes.
Do not let the name put you off! Crapiata is a thick soup made from various beans and wheat. To savor this wholesome meal visit, the Kiev Cafe on Via Bruno Buozzi.
- Build Your Best Veggie Pizza
Pizzeria Sant’Agonista Gifoni has a superior basic vegetarian pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes, and local chili peppers. Add additional ingredients common to the area like olives or mushrooms to build your perfect pizza. This quaint restaurant is in cave of numerous levels in a main street. You can contact them telephonically at +39 083 533 6593.
Getting to Matera
Instead, you can catch a train straight toMatera that is unregistered on the national itinerary from another station along the regional railway of Ferrovie Appuko Lucane. From there it is only a brisk walk of about quarter of an hour until you are at the Sassi.
Alternatively, there are also buses and shuttle services available from various destinations to Matera but these do not only cost more but will take longer to get you where you want to be.
Getting around and about in Matera (Italy)
Where to stay in Matera (Italy)
La Dimora di Metollo
Hotel degli Ulivi
L’hotel In Pietra
Sextanio le Grotte della Civate
Cuccù is a celebrated whistle and is considered the #1 souvenir of Matera.
Nucillo’é Curti is a beloved local walnut liquor that acts as a digestive.
Top Tips for Travelers Traveling to Matera
- Pack in your walking shoes.
- If you have a stair phobia – cancel your trip!
- Expect the unexpected.
- Never touch the wall murals!
- Don’t skip the museums.
Enjoying Matera on a Budget
- Stay in a B&B - The cave accommodations are the most pricey but you can still visit the noteworthy sites during the day.
- Look for discounts – Many of the attractions offer a price cut off season or booked in advance.
- Use your feet - Vehicles are limited and if you get one expect to pay.
- Self exploration – You can see many of the best sites on your own without a tour guide.
- Eat bread – This city is soaked in historical poverty. No wonder they are famous for bread.
Day trips from Matera
- First visit must – the Casa Noha and a tour of all other museums
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Guided tour of the Murgia Park
Visitor Information & Useful Links
Via Antonio De Viti De Marco, 9 - 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Aziendi di Promozione Turistica della Basilicata+39 0835 331983
Emergency Contact Numbers
Via Giuseppe Gattina, 12 - 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Polizia di Stato – Questura di Matera+39 083 357 8111
Via della Quercia, 3 - 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Corpo Forestale dello Stato Comndo Stazione Matera+39 083 353 3615
Via Annibale Maria, 32 - 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Nucleo Carabinieri Ispettorato del Lavoro+39 083 534 6624
Contrada Cattedra Ambulante, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.Ospedale Madonna delle Grazie+39 083 525 3111 (Emergency Hotline: +039 083 525 3212)