Period: Any time
Duration: around 3 hours
Location: Matera, Basilicata, Southern Italy
The ancient city of Matera is a marvel of architecture and history that has gained the title of European capital of culture 2019. The most famous tourist attraction in Matera are the famous sassi di Matera, the two oldest neighborhoods in the city. With a tour to sassi di Matera, you can discover the numerous case grotte (cave-houses), small houses dug into the soft limestone of the hill. The cave houses were inhabited until the 50s but the life conditions for people where very poor. They had no running water, electricity or plumbing, but fortunately the government took actions and moved the inhabitants into modern houses and restored the antique case-grotta. Matera cave-houses have now been turned into hotels, restaurants and museums. Sleep in a cave hotel during your holiday in Basilicata and you will live a magical and unforgettable experience.
Next to the simple houses, later in the centuries magnificent buildings arose, all built with the same technique of the cave-houses, such as the amazing XIII century Cathedral overlooking the city.
One specialty of Matera is the famous Matera bread, well-known for its extraordinary taste, its fragrance and high digestibility. It is made exclusively from local durum wheat and its shapes remember the stones of Matera. You can book a cooking class in Matera, to learn how to make Matera bread.
As well as bread making in Matera, wine tasting in Basilicata is also possible. You can visit a winery in Matera and take part in wine tasting in Matera, or in the surroundings. Basilicata boasts a millennial tradition for wine making and it has a lot of renowned wines, like Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG, Matera DOC, Grottino di Roccanova DOC, Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri DOC, and many more.
You should spend at least a couple of days in this fascinating city, and a tour in Matera will make you feel like a time-traveller gone back in time. Not to get lost in the narrow stone alleys of the city, and to discover all the hidden places of Matera, we highly recommend you to take a guided tour of Matera to get the most of your visit and really understand its soul.
You don’t know what to do in Matera? Choose the activities you can do in Matera and plan your holiday in Basilicata.
Things to do in Matera
- Sleep in a cave hotel in Matera
- Walking tours in Basilicata
- Cooking class of local cuisine and bread making
- Visit to a winery and wine taste
Where is Matera?
Matera is located in the South of Italy in Basilicata region. It is known as “the underground city” and it is enlisted in the sites of UNESCO world heritage, and has gained the title for European Capital of Culture 2019. It is very close to the border with Apulia region being is just 60 km away from Bari sea.
It surrounded by natural parks, mountains (Dolomiti Lucane), and the famous Murgia materana park, but it is also very close to the beach, and the beautiful Ionic sea is just 40 km away.
Matera is ideal both for a holiday by the sea of Southern Italy, to visit the best beaches of Italy, and for a holiday in the Southern mountains.