Matera: the rebirth of a city which was for too long mistreated

In the past, Matera was an extremely disadvantaged town, characterised by the overcrowding of the houses and poor hygienic conditions. It was for too long mistreated and considered as a “national shame”. Thanks to the affection for the city felt by its citizens, Matera was restored and revalued: these actions gave the city a great opportunity of growth.

Inhabited since the Palaeolithic and built in the tufa rock of Vallone Gravina, Matera always focuses its essence on its rural tradition. This is due to its landscape, which makes the town wild and eternal. Matera is made up by a set of caves where people used to live, churches built in the rock, courtyards, steep and winding streets, and a spectacular hypogeum.

An unbelievable scenery from Piazza Vittorio Veneto

Just look out from the viewpoint in Piazza Vittorio Veneto and admire the most enchanting panorama you can imagine. In this way you will soon understand the reason why Matera was one of the first cities in the South of Italy to get the title of Heritage UNESCO in 1993.

Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which is a meeting point for local people, is overlooked by the suggestive convent of Annunziata. From here you can take one of the streets that lead to the lower part of the city, where you can visit the Palombaro Lungo, the big cistern for water collection.

Another street leads to Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the famous baroque Cathedral of Matera, built in 1270 and reopened in 2016 after 13 years of restoration works. From Piazza Vittorio Veneto you can go into the Sasso Barisano.

A visit to Casa Noha

As well as the many historical and cultural sites of this paradisiac corner, we would like to suggest you to visit Casa Noha, an ancient private tufa house in the Sasso Caveoso. Nowadays it is a museum about Matera.

Casa Noha is a noble home, restored by FAI and reconceived in a multimedia version: the history of Sassi di Matera is told through a documentary video, which is projected on the ancient walls of the house.

It will be a unique experience to explore the past of one of the most fascinating towns ever.

Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso

The main quarters of Matera are two: the first one is Sasso Barisano, where you can find restaurants, boutiques, hotels and the stunning Church of Saint John the Baptist, built in 1220 and ornamented with patterned capitals. Continuing your visit, you can admire other rock churches, dungeons and typical streets, until you get to the second quarter, Sasso Caveoso, which is characterised by the particular settlement of the caves in the shape of a roman amphitheatre.

Don’t miss these tours!

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Choose Beautiful South: Sassi, Trulli and Baroque, to discover by trekking the beautiful lands of Basilicata and Puglia.