Walk the Camino MateranoPuglia & BasilicataDifficulty path:
While skirting ravines and rock sites, the ancient cart tracks and paths in the woods, the routes through the fields and the Apulian steppe, will make you experience the thrill of the journeys of the past, those in which you did not know precisely when you would arrive at destination.
Pilgrims, traders, shepherds and brigands have left behind traces and stories that have become legends, to be discovered up close by following a route that is at times tiring but well signposted and which, at the end of the day, will repay you with the typical and genuine welcome of the villages of a hinterland that is not very touristy but enthusiastic about revealing its secrets.
The Camino Materano will take you through Puglia and Basilicata, two regions very similar at first glance, but strong in their own characteristics and identity, such as food and wine, made up of rural passion and genuine products.
Basilica of San Nicola di Bari, the saint who brings gifts
Slow Food Presidia and peasant gastronomy
The steppe of the Murgia plateau
Woods and maquis scrubland: the "green" side of Puglia
Rock caves and signs of ancient civilizations
Land of legends about saints and brigands
Welcome to Bari
Beautiful Bari welcomes you with the light of its white stone and the smell of the Adriatic Sea that surrounds it.
Multicultural and Mediterranean city, Puglia's capital has two faces: one ancient, reflected in the lively old town enclosed by the old city walls, and the other modern and elegant, built on a regular chessboard plan in the 19th century.
Overnight in Bari.
Bitetto and Cassano delle Murge
26km, +320m -100m
A short train ride takes you to Bitetto: here is the beginning of the first stage of the Camino Materano.
You are in the Land of Bari and the landscape, as you climb up to the Murge plateau, is typically agricultural. Stroll through the olive groves for which this area is known: the Termite variety produces sweet, crisp green olives, ideal in the preparation of many Apulian dishes. Almond trees and centuries-old oaks will accompany your steps, and among the many dry stone walls, Mediterranean scrub and cultivated fields, you will spot small trulli and the remains of ancient farms.
Just before entering Cassano you can opt for a short detour to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria degli Angeli, dedicated to the discovery of a fresco of the Madonna in a cave.
Overnight in Cassano, home of the "smooth black chickpea", consumed for centuries by Murgian peasants, and now a Slow Food presidium.
Cassano delle Murge and Santeramo in Colle
22km, +370m -230m
Today a path still slightly uphill, immersed in the splendid Murge plateau and where nature reigns supreme.
The vast expanses of wheat cultivation fill the landscape with colour according to the season, often leaving room for forests, dense shrubs and wild, fragrant medicinal plants. As you walk in spring, you will find all kinds of flowers around you, but try to notice the small wild orchids: 30 of the 150 different species present in Puglia are found here!
You will follow the Apulian Aqueduct, the longest aqueduct in Europe, for a while and find natural caves and ancient farmhouses along winding forest paths.
This is a land of ancient legends, such as that of the brigand Vituccio Servodio of the second half of the 19th century, who found refuge in the Mesola Wood before being captured.
Overnight in San Teramo in Colle.
Santeramo in Colle and Altamura
27km, +290m -300m
Today's itinerary winds through the evocative landscapes of the Murgia karst plateau.
Your steps lead you to suggestive places such as the magnificent Grotta Sant'Angelo, which preserves medieval frescoes and thousands of ancient graffiti, and the small Romanesque church opposite. You reach the first hills, from where the view sweeps over the hills in the distance until you glimpse Altamura.
The heart of the Alta Murgia is a steppe area with sparse and low vegetation, like the fluffy feather grass, which will enchant your eyes with its ears of corn swaying in the wind. Once the shepherds with their flocks passed through here and stationed in the current rocky site of Fornello, full of underground caves and cisterns to collect rainwater.
Follow ancient medieval carriages to get to Altamura, founded on the summit by the Peuceta people, who surrounded it with mighty megalithic walls. And it is from this people that the Camino from Bari to Matera takes its name of "Via Peuceta".
The bread here is a Slow Food presidium, and the story of the baker who shut down the local McDonald's has also been made into a film.
Overnight in Altamura.
Altamura and Gravina in Puglia
20km, +170m -300m
Don't be in a hurry to leave Altamura, pop into the pastry shop first! And ask for the "nun’s tit", a delicacy dear to Garibaldi, once prepared in the splendid Monastery of Santa Chiara.
To dispose of the excellent Apulian food, we recommend that you resume your journey without delay, leaving behind you the alleys and the typical "cloisters", churches and noble palaces, to dive back into the Apulian countryside. Put your boots back on, ready?
Today’s stage is fairly straightforward and you will be accompanied by many of the wide landscapes encountered in the previous days, made of wheat and legume crops. A small forest and an ancient paved road indicate the entrance to Gravina in Puglia, defined by Frederick II of Swabia as a "garden of delights". From the Duomo, in fact, the view of the canyon (the "gravina") is beautiful, with the aqueduct bridge and the rocky villages, and the sound of the water flowing in the background.
Overnight in Gravina in Puglia.
From San Giuliano Lake to Matera
16km, +410m -130m
A short private transfer takes you to the Oasi San Giuliano Nature Reserve, one of the most important wetlands in Lucania.
Lake San Giuliano welcomes you to Basilicata. The place is unspoilt and amidst the vegetation of eucalyptus and Aleppo pines you might spot the little "guests" of the reserve. And, alternating between dirt paths and asphalt roads, you leave the shores of the lake to walk parallel to the spectacular Bradano River ravine, among whose numerous rock cavities you can glimpse the Crypt of the Original Sin, frescoed in the early Middle Ages with figures of saints and moments from Genesis.
The last stretch is uphill and the view of Matera, enchanting in its combination of architecture and nature, will suddenly open up and leave you breathless.
The Città dei Sassi - City of Stones - is the final destination of the Camino Materano on the ancient Via Peuceta.
Overnight in Matera.
→ If you want to complete the entire Camino, find the program here.
Matera is one and many cities together, meeting and merging in the warm morning light that lights up the stone.
Elegant squares, churches and Baroque palaces in the ancient rupestrian districts lead to the medieval Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna, a splendid example of Apulian Romanesque architecture. Among the alleys you can see the cave-houses dug into the soft limestone, along the sides of the valleys overlooking the ravine. A past of poverty that Matera has been able to redeem by enhancing its identity.
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each walker can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.
Our offer includes
- 6 nights with breakfast in shared double/twin room
- Private transfer day 6
- Travel App (maps, tracks, route notes)
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Other meals and drinks
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes
- Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
The Camino Materano runs along the ancient Via Peuceta. The length of a walking day ranges from a minimum of 16 to a maximum of 27 km, with sometimes significant differences in height, so the tour is suitable for anyone with good walking training.
The route is a mixture of dirt and paved roads, with little shelter from the sun. In general, the climate is mild, often until December; the coldest and rainiest months are January, February and March, without ever being extreme. Spring and autumn are good seasons to set off, but with the right equipment and a few precautions, this route can be tackled at any time.
We recommend to wear comfortable walking shoes, better if trekking boots, and to bring with you a hat, drinking water, sun cream and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
Accommodation in selected and central B&B in diffuse hotel mode.
All rooms are ensuite.
- 1 night in Bari
- 1 night in Cassano Murge
- 1 night in Santeramo in Colle
- 1 night in Altamura
- 1 night in Gravina in Puglia
- 1 night in Matera
6 breakfasts included. All other meals are not included.
We will take care of your luggage while you are walking.
In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 08:00 to 21:00. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive by email the Service List with instructions for using the Travel App.
At the first hotel reception you will receive:
- updated Service List;
- luggage Labels.
Reaching Bari is very easy. It is inserted in all the best circuits and roads between North and South of Italy.
BY TRAIN. Trenitalia connects the main Italian cities with Bari. On Viaggiatreno you can find update informations about train routes.
BY AIR. Bari Palese airport is connected with the most important Italian and foreign cities by the main airlines and the low cost ones. It is well connected with many flights, to the city centre by Metro and train approximately every 20 minutes. More info on the website Aeroporti di Puglia.
BY BUS. Bari is also accessible by bus. Here some links to the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Busmiccolis, Buscenter.
BY CAR. The main highways are the A14 Bologna-Taranto and the A16 Napoli-Canosa. maps.google.com can help you with the directions.
Back to Bari
From Matera you can reach Bari by trains or buses of Ferrovie Appulo Lucane.
→ If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.