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Things to do in Matera

Our most recommended things to do in Matera

Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

1. Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

Embark on a day out in Sassi and explore the ancient neighbourhoods with a live guide. See a series of grottoes carved out of limestone and marvel at the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. Your tour will begin at the meeting point in Via Alessandro Volta. From here, your expert guide will lead you to the Church of San Francesco, situated in the historic centre of the city. Next, you’ll continue along a panoramic road comprised of narrow streets and winding alleys. After arriving at the Rupestre Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside: a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city. Afterwards, you’ll move on to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia "Pert P’stèl" to conclude your cultural adventure.

Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

2. Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

Meet your guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Matera. From here, your expert guide will introduce you to the districts of Sassi. From the square, head to the heart of the historical center, where you will find the wonderful Apulian-Romanesque Church of San Giovanni Battista. Continue with a visit to Casa Cava, a hypogeum used in ancient times as a quarry, today turned into a convention center, thanks to outstanding restoration work. Stop at Sasso Barisano, to visit the rock church of Sant'Antonio Abate where you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside, a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city.  Move on to Sasso Caveoso to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia. Make a short stop at Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and stroll down one of the main streets of Sassi, Via Bruno Buozzi, to reach the second rock church of Madonna delle Grazie. Continue to the Baroque Church of Purgatorio. Next stop will be Piazza San Francesco d’ Assisi where you will visit the church dedicated to the Saint and from there you will move to Piazza del Sedile, Parliament's headquarters during the domination of the Kingdom of Naples. Finish your tour with a visit to the magnificent Apulian-Romanesque Cathedral, overlooking the highest part of the city.

Matera: Guided Walking Tour

3. Matera: Guided Walking Tour

You will meet a local tour guide in the main square, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where you'll begin your walking tour admiring the landscape of the historic center from unique viewpoints. Then the tour will lead you through the historic center, covering topics of Matera history on the way. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been chosen as the 2019 European Capital of Culture, an important acknowledgment for its history and beauty which has been carved in stone.  Walking among the "Sassi" (the ancient neighborhoods of Sasso Barisano e Sasso Caveoso), you will discover the cave houses and churches carved in the rock, as well as the newly restored Cathedral. From the Cathedral which is built on a high point of the hill, you will enjoy enchanting views over the historic center and of Murgia Materana Park, an area characterized by hills and Mediterranean vegetation.  Over the course of 2 hours, you will be completely immersed in a magical unique land, seeing all of the major sights of Matera.

Matera: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

4. Matera: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

Enter the streets of Matera through this special tour. You'll be guided comfortably through the most beautiful parts of the city, with your local guide explaining the beauties that you will see along the way. You'll first visit the Purgatory Church, which boasts a wonderful Baroque Facade. Following that, you will reach the Romanesque cathedral which sits in the main square of Piazza Vittorio Veneto. After the cathedral, it will be time to begin your descent down to Sassi. Your tour includes stops to some of the most picturesque areas, from where you will be free to take beautiful pictures of both Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso.

Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

5. Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

This exciting tour begins at the Piazzetta Pascoli with a breathtaking view over the stunning Sassi di Matera and highland plateau of the Murgia. From here, you can see the Palazzo Lanfranchi, home to the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata, and the nearby Church of the Carmine. Continue the tour through the heart of the ancient dwellings of Sassi, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly built and partly carved out of the rock themselves and furnished as it used to be during the peasant civilization. Visit the church of Saint Lucy of the Malve and admire some striking frescoes and elaborate architecture before continuing the tour towards the ancient Gravina to the museum of farm history, with typical peasant dwellings, as well as artifacts and tools from the ancient peasant life. You'll also get to visit a typical cave house from around 1900, and pass the cave church of Saint Lucia delle Malve. Before the day's end, return to the center of town for a stroll around the town's Baroque area and admire some stunning churches of this style, including Saint Clare and Saint Francis of Assisi. End the fascinating tour at a look-out point over the Sasso Barisano in front of the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral.

From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

6. From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

This excursion to the Rocky Churches Park is a beautiful experience. During this tour, you will discover the history of this magical place. On Murgia Timone you will see the first human settlement and traces of an ancient Neolithic village. Moving on, you will see two important rocky churches, as well as the Rocky Crypt of San Falcione and the Rocky Church of Madonna delle Tre Porte, with its Byzantine frescos. You will also head to a scenic point, called Golgota, where Mel Gibson filmed “The Passion of the Christ”. During the excursion, you will enjoy the unique spectacle of the City of Stones as it lights up at sunset.

Matera Cave Town & Sassi Guided Walking Tour

7. Matera Cave Town & Sassi Guided Walking Tour

Meet your top-rated tourist guide and the rest of the group in Piazzetta Pascoli where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Sassi di Matera. In this square you can also admire Palazzo Lanfranchi, which hosts the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata and the Church of Madonna del Carmine. Start your walking tour along the streets of the ancient city, navigating down stairways and alleys that will bring you to the heart of Sasso Caveoso. Throughout the tour, your knowledgeable tour guide will reveal the secrets of this extraordinary city, awarded the status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 and chosen by Passolini and Mel Gibson as a filming location for their movies. With games and stories along the way, this informative and interactive tour will captivate you and your children.  Visit the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, one of the most characteristic places in Matera, built in 1200 and modified in the 17th-century with the addition of a baroque bell tower. Enter the Rupestrian churches such as the Church of Santa Maria di Idris on the top of a big rock, or the Church of Santa Lucia alle Malve, part of an ancient monastery of Benedictine nuns built in the 8th-century. Here you can admire striking frescoes which are more than 1000 years old and perfectly preserved. After this, visit the Casa Grotta, a typical Matera house dug out of the rock, with a cellar and a stable where people lived side by side with animals like rabbits, chickens, and horses. Finish your tour in the baroque area of the city where you can admire the churches of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Clare. Enjoy the magnificent beauty of Sasso Barisano from the viewpoint in Piazza Vittorio Veneto in front of the wonderful Romanesque Cathedral.

Matera: Sassi, Murgia, and Tibetan Bridge Trip

8. Matera: Sassi, Murgia, and Tibetan Bridge Trip

Step back in time with this guided tour of Matera. Discover an ancient cemetery. Explore caves where people used to live. Hike along alpine paths to the Porta Pistola. Cross the Ponte Tibetano to reach the Belvedere Timone Murgia and its sweeping views.Meet in Piazzetta Pascoli before heading to the Barbarian Cemetery. Learn the history of the Lombard peoples who once lived in Matera. Stroll the streets of the old town to the Sassi caves. They served as homes from the Stone Age until the 1950s. Find a souvenir at a shop in the former cliff-dwellings. Descend into the Gravina gorge at Porta Pistola. Hike the same paths as members of the Italian Alpine Club. Enjoy a waterfall’s torrent as you cross the Gravina along a suspension bridge to Murgia.Spend some time to take in the panoramic views of Matera and the Gravina from the Belvedere Timone Murgia. Return to Matera by van, with a dropoff at Piazza Matteotti.

Matera: Private Walking Tour

9. Matera: Private Walking Tour

Discover the story of a town which was carved into rocks and was inhabited until the 20th century. You will have the opportunity to visit a cave-house recently opened to the public, and will also have access to ancient rupestrian churches. Matera is a unique place, and makes for a great experience to experience. You will meet the local and expert tourist guide in the city center where the tour will start to discover this UNESCO site. From there, you will walk through the 2 main districts dug into the rocks, an area where you will discover cave-houses and rupestrian churches. During this tour, you can admire the panoramic view over the Murgia Materana Park from the balconies whilst you discover the Matera origins, one of the oldest European cities. Afterwards, you will reach one of the highest points of the Sassi where you will visit the cathedral.

Matera: James Bond 007 Guided Tour

10. Matera: James Bond 007 Guided Tour

007’s movie tour No time to die Brief reference to the genesis of the film from the choice of the director, from the reconfirmation of Daniel Craig, to the elaboration of the controversial script and to alternative endings that had been thought A map showing all the "materane" locations of the film is provided News and funny anecdotes are provided about the period in which the production has remained in Matera You will reach on foot all the places of the historic center that appear in the film from via Stigliani - via Gattini, passing through Piazza San Giovanni Battista, via D'Addozio, via Fiorentini, area del Casale, via Madonna delle Virtù, piazza San Pietro Caveoso, via Buozzi, rione Malve to go up through the famous via Muro (where Mel Gibson set his unforgettable "via crucis") to reach piazza Duomo theater of the spectacular landing of James Bond with the bike after jumping over the roofs of Sasso Barisano and finally piazza Pascoli at the most spectacular overlooking the Sasso Caveoso. The tour lasts about two hours A brief reference to the distribution problems caused by the pandemic and some changes in the film due to the delayed release in cinemas

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What people are saying about Matera

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,352 reviews

Annalisa was a fabulous tour guide. Having a tour guide whose own grandparents experienced the Sassi was really eye opening. She was extremely engaging and shared with us so much history about Matera. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking to learn more about this magical city.

The tour was very well organized. Our local guide Lucia was really very amazing, kind and knew all about the place. She guided us among the Sassi explaining lots of things that are unknown if you do not have a local guide. I was very satisfied and I recommend this tour

We walked around Sassi di Matera and the old town as the tour guide explained the history of the area. We were a small group of about 8-10 people and the tour lasted about two hours maybe more.

Responsive guide. Angela had great English and was even great with my energetic young boys. Would highly recommend.

The guide was excellent. Deep knowledge about history.