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Matera

Churches & cathedrals

Our most recommended Matera Churches & Cathedrals

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: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

3. 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.

Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset

4. Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset

Begin your journey at Matera’s main square, the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where you will meet the tour guide who will take you on a walking tour of the city of the "Sassi", a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture 2019. From 6 PM explore Matera as the sun sets and the city’s lights flicker on, illuminating the human dwellings that have existed in the Sassi di Matera since the Paleolithic period. Explore the ancient districts of Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso where houses and churches were dug into the rock. Take an optional guided visit of a cave-dwelling before heading to one of the highest points of the city, where you can visit a Rupestrian church and hear more about the history of Matera from your guide. The historic center of Matera also allows you to look out from the many balconies to view the Sassi and the Murgia National Park below.

Matera: Private Walking Tour

5. 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.

Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

6. 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.

Sassi of Matera Private Tour with a Local Guide

7. Sassi of Matera Private Tour with a Local Guide

On this 2.5-hour private walking tour, you'll discover the most important part of the Sassi of Matera, the famous rocks that strongly characterize this town. You'll see Sasso Caveoso, Piano area, Sasso Barisano, then visit the cellars, the natural caves, the cisterns, the baroque Romanesque churches and the Rupestrian churches. Follow the steps of your expert guide through the places where some famous movies were made. For instance, you'll see the locations of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and many more besides. Did you know that the City of Stones is considered one of the oldest in the world? Matera is an authentic open-air museum. A city that lies on a rocky ridge, divided into the Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. An unmissable sightseeing experience.

Matera: Rock Churches Park Walking Tour

8. Matera: Rock Churches Park Walking Tour

Venture to the ancient Sassi of Matera and visit two rock churches on a two-hour guided walking tour.  Meet your guide and driver in the central square of Matera and head out to the Park of the Murgia Materana. As your guide explains the history of this timeless place, walk through the enchanting natural landscape and admire the ravines, vegetation, and once-inhabited cave dwellings.  Explore 2 of the Sassi area’s 155 rock churches: the crypt of San Falcione, with a beautiful fresco representing "the presentation of Jesus in the temple," and Our Lady of the Three Doors, with frescoes from the 12th and 17th centuries.  At sunset, experience a panorama of the city of Matera — an unforgettable experience. Your guide will then drive you back to the center of Matera.

Matera: Bus Tour with Audio Guide and Casa Grotta Entrance

9. Matera: Bus Tour with Audio Guide and Casa Grotta Entrance

Discover Matera from the comfort of an open-air bus. Learn more from your audio guide as you drive past sights such as the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia. Stop to visit Cava Paradiso and Casa Grotta with entrance to the latter included. Board the tour bus near Castello Tramontano and set off on your journey. As you drive, learn about the sights, the history of Matera, and its people from the audio guide. Drive past the Museo di Palazzo Lanfranchi and marvel at its impeccable 17th-century architecture. Continue to the Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia and take admire this historic park before you head to Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you pass the Sassi, learn about the history of these caves which have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Hop out of the bus at Casa Grotta Sassi di Matera. Spend 10 minutes exploring this fascinating cave house and learn the tragic history of the people who occupied it. Rejoin your driver and continue past the rock churches of Madonna delle Virtu and San Nicola dei Greci. Continue your tour with a drive past the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Alvino before hopping out at the Cava Paradiso for a 20-minute stop to explore this fascinating exhibition.

Matera: 2-Hour Architecture and Landscape Private Tour

10. Matera: 2-Hour Architecture and Landscape Private Tour

Learn about the ancient architecture carved into caves on this guided tour. 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 center of the city. Next, you’ll continue along a panoramic road composed 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. Afterward, you’ll move on to visit a typical Matera cave-house. Then you will continue along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia "Pert P’stèl" to conclude your cultural adventure.

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What people are saying about Matera

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 65 reviews

This was a fascinating tour. We loved our tour guide. He was so knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in learning the history of Matera and the caves.

Beautiful experience especially thanks to the talented guide Antonia, who with her preparation, friendliness and a lot of passion, has been able to make this experience unforgettable

Very well prepared in all fields. From the history of the Sassi, to the traditions, to the curiosities, up to the art of the rock churches, a wonderful experience.

Giuseppe was engaging. He conveyed the value and beauty of this city with words, creating interest in everything shown and told. Bravo bravo bravo!

Fascinating unique town. So much to see. Very helpful and pleasant guide