Basilicata
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Basilicata History & Heritage

Matera: 2-Hour Guided Tour of Sassi

1. Matera: 2-Hour Guided Tour of Sassi

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 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.

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Matera: Guided Walking Tour

2. 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 in 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.

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Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

3. 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.

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Matera: Private Walking Tour

4. 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.

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Tour & Transfer from Bari to Alberobello & Matera

5. Tour & Transfer from Bari to Alberobello & Matera

Start your day by meeting your driver in the center of Bari before departing by minivan for your full day tour. After a short, scenic drive you will reach Alberobello and Matera. During your time in Alberobello, a UNESCO site since 1996, you will have plenty of time to walk through the city and discover the exciting cultural curiosities this fascinating place possesses. This city contains an abundance of Trulli, a typical rural stone architectural structure with a conical roof. Whilst here, you can visit both the Rioni districts - Rione Aia piccola and Rione Monti. Whilst doing so, be sure to visit the large trullo church and shops.  After Alberobello, you will leave for Matera, a fellow UNESCO site and also the European capital of culture. Here, you will meet your qualified tour guide before starting your pleasant stroll through this ancient city carved into rock. Here, the inhabitants lived in caves until the beginning of the XX Century. The historic center is characterized by narrow streets where there are cave houses that you can visit independently. You will visit the cathedral that overlooks the splendid panorama of the Murgia Materana park. Once your time in Matera is up, you will return comfortably to Bari. 

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Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset

6. 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.

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From Bari: 5-Day Puglia and Basilicata Tour

7. From Bari: 5-Day Puglia and Basilicata Tour

Day 1, Bari Street Food Tour After arriving independently to Bari, meet with your guide at 6 PM at the Swabian Castle for a walking street food tour. Visit Orecchiette Street where typical pasta is made by the local ladies, the Cathedral of San Sabino, and the imposing Basilica of San Nicola. Throughout the tour, taste the famous sgagliozze, tasty pieces of fried polenta, and focaccia. At the end of the day, check-in at the Palace Hotel or similar. Enjoy a free evening to explore at your own leisure.  Day 2: Castel del Monte to Trani Your second day will begin as you meet your driver and guide before departing for Castel del Monte to one of the most mysterious and fascinating castles in Southern Italy. After some free time, check-in at the Palazzo Paciotti (or similar). Get ready to discover Trani, which is known as the "Slow City" and the "Pearl of the Adriatic Sea". Enjoy a free evening to explore at your own leisure. Day 3: Matera, Alberobello After Breakfast, check-out before meeting with your driver and guide at 9 AM and departing for Matera, which is a UNESCO site and considered one of the most suggestive places in southern Italy. You will have free time for lunch, after which you will depart for Alberobello check-in at the Trulli Holiday Resort or similar. Enjoy a guided tour at 6 PM then enjoy a free evening to explore at your own leisure.  Day 4: Ostuni Lecce After breakfast, meet the driver to transfer to Ostuni, which is also called the "White City”. Explore with a local guide this place where it's possible to enjoy the amazing expanse of olive trees surrounded by the deep-blue sea. Transfer to Lecce and check-in to a 4-star hotel. Lecce walking tour with a licensed tour guide at 6 PM. Enjoy a free evening to explore at your own leisure. Day 5: Lecce Following breakfast at your hotel, check-out marking the end of your tour.

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Matera Cave Town & Sassi Guided Walking Tour

8. 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.

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Matera: 2-Hour Walking Tour

9. Matera: 2-Hour Walking Tour

Meet your expert tour guide in the Piazzetta Pascoli and enjoy fantastic views of Matera, the ancient city overlooked by the cathedral's bell-tower and the Sasso Caveoso. Marvel at this remarkable spectacle of urban development frequently utilized by great directors such as Pasolini and Mel Gibson. View the Palazzo Lanfranchi, which houses the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata, and the other buildings of the Baroque District. Then go into the heart of the Sasso Caveoso and view the unique and beautiful cave buildings which have been inhabited since Palaeolithic times. Visit the church of San Pietro Caveoso whose Baroque facade belies a much older history. To really connect with the regions ancient inhabitants, enjoy the unique experience of a visit to a furnished cave-house decorated according to ancient traditions. Be enchanted by the splendid frescoes of one of the most interesting cave-churches in the whole area, the Church of St. Lucia alle Malve. After, return to Piazzetta Pascoli.

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Sassi of Matera Private Tour with a Local Guide

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Basilicata

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 250 reviews

Giusy, la guida, è semplicemente spaziale! Ti trasmette la passione per la storia e narra della città non solo a livello storico/architettonico ma proprio contestualizzandola e raccontando aneddoti collegati alla letteratura e personaggi storici passati da qui. Tour vivamente consigliato! Doveva durare 2 ore e invece ne è durate 3!

Our guide, Francesco, was really fantastic , friendly and exceptionally experienced. He took us to the Sassi quarters giving loads of details about history and curiosity as well as tips to enjoy further exploring the place. I will be back for sure. Finally a visit to his museum . I highly recommend this guide.

Buona organizzazione, Lorenzo da Noci è stato una guida professionale, gentile e simpatica. Il signore dentro l'agenzia, invece, non brillava per simpatia. Forse era arrabbiato per i suoi motivi...

Una bella visita guidata che rifarei volentieri, perfetta per scoprire la città di Matera e la sua storia.

Fantastic guide. Super knowledgeable and from the area. I would highly recommend.