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Our most recommended Matera Activities

From Matera: Sassi di Matera Tour with Entry to Cave Houses

1. From Matera: Sassi di Matera Tour with Entry to Cave Houses

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.

Sassi of Matera: Eco-Bus Open Top Tour

2. Sassi of Matera: Eco-Bus Open Top Tour

With the sightseeing bus you can reach the heart of the famous Sassi districts in total comfort. Crossing the most beautiful panoramic street of Sassi, via Madonna delle Virtù, you will discover a breathtaking location. As you move deeper into the ancient districts, the incredible landscape of Murgia Materana and its canyon will appear on the opposite side. The tour includes a stop in the main square of Sasso Caveoso, during which you will walk through the alleyways of Sassi and visit an ancient furnished cave dwelling, to better understand how was the life of peasants within it. The bus tour is not just a transfer. On board there will be a tour leader who will point out the sights along the way and will talk about the history and traditions of this beautiful city, satisfying your curiosity.

Matera: Sassi Tour with Entry to Rock Houses and Churches

3. Matera: Sassi Tour with Entry to Rock Houses and Churches

Historic Center and Sassi TourIt consists of a walking tour from the main square of the historic centre, Piazza Vittorio Veneto (starting point, arch-shaped fountain reference), with a panoramic view of the Sasso Barisano.Continue through the historic center until you reach Piazza Duomo where it will be possible to view the Cathedral from the outside and then enter the Sasso Caveoso. From here there will be a visit to the furnished house of peasant civilization, a frescoed rock church, a visit to the barbaric cemetery and the various neighborhoods.Everything will be explained by an authorized guide, which will allow you to understand the history of the city.The tour will end in Piazza Giovanni Pascoli in the historic center, close to the Sasso Caveoso.

Bari Airport: 1-Way Shared Transfer to Matera City Center

4. Bari Airport: 1-Way Shared Transfer to Matera City Center

Secure reliable transportation with a pre-booked 1-way shared transfer from Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport to Matera's Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, close to Matera Centrale. Avoid the hassle of navigating the public transportation system before or after a long journey. After getting off your flight, be greeted and supported by staff at the bus stop. They will help you onboard to prepare for your transfer. Relax and enjoy views of Italy from the comfort of a modern bus as you're driven to a convenient central location in Matera.

Matera: Sassi History and Culture Walking Tour

5. Matera: Sassi History and Culture Walking Tour

Discover the Sassi historical neighbourhoods with a local, certified guide by joining a small group (max 16). Along this pleasant walk, which twists and turns in Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano’s alleys and panoramic views, there will be several stops to dig into the depths of Matera’s historical, architectural and cultural background. Over the centuries, the Sassi urban area has undergone many transformation and stratification processes, so much so that its architecture is indeed fascinating. Along the tour there are several stops to provide an in-depth analysis of the historical and social aspects which determined, over time, the changing of socio-economic conditions of the territory. The gradual and inexorable decay of the Sassi area eventually made it become a “ghost town”; however, nowadays we can finally appreciate and enjoy the rebirth the Sassi are currently witnessing. It will be possible to admire the outsides of the Cathedral and visit one of the most representative rock-hewn churches, both for the perfectly recognizable architectural structure, both for the great state of preservation of the medieval mural paintings.

Matera: Official Open Bus Tour with Entrance to Casa Grotta

6. Matera: Official Open Bus Tour with Entrance to Casa Grotta

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.

Sassi di Matera: Guided Walking Tour with Cave House/Church

7. Sassi di Matera: Guided Walking Tour with Cave House/Church

Visiting the Sassi di Matera is an experience that leaves its mark in each traveler. Do it with a local, expert and authorized guide, will make your experience even richer. During the guided tour you passed by the enchanting alleys of the Sassi districts, admiring angles and slides among the most fascinating. The amazement with which you will admire this wonderful landscape, will be enriched and made even more exciting by the explanations and stories of our highly prepared local guide. Not only historical information but also, and above all, authentic and personal stories of those who have really lived the stones. During the guided tour you can personally realize how the domestic view of the peasant families who lived in the Sassi districts took place, also visiting a typically furnished cave house and a frescoed rock church.

From Bari & Polignano: Alberobello and Matera Full-Day Trip

8. From Bari & Polignano: Alberobello and Matera Full-Day Trip

The UNESCO tour offers two convenient meeting points to pick-up: one in Bari at Largo Luigi Giannella and another at the activity provider's office in Polignano a Mare, accommodating participants from both locations for a day of exploration and discovery. Admire the whitewashed stone trulli huts in Alberobello and some of the oldest settlements in Italy in Matera on this day drip from Polignano a Mare and Bari. Have some free time along the way to purchase a lunch in Alberobello. Meet us and hop aboard an air-conditioned minivan or minibus. Take in the countryside on a scenic transfer to Alberobello. Arrive in Alberobello and go a on a tour to admire the fairy-like charm of the trulli huts. Take a break for lunch or to get some shopping done before continuing on to Matera. Explore Matera's sassi districts which have distinct dwellings that have been carved from the rock and inhabited for around 10,000 years. Return to your meeting point in Polignano a Mare with incredible photos and memories at the end of your tour.

Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

9. 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: Sassi di Matera Historical Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Matera: Sassi di Matera Historical Self-Guided Audio Tour

The Sassi (literally Stones) of Matera extend over two valleys and constitute a very particular urban agglomeration made up of natural caves that, over time, have been further excavated by man. Caves and ravines have been used since the Neolithic as dwellings, shelters, natural refuges and places for worship. The use of caves for housing purposes continued during the Middle Ages right up to modern times'. During the Middle Ages, small communities of lay people and monks from Armenia, Syria, Cappadocia and Asia Minor, persecuted in their lands, took refuge in these caves which became places for worship decorated with Byzantine frescoes. The area was enriched with oriental art and culture and further 'rock churches' were built. In the area of Matera there are 155 and the expression 'rock art' reaches its peak. In the period of time following the Second World War, almost twenty-thousand people still populated the Sassi. In 1952 the "Sassi Law" allocated funds for its complete restoration but it was such a hard task. Many writers have described how difficult it was to 'remove the inhabitants from the ravines they had lived in' for many generations.



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What people are saying about Matera

Great guide, very knowledgeable and adapted the tour to personal preferences. Lecce is amazing but having a guide made me aware of so much more details and history.

The guide Giusy was very interesting, explaining everything professionally but at the same time very nice, we really enjoyed ourselves.

We had a great dinner with an outstanding host. It was a pleasure to be in his home and hear the story of his family and community.

Thank you, Anna, for the excellent trip and much information about the city's history!

Great tour - very interesting and informative. Highly recommend!