Explore the “Subterranean City” of Matera on a 2-hour walking tour, and discover the historic cave dwellings known as Sassi, carved into the surrounding rocks. See rock-hewn churches with ancient frescoes, wine cellars located in caves, and more.
What to Expect
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Sassi di Matera, and discover an outstanding example of a rock-cut settlement perfectly adapted to the terrain and eco system. Located in historic Matera, former capital of Basilicata, the Sassi provide a glimpse into the ancient people of a region that has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times.
Meet your guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto for views of the Sasso Barisano, home to an underground church dedicated to the Apostle Peter. Continue to view the impressive façade of Matera Cathedral, a Romanesque building embellished by a beautiful rose window.
From the top of Civita, the medieval part of town that is surrounded by tall bastions and aristocratic buildings, the tour takes you down to the Sasso Caveoso, another rock church dedicted to the Apostle Peter. Follow a scenic route, winding around stairways, squares, and alleys that often run along rooftops.
Stop at Casa Grotta, where a small museum is dedicated to the farming population of the Matera region. You will also go to the 11th-century cave church of Santa Lucia alle Malve, a female Benedictine monastic settlement with a distinctive interior.
During the walk, there will be time to sample an aperitif, coffee, or gelato in one of the caves that have been renovated into bars, providing a perfect opportunity to see how the Sassi di Matera have been regenerated from a sign of poverty as late as the 1980s to the sought after structures they are today.
Know Before You Go
• Please wear comfortable shoes as there are many steps that can be slippery after rain. In the summer, a hat, drinking water, and sun protection are highly advised
• It's advisable not to book this tour between 12:00 and 16:00 in summer, as the sun can be uncomfortable