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Matera [7] is the capital of the Matera province in the Basilicata region of Italy. It boasts the sassi, well-preserved rock-cut settlements that are a World Heritage site and one of Southern Italy's most important attractions.



Matera is a fairly big city. One of its quarters is the old city. Just outside the old city are the Sassi - cave houses dug into the limestone rocks. The sassi are located on both sides of a valley. On the north side the Sasso Barisano have been partially commercially developed as offices and housing. The Sasso Caveoso, on the south side, is the most historically interesting.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The closest airport is in Bari, 60km from Matera. The airport is connected with many Italian and international cities such as Milan, Rome, Verona, Torino, Venice, Trapani, Bergamo, Bologna, London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris, Barcelona, Bruxelles, Cologne, Bucarest, Tirana, Stuttgart, Munich, Timisoara.

By train[edit]

Matera is most easily reached from Bari in the Apulia region. The Ferrovie Appulo Lucane (FAL) runs trains from Bari to Matera Centrale, taking 1h30min with departures every 1-2 hours during the daytime. The FAL train station in Bari is located just outside of Bari Centrale and is toward the left as you walk out onto the large piazza with the buses and fountain. The company website is now up to date. The FAL does not run trains on Sunday, and does not accept rail passes. Tickets are €4.90 each way and can be purchased from the ticket machines. The platform is at a higher level so when you enter, turn right and take the elevator to the 1st floor.

By car[edit]

If you are coming from Alberobello, the only form of transport is a car, however, there is a shuttle service. The more people in the group, the cheaper it is per person. [8]

Get around[edit]

After exiting Matera Centrale, there is a piazza to the left with various buses. From here, "Linea Sassi" buses to I Sassi di Matera every 30 minutes; the inexpensive tickets are sold upon boarding. The Sassi can also be reached on foot in about 20 minutes by walking straight ahead downhill from the piazza. The Sassi themselves can only be explored on foot, and tourist information is available locally.

It is highly recommended the use of a local tour guide, to really make some sense of various aspects of the old city, which is indeed one of a kind in its genre. To get in contact with a local guide without paying agencies, try with .This is one of the top listed guides recommended by travellers, if you go to visit Matera.

See[edit][add listing]

Old city
  • Old city. From the station walk down via Roma to Pl Venet and take the stairs down into he old city.
  • Caveoso cave churches. Entrance to the four main ones is €6.
Sct Antonius

Do[edit][add listing]

The Women's Fiction Festival is held late every September in the Sassi District, and attracts an international contingent of writers, agents and editors. [9]

Go hiking across the river to see caves and old churches embedded in the rock. Start from the carpark on via Madonna delle Virtu. To cross the river you can try jumping from rock to rock if you are nimble or utilise the temporary bridges if you are not. You can visit the old city with Ape tour in Matera Ape nei Sassi.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are many restaurants in the old city as well as outside.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Cafe Stone Age close to St. Antonius church in th Caveoso has a nice little terrace with flowers in pots and cold beers from all over the world.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Sant'Angelo, Piazza S. Pietro Caveoso, +39 0835 314010 (, fax: +39 0835 314735), [1]. Hotel Sant'Angelo is made up of 16 historical cave dwellings. All rooms are furnished with private bath, telephone, satellite television, air conditioning, a safe and mini-bar.  edit
  • B&B Casastella, Via Casalnuovo 257, +39 335 6534040 (), [2]. (Near to St. Barbara rocky church). The property is in part cut into the rock, with the remaining structure built on four levels with characteristic barrel-vaulted ceilings, restored from characteristic peasant dwellings such as the granary, stable, barn and wine cellar.  edit
  • Hotel Casalnuovo, via Casalnuovo 116 (Residence del Casalnuovo), +39 0835 312329 (), [3]. checkin: 14:00-21:00; checkout: 7:30-10:00. Hotel Residence nei Sassi di Matera. 87.  edit
  • Hotel Residence San Giovanni Vecchio, via San Giovanni Vecchio 77 (Residence San Giovanni Vecchioo), 0835334281 (), [4]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Located in the heart of the Sassi, prehistoric caves, the San Giovanni Vecchio offers spacious and comfortable rooms arranged around a courtyard. Double from 90.  edit
  • Hotel Il Belvedere (Matera's Hotel), via Casalnuovo 133 (Sassi), +390835311702 (), [5]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Double from 90.  edit


  • Sant'Angelo Luxury Resort, Piazza San Pietro Caveoso, +39 0835.31.40.10 (), [6]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. 5 stars luxury resort in the "Sassi" of Matera.  edit


If you hire a tour guide, make sure they are licensed. Many people might stop you to offer tourist services that are only looking to take your money.

Get out[edit]

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