Genuine, silent, clean, great food, great sceneries
It is hard to get to Matera by yourself
Unique place where life just goes on as always
We happened across this small museum quite by accident when visiting Matera whilst on holiday in Southern Italy. We had with us our 2 youngest children, at that time at a difficult age, too young to be left in England alone, but not really wanting to be going to Mum and Dadish type places. This museum was a revelation and opened all our eyes to...more
Where? Although you can't really see it when you're on top of the Cathedral hill, it would have been to your left - opposite the Sasso Barisano - if you were looking from the observation spot by the Cathedral itself. What? The other of the great ravines is filled by Sasso Caveoso. Conceptually just like Sasso Barisano - a maze of narrow streets...more
Where?In one of the 2 valleys - and right below you, if you're looking down from the Cathedral square - along Via Fiorentini. What?The larger - and the better restored - of two sassi, with many cave houses now converted into museums, shops and restaurants. Our own hotel - the Sextantio - is part of the Sasso Barisano. There are also several...more
The Church of San Domenico is a religious place, extremely changed by time and works of renovation, which could not conceal its Romanic features on the façade. The church combines Romanesque and baroque elements and contains works of art of the 16 century.I must admitt this is the church I liked more as it is very simple but at the same time it is...more
My favourite thing about Matera is that city definitly offers to you much more than you expect.It's in the deep south of Italy usually known as the less safe area of the country and you find an incredibly safe and quiet town, it's incredibly clean for the southern Italy standards and still there are not so many tourists around.Then you see there is...more
This is the main square of the city, in the area only resident can use cars so it's easy to walk around and cross streets without any problem and you can enjoy an icecream sitting outside without breathing the car gas.From this square you also have a great look on sasso barisano and you can see some part of the undergorund town with several...more
This is the smaller "sasso", the origin of its name is not sure but it probably derives from the fact that this area is oriented to the city of Bari.It lays on north west of civita but you can have a look on it from Piazza Vittorio Veneto even if you will get the best panorama on Sasso Barisano from the Duomo square which, for me, should be the...more
Gravina is a deep ravine, a canyon some kilometrs long passed through by a river.Matera developed all along the cliffs of the Gravina creating the wide urban area of sassi and civita.During the medioevo many rock churches have been built all along the Gravina some still preserve their frescos, some look just like caves.Murgia is a mesa that goes...more
The casa grotta which literelally means home cave is one of the best way to have an idea of how people lived in this town untill 1950 when the sassi got abandoned for healthy reasons.The casa Grotta I am talking about is the one of Casalnuovo(there are 2 and this is the one less visited by tourists as more difficult to reach).In the casa grotta you...more
The Sant'Angelo is a hotel that exited my expectation by far The cave rooms are spacious classy .....more
The selling point for this hotel is its location. We looked at all the other hotels in the Sassi and...more
We were there essentially 2 week s as part of an Elderhostel group. Th ehotel is a fine old building...more
Southern Italian gastronomy is distinctive for its different flavors, frequently mixing together vegetables, spices, meat and past to build a completely new taste.Taste is exactly what this restaurant lacks.It's really nice, hosted into a "sasso", an old house digged into the soft rock. Nice furniture, nice lights, good atmosphere. But the food is...more
This restaurant was reccomended to me by the owner of the B&B where I stayed at.I was a bit diffident as usually hotel owners reccomend restaurants thet give them something in return but it was the first evening, I was tired for the trip and I decided to try it out.It was really full of tourists and the staff was not so welcoming at the beginning,...more
We had the unique experience of visiting Matera in the Off-Season (week before Christmas). there were three of us, and one other table. we stayed last and towards the end of the evening Michael the Chef and Proprietor of the cantina came to talk to us.We found him and his wife to be amazingly hospitable and what food!The story of the restaurant is...more
A really nice staff and traditional (and rich) italian food. Here they don't joke with food and cooking. Dishes are excellent but sometimes too copious and you must finish your plate or you will hurt the staff. A lot of italian families meet there for lunch so the atmosphere is here too. Prefer dinner too lunch because leave the table is an...more
I thought this was a typically restaurant for tourists as it was in the middle of an important square but, as it was mondey and most of restaurants were closed, I tried to go.First difference betwen the other restaurants I visited here was the very smiling welcome of the owner which surprised me as it was the first time it happened in Matera(read...more
Matera is not reached by the national railway net, so if you are coming by train, you are supposed to arrive in Bari and then take the regional "Apulo Lucane ferrovie".From Bari it's 1 hour and half long trip.Once you arrive in Bari station go out at the northern exit then, go straight on(the bus station should be kept on your left) untill you...more
Trains (Ferrovie Appulo Lucane) run between Bari and Matera frequently.The train leaves from one of the upper platforms at Bari Station. Notice that you have to leave the main station building and go to a smaller around the corner, from where you buy the ticket and catch the train. The train ride from Bari to Matera takes about one hour, and runs...more
This is a nice food and wone shop that you will find in Piazza sedile, at the first look I thought it was a supermarket and entered to buy some water to take to my B&B.
Once inside i found out there was a great selection of red wines(do not come if you need a white wine) and cheese.
What to buy: I bought some treccia which are a sort of mozzarella cheese which has the form of a tress and some bottles of Aglianico that is the red wine produced in the area.
What to pay: They have a lot of kinds of wines with many prices, unless you really want something special you should not pay more than 12 euros.
Matera, being in the south of Italy, in general is more religious than, say, Rome or Milan, or even a smaller town up north. For somebody living in the UK, it was fascinating to see families - of all generations - going for church services on Sunday morning, dressed in (by the looks of it) best Sunday clothing. It is one of the almost lost pieces...more
This is what you find written in some street signals there show the way to visit some particular sites in the town.Rari turisti means that in that place you should not find many tourists you should not find lines, nor groups.This is the first time in my life that I see a tourist information dividing touristic places from a kind of off the beaten...more
Bread (and of course pasta) are the staples of Italian diet. In times gone by it was regulated and customarily baked in a central oven ( as well as that the flour was restictedly milled). The citizens would shape their loaves and bring them to the communal oven. Before delivery to the oven they would "brand" them with their personal dough stamp....more
Wenn we were standing at the panorama point some people asked us to give us a guided tour, they had keys for the church on them and everything. The prize was about 20 Euros (for three of us), on budget as we were, we haggled that down to 15. In the end we decided not to do it and have another ice cream. The guy left us and started his Vespa with the so-called church key.
Unique Suggestions: Find an officially recognized guid, you can rent them at tourist information in the village.
Fun Alternatives: You can have a stroll through the village yourself. Usually churches are open for visitors and for the information you can buy a paper guide.
Daytime is hot, so shorts, skirts, tees are all ok, as a summer dresses and should definitely be packed. Keep in mind that you should have something less revealing in your suitcase for visiting churches - it can get quite strict. The evenings were a bit on the chilly side, so would suggest long trousers/shorts, as well as a cardigan. Comfortable...more
32 Reviews and Opinions
This Castle, which was erected starting from the early XVI century for the will of Earl Giancarlo Tramontano, was not completed for his murder in 1515.Its original goal was to protect the town against enemies along its more exposed side. It is constituted by a city wall that would have included twelve towers of defence.The main part, which...more
If you have time (and a car) you could visit this town with a fine view and some interesting churches. We did not get the opportunity. The picture was taken from the tour-bus window when we were enroute to visit Metaponto. We are driving along the Brandano River valleey when the shot was made (S380).more
Aliano is as off the beaten path as you can get in Italy. It is where he was"confined in isolation" by Mussolini in the mid 1930's for his anti-Fascist activities. His experiences and observations in the town led to his writing his great social work "Christ Stopped at Eboli" Aliano is called Gagliano in the book. If you have the resources , it...more
During the sixties i Sassi were still occupied by poor people .Hard sanitary conditions,sharing living room with donkies and hens..it was a sort of shame for the Italy of the economic boom.Today the houses are totally free and abandoned.It's amusing to go insides to discover what's up how is it,to guess how people use to live there.Sad to say there...more
In front of the city,on the opposit hill there are acient churches dug.The monks came here after the city was born,they found out this kind of living in an hard nature,under an hard cover of stones more satisfacting for their spiritual life....who knows what the old inhabitants thought about this?more