Matera Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by shavy
  • Things to Do
    by shavy
  • Things to Do
    by shavy

Matera Highlights

  • Pro
    xaver profile photo

    xaver says…

     Genuine, silent, clean, great food, great sceneries 

  • Con
    hquittner profile photo

    hquittner says…

     It is hard to get to Matera by yourself 

  • In a nutshell
    metteks profile photo

    metteks says…

     Unique place where life just goes on as always 

Matera Things to Do

  • Admiring the place

    Keep on walking through seems endless, so many to see. Many of the palaces abandoned and some still in usedThere are small houses used for shops and restaurants. And some of the residentials are open for public, with entrance feeI can't imagine people lives here in such a very small hole inside the stoneNowadays Matera is famous spot for the local...

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  • More to see around

    The overwhelming beauty of rock home town would basically even put the most picturesque Italian towns A unique experience for those visiting the city for the first time, an astonishing surprise implies Walking through like in labyrinth, the ancient houses, these quarters cherish the traces of the past and of the events that took place in this...

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  • Wandering in Matera

    It does not surprise me that most ancient dwellings owned by above-average-earning professionals, They seem to be restored, with no expense or effort was spared. Fully rocks stone dwellings in soft colors densely pressed against the steep rock walls. There are two paths through the Sassi linking the two original parts of Matera and that should take...

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  • Basilica

    On the top of the hill of the city is the Cathedral which offers an amazing view of the Sasso BarisanoThe exterior presents a rose window with 16 small columns, and the bell tower it’s in Apulian-Romanesque styleThe interior is composed of a nave and two aisles with a Latin cross plan, and houses exemplar works of baroque art.Of course the city of...

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  • Museum of Torture

    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...

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  • Sasso Caveoso

    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...

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  • Sasso Barisano

    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...

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  • Church of San Domenico

    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...

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  • Torture museum

    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...

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Matera Hotels

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Matera Restaurants

  • Atmosphere but no taste

    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...

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  • The best food I got in Matera

    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,...

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  • What a Wonderful Experience

    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...

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  • dinner in matera

    this restaurant is located in a sasso which is a typical house of matera. They cook an amazing pasta with sweet dry pepper and grilled bread which is not spicy at all. very good restaurant pasta with dry pepper and bread

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  • Da gigi

    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...

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  • One of the worst food I ever ate

    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...

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Matera Transportation

  • GOING TO MATERA....

    It's not easy to arrive in Matera.There is not a railstation, so you must go there by car or bus.I took a S.I.T.A.bus from Taranto, € 4.39, and he need about 2 hours to make 60km!!!....I't's not so bad, as the bus go trough few little charming village...

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  • Train

    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...

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  • Train: Bari - Matera

    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...

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Matera Shopping

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Aglianico wine

    by xaver Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

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Matera Local Customs

  • Tourists and Church Services

    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...

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  • rari turisti

    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...

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  • Bread

    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....

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Matera Tourist Traps

  • sundancekid's Profile Photo

    by sundancekid Written Jul 4, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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Matera What to Pack

  • Matera in May

    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...

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  • Where is exactly Matera???

    I know that the most they don't know where is Matera......so i put a map that can give you an idea about the location of the town.....

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  • Matera Hotels

    36 Hotels in Matera

    35 Reviews and Opinions

Matera Off The Beaten Path

  • Castello Tramontano

    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...

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  • Montescaglioso : See another hilltown

    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).

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  • Aliano: Where Carlo Levi was exiled

    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...

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Matera Favorites

  • portale

    One of the most enjoing activities to do in Matere is pass through doors and gates forever opened now

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  • Explorations

    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...

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  • Churces

    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?

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Explore Deeper into Matera
Vittorio Veneto square
Things to Do
Sasso barisano
Things to Do
Gravina and Murgia
Things to Do
Casa grotta
Things to Do
Church of santa Maria de Idris
Things to Do
Sasso Caveoso
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The cathedral
Things to Do
Church of San Francesco
Things to Do
Sassi
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A nice place
Restaurants
Carlo Levi's Painting in Pal. Lanfranchi
Things to Do
Lovely views - great food
Restaurants
Pizza perfection
Restaurants
Guided Tours
Off The Beaten Path
Beware of the final bill!
Restaurants
Museo Nazionale Domenico Ridola (archeology)
Things to Do
Il Duomo
Things to Do
San Giovanni Battista Church
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Chiesa del Purgatorio
Things to Do
The Cult of Padre Pio
Local Customs
Castello Tramontano
Off The Beaten Path
I Sassi ; What are they?
Things to Do
The sassis
Things to Do
Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario
Things to Do
On the Road:southern Italy
Transportation
Vertical Cities:roof ridge
Favorites
Casa Grotta
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Matera

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