Matera Vacation Packages
Explore rows of intricate limestone homes and churches in the remarkable ancient settlement of Matera. Then step thousands of years into the future to discover a beautiful Romanesque cathedral and sculptures by world-renowned artists.
Marvel as the vast Sassi District appears out of the desolate cliffs. Declared a World Heritage site in 1993, this troglodyte settlement is among Italy’s first areas of human habitation.
Along the eastern edge of the sprawling city is Sasso Barisano, the larger of two stone districts on either side of a steep ravine. Many caves here have been converted into cafés and restaurants. Browse gift shops where you can purchase handmade whistles and ceramics.
On the far side of the ravine you will find Sasso Caveoso, a smaller area of caves which remains almost completely untouched since the time of the first settlers. Walk along dusty paths and wooden bridges and discover the ancient living quarters to get a real sense of what life must have been like for these cave dwellers. The easiest way to reach Sasso Caveoso is by walking from the car-park on Via Madonna delle Virtu.
Head back to town to find out how the caves here have been changed and adapted. The Chiesa di Madonna delle Virtu e di San Nicola dei Greci feature spooky dome-ceilinged rooms and faded frescoes while the Museo della Scultura incorporates magnificent contemporary sculptures from Cambellotti, Matta and Cascella.
Leave this underground maze behind and walk 5 minutes west to the stunning 13th-century cathedral. The highlight of the striking white exterior is a grand rose window. Head inside to discover pretty chapels and gilded motifs.
The city’s newer section has many excellent restaurants and hotels. Try the adapted caves for a more unusual experience. In late September, attend the Women’s Fiction Festival, which includes talks and question sessions with top international authors.
Located in the Basilicita region and a 5-hour drive south of Rome, Matera is a perfect destination to discover ancient history and fantastic Italian hospitality.
Finding a good hotel is a crucial element of any vacation experience. Expedia gives easy access to the finest Matera hotel options.
Highly recommended Matera hotels include the Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, at Via Civita 28, and the Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel, at Piazzo Duomo 13. More budget-friendly accommodations that previous guests recommend include the Residenza le Dodici Lune, at Via San Giacomo 27, and the Residenza dei Suoni, at Piazza Del Sedile 17.