9 Best Places And Things To Do in Matera, Italy

Matera, located in the southern region of Basilicata in Italy, is a city known for its ancient cave dwellings and stunning rock-cut architecture. This unique city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular destination for travelers. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Matera.

1. Sassi di Matera

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The Sassi, meaning “stones,” is the historic center of Matera and the most iconic attraction in the city. These ancient cave dwellings, carved into the limestone cliffs, are a testament to Matera’s ancient origins. Take a walk through the narrow alleys, visit the ancient churches, and soak in the captivating atmosphere of this fascinating neighborhood. Address: Sassi di Matera, Matera, Italy.

2. Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario

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Step back in time and visit Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, a restored cave house that provides a glimpse into the daily life of Matera’s past inhabitants. Explore the different rooms, furnished with period furniture and tools, and gain insight into the traditional way of life in this remarkable city. Address: Via Fiorentini, 83, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.

3. Matera Cathedral (Cattedrale di Matera)

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Located in the heart of the Sassi, Matera Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece. Built in Apulian-Romanesque style, the cathedral showcases beautiful frescoes and intricate details. Climb up to the bell tower for panoramic views of the city. Address: Piazza Duomo, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.

4. Palombaro Lungo

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Venture underground and discover Palombaro Lungo, an ancient cistern that once provided water to the city. This impressive underground structure is a marvel of engineering and is now open to visitors. Guided tours take you through the maze of tunnels, offering a unique perspective on Matera’s history. Address: Via Domenico Ridola, 24, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.

5. Tramontano Castle (Castello Tramontano)

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Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Tramontano Castle offers stunning views of the Sassi and the surrounding landscape. While the castle itself is not open to the public, the walk up to the fortress is worth it for the panoramic vistas. Address: Piazza Duomo, 1, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.

6. Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera (MUSMA)

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For art enthusiasts, a visit to MUSMA is a must. This contemporary sculpture museum is housed in a 17th-century palace and showcases a diverse collection of modern artworks. Explore the exhibition rooms and admire the creative interpretations of various sculptors. Address: Piazzetta Pascoli, 75100 Matera MT, Italy

7. Belvedere di Murgia Timone

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Take a short drive or hike to Belvedere di Murgia Timone, a breathtaking viewpoint overlooking Matera. From here, you can appreciate the dramatic landscape, including the rugged cliffs and the picturesque cityscape. It’s an ideal spot for photography and enjoying the sunset. Belvedere di Murgia Timone:

8. Crypt of the Original Sin (Cripta del Peccato Originale)

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Located outside the city center, this crypt is an extraordinary hidden gem. Adorned with frescoes dating back to the 9th century, the Crypt of the Original Sin is a mesmerizing underground chapel carved into the rock. Explore the fascinating religious artwork and marvel at the ancient craftsmanship. Address: Contrada Montedoro, SNC, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.

9. Piazza Vittorio Veneto

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Situated in the newer part of Matera, Piazza Vittorio Veneto is a vibrant square lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s an excellent place to relax, enjoy a coffee, and soak in the lively atmosphere. From the square, you can also appreciate panoramic views of the Sassi district. Address: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 75100 Matera MT, Italy.