Visiting Matera

The city of Matera and the surrounding area represent a heritage of great cultural and landscape importance. Discovering the history of these places is particularly fascinating, it is an incredible journey through the millennia that brings to light the value of the union and relationship between man and the natural environment.

In the urban area there are the Sassi and the historic center on the level framed by the territory of the Parco della Murgia Materana. Each of these places merges with the others, becoming part of the fascinating itinerary aimed at discovering the historical and cultural evolution of Matera. In these itineraries there are a multitude of civil and religious monuments, churches and rock churches, national museums and thematic museums and various places of interest and cultural production.

In the area surrounding the urban area, it is the landscape that makes the visit exciting, alternating the gentle slopes of the Collina Materana with the ravines and valleys of the Murgia.

Visitare i Sassi di Matera

imageVisiting the Sassi of Matera is an exciting experience at any time from sunrise to sunset or during the evening and night hours.
It is a show that never leaves anyone indifferent.

The Sassi of Matera offer the visitor a great cultural landscape, reason for the inclusion in the list of UNESCO sites.
Architecturally they present an incredible series of elements that have stratified over time, from rock complexes excavated by man, to rock churches, ancient burial areas, which alternate continuously with buildings from all the different eras of the last millennium, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque to modern times. You will find caves, hypogea, palaces, churches, neighborhoods, stairways, balconies, gardens and vegetable gardens all set one into the other to form a unique and magical place.

Walking along the main axis that connects the two Sassi districts via Bruno Buozzi, via Madonna delle Virtù and via D’Addozio it is possible to cross this landscape and at the same time admire that of the opposite side of the Murgia Materana. It is possible to go up and down the numerous alleys that alternate between the buildings and find yourself in always different and surprising corners.

Visitare il centro storico di Matera

imageThe historical centre of Matera it is located on the upland that borders the Sassi of Matera at the top. Here too the city shows its history in a stratified way. In the central Piazza Vittorio Veneto there are some openings that show the original level of the places now called hypogea which are articulated in continuity forming a real submerged city. Here there are exceptional structures such as the large cistern called Palombaro Lungo with walls 15 meters high and until recently navigable.

In the historic center of Matera there are several squares along an axis called the eighteenth-century axis of the city because it took on its appearance starting from the end of the 1600s. In the center of Matera there is a series of important palaces and churches that have had a particular importance over the of the city’s history. All of Via del Corso is dotted with monumental buildings including Palazzo dell’Annunziata, a former convent that now houses the Provincial Library, the Ferdinandea Fountain, and the Convent of Santa Lucia al Piano, today the seat of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s School of Restoration.

Between the churches of San Giovanni Battista and San Domenico both from the 13th century, the Church of the Knights of Malta.
Continuing we arrive at Piazza S. Francesco d’Assisi where the seventeenth-century church of the same name stands imposingly.
Here too there are hypogea which testify to the original level of the places under the square.
To the left of Piazza S. Francesco d’Assisi is Piazza del Sedile, seat of the Conservatory, formerly Palazzo di Città and seat of the Municipality of Matera, from here all the most important noble palaces follow one another which arrive from the square through the narrow via Duomo to surround the Cathedral of Matera.

To the right of piazza S. Francesco d’Assisi you enter via Ridola, dedicated to Domenico Ridola for his studies and research on the archaeological past of the city where the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Palazzo Lanfranchi and the belvedere on the Sassi are located of Piazzetta Pascoli. Not far up the hill is the Tramontano Castle.

Visiting territories near Matera

imageThe area surrounding the city of Matera offers extraordinary cultural and environmental resources.
On the northern side are the Palomba sanctuary and the Palomba Sculpture Park, both places of great cultural interest. Continuing on the SS7 Appia you can visit the principals of the Murgia Materana Park of Murgecchia and Murgia Timone. To the south there are the large rock complexes which, starting from the Ofra, dot the Murgia landscape up to Montescaglioso.

To the west along the Gravina di Picciano is the Crypt of the Original Sin famous for its cycle of 9th century paintings and a short distance away are the nature reserve of the San Giuliano Dam, the Timmari hill and the Picciano Sanctuary.