The city of Matera lies in the Southern Italian region Basilicata and is the capital of the province Matera. The region borders Apulia in the west. As it is only 60km far away from the Apulian capital Bari, a visit of the European Culture Capital 219 is a must for every vacationer to Apulia!

On the traces of the Neolithic period

Matera was already settled in the Neolithic period and is the oldest, continuously settled place on earth. It was built into the rock and is designated as a cave settlement. The historic districts are called the Sassi di Matera, and are a unique example of cave habitations in the Mediterranean area. They resemble a large sculpture and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage since 1993.

The cave dwellings were carved into the gigantic limestone rock and extended with extensions over time. A large ramified complex was formed. On the surface, a tangle of narrow alleys, caves, squares and even cave churches were built. The roofs were used as paths or as floors for the overlying dwellings. The ingenious well and irrigation system exists since the Bronze Age and has been preserved until today.

Home to witty localities and film location for famous movies

Until the Second World War, up to 20,000 people lived in the cave habitations, mostly under poor hygienic conditions. Thus, a large part of the Sassi was closed and the people were re-located to the modern districts.

Since the 1980s, a part of the historic old town was restored, and today you will find comfortable habitations, original hotels, bars, restaurants and sweet shops.

Besides the Sassi, Matera offers a lot of art and beautiful historic buildings in its newer district. The Castello Tramontano was built in the 16th century, and dominates the town. And, Matera was the shooting locations for famous films, such as The Passion of the Christ and Ben Hur.

Booking and further information

Follow the traces of the Stone Age and visit the unique city Matera on a group tour to Apulia. We will be glad to provide the detailed information regarding the travel schedules and price information upon request. We are looking forward to your no-obligation request via our contact form, e-mail or by phone +49 611 945879-42.

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