Our most recommended things to do in Matera

From Matera: Sassi di Matera Tour with Entry to Cave Houses

1. From Matera: Sassi di Matera Tour with Entry to Cave Houses

Embark on a day out in Sassi and explore the ancient neighbourhoods with a live guide. See a series of grottoes carved out of limestone and marvel at the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. Your tour will begin at the meeting point in Via Alessandro Volta. From here, your expert guide will lead you to the Church of San Francesco, situated in the historic centre of the city. Next, you’ll continue along a panoramic road comprised of narrow streets and winding alleys. After arriving at the Rupestre Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside: a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city. Afterwards, you’ll move on to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia "Pert P’stèl" to conclude your cultural adventure.

Matera: Sassi Tour with Entry to Rock Houses and Churches

2. Matera: Sassi Tour with Entry to Rock Houses and Churches

Historic Center and Sassi TourIt consists of a walking tour from the main square of the historic centre, Piazza Vittorio Veneto (starting point, arch-shaped fountain reference), with a panoramic view of the Sasso Barisano.Continue through the historic center until you reach Piazza Duomo where it will be possible to view the Cathedral from the outside and then enter the Sasso Caveoso. From here there will be a visit to the furnished house of peasant civilization, a frescoed rock church, a visit to the barbaric cemetery and the various neighborhoods.Everything will be explained by an authorized guide, which will allow you to understand the history of the city.The tour will end in Piazza Giovanni Pascoli in the historic center, close to the Sasso Caveoso.

Sassi of Matera: Eco-Bus Open Top Tour

3. Sassi of Matera: Eco-Bus Open Top Tour

With the sightseeing bus you can reach the heart of the famous Sassi districts in total comfort. Crossing the most beautiful panoramic street of Sassi, via Madonna delle Virtù, you will discover a breathtaking location. As you move deeper into the ancient districts, the incredible landscape of Murgia Materana and its canyon will appear on the opposite side. The tour includes a stop in the main square of Sasso Caveoso, during which you will walk through the alleyways of Sassi and visit an ancient furnished cave dwelling, to better understand how was the life of peasants within it. The bus tour is not just a transfer. On board there will be a tour leader who will point out the sights along the way and will talk about the history and traditions of this beautiful city, satisfying your curiosity.

Matera: Sassi History and Culture Walking Tour

4. Matera: Sassi History and Culture Walking Tour

Discover the Sassi historical neighbourhoods with a local, certified guide by joining a small group (max 16). Along this pleasant walk, which twists and turns in Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano’s alleys and panoramic views, there will be several stops to dig into the depths of Matera’s historical, architectural and cultural background. Over the centuries, the Sassi urban area has undergone many transformation and stratification processes, so much so that its architecture is indeed fascinating. Along the tour there are several stops to provide an in-depth analysis of the historical and social aspects which determined, over time, the changing of socio-economic conditions of the territory. The gradual and inexorable decay of the Sassi area eventually made it become a “ghost town”; however, nowadays we can finally appreciate and enjoy the rebirth the Sassi are currently witnessing. It will be possible to admire the outsides of the Cathedral and visit one of the most representative rock-hewn churches, both for the perfectly recognizable architectural structure, both for the great state of preservation of the medieval mural paintings.

Matera: Pasta Workshop and Farmer's Lunch in the Cave

5. Matera: Pasta Workshop and Farmer's Lunch in the Cave

Embark on a culinary adventure in the Sassi caves of Matera with a farmer's lunch experience and pasta workshop. Learn how to prepare the strascinate al tegamino, straight from the land of fresh pasta, and sit down to taste the fruits of your labor with a glass of wine. Find yourself in a cave, surrounded by ancient stone walls that whisper stories of generations past. As you step into this unique setting, feel the excitement building. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get your hands floury as skilled chefs guide you through the secrets of crafting fresh pasta. Join a hands-on experience that will ignite your creativity and leave you with newfound culinary skills. From kneading the dough to shaping those adorable ear-shaped pasta pieces, learn the authentic techniques passed down through generations. Once you've mastered the art of pasta-making, discover the magic of strascinate al tegamino, a traditional dish that has been perfected by local farmers for ages. Using the finest local ingredients, find the perfect combination of flavors that make this dish a true masterpiece. After celebrating the joy of cooking, share a delicious meal with newfound friends. Indulge in a farmer's lunch accompanied by wine in the magical Sassi caves. Revel in a sense of accomplishment and pure satisfaction. Let the flavors dance on your palate, reminding you of the rich heritage and culinary traditions that have shaped Matera.

Matera: Official Open Bus Tour with Entrance to Casa Grotta

6. Matera: Official Open Bus Tour with Entrance to Casa Grotta

Discover Matera from the comfort of an open-air bus. Learn more from your audio guide as you drive past sights such as the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia. Stop to visit Cava Paradiso and Casa Grotta with entrance to the latter included. Board the tour bus near Castello Tramontano and set off on your journey. As you drive, learn about the sights, the history of Matera, and its people from the audio guide. Drive past the Museo di Palazzo Lanfranchi and marvel at its impeccable 17th-century architecture. Continue to the Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia and take admire this historic park before you head to Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you pass the Sassi, learn about the history of these caves which have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Hop out of the bus at Casa Grotta Sassi di Matera. Spend 10 minutes exploring this fascinating cave house and learn the tragic history of the people who occupied it. Rejoin your driver and continue past the rock churches of Madonna delle Virtu and San Nicola dei Greci. Continue your tour with a drive past the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Alvino before hopping out at the Cava Paradiso for a 20-minute stop to explore this fascinating exhibition.

Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

7. Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

Meet your guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Matera. From here, your expert guide will introduce you to the districts of Sassi. From the square, head to the heart of the historical center, where you will find the wonderful Apulian-Romanesque Church of San Giovanni Battista. Continue with a visit to Casa Cava, a hypogeum used in ancient times as a quarry, today turned into a convention center, thanks to outstanding restoration work. Stop at Sasso Barisano, to visit the rock church of Sant'Antonio Abate where you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside, a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city.  Move on to Sasso Caveoso to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia. Make a short stop at Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and stroll down one of the main streets of Sassi, Via Bruno Buozzi, to reach the second rock church of Madonna delle Grazie. Continue to the Baroque Church of Purgatorio. Next stop will be Piazza San Francesco d’ Assisi where you will visit the church dedicated to the Saint and from there you will move to Piazza del Sedile, Parliament's headquarters during the domination of the Kingdom of Naples. Finish your tour with a visit to the magnificent Apulian-Romanesque Cathedral, overlooking the highest part of the city.

Sassi di Matera: Visita guidata a piedi con 2 ingressi

8. Sassi di Matera: Visita guidata a piedi con 2 ingressi

Visitare i Sassi di Matera è un'esperienza che lascia il segno in ciascun viaggiatore. Farlo con una guida locale, esperta ed autorizzata, renderà la tua esperienza ancora più ricca. Durante la visita guidata passeggerai per gli incantevoli vicoli dei rioni Sassi, ammirando angoli e scorzi tra i più affascinanti. Lo stupore con cui ammirerai questo meraviglioso paesaggio, sarà arricchito e reso ancora più emozionante dalle spiegazioni e dai racconti della nostra guida locale altamente preparata. Non solo informazioni storiche ma anche, e soprattutto, racconti autentici e personali di chi i Sassi li ha vissuti realmente. Durante la visita guidata potrai renderti conto personalmente di come si svolgeva la vista domestica delle famiglie contadine che abitavano i rioni Sassi, visitando anche una casa grotta tipicamente arredata ed una Chiesa rupestre affrescata.

From Polignano a Mare: Alberobello and Matera Full-Day Trip

9. From Polignano a Mare: Alberobello and Matera Full-Day Trip

Admire the whitewashed stone trulli huts in Alberobello and some of the oldest settlements in Italy in Matera on this day drip from Polignano a Mare. Have some free time along the way to purchase a lunch in Alberobello. Meet at the activity provider's office in Polignano a Mare and hop aboard an air-conditioned van. Take in the countryside on a scenic transfer to Alberobello. Arrive in Alberobello and go a on a tour to admire the fairy-like charm of the trulli huts. Take a break for lunch or to get some shopping done before continuing on to Matera. Explore Matera's sassi districts which have distinct dwellings that have been carved from the rock and inhabited for around 10,000 years. Return to your meeting point in Polignano a Mare with incredible photos and memories at the end of your tour.

From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

10. From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

This excursion to the Rocky Churches Park is a beautiful experience. During this tour, you will discover the history of this magical place. On Murgia Timone you will see the first human settlement and traces of an ancient Neolithic village. Moving on, you will see two important rocky churches, as well as the Rocky Crypt of San Falcione and the Rocky Church of Madonna delle Tre Porte, with its Byzantine frescos. You will also head to a scenic point, called Golgota, where Mel Gibson filmed “The Passion of the Christ”. During the excursion, you will enjoy the unique spectacle of the City of Stones as it lights up at sunset.

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What people are saying about Matera

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,478 reviews

Annalisa was a fabulous tour guide. Having a tour guide whose own grandparents experienced the Sassi was really eye opening. She was extremely engaging and shared with us so much history about Matera. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking to learn more about this magical city.

The tour was very well organized. Our local guide Lucia was really very amazing, kind and knew all about the place. She guided us among the Sassi explaining lots of things that are unknown if you do not have a local guide. I was very satisfied and I recommend this tour

We walked around Sassi di Matera and the old town as the tour guide explained the history of the area. We were a small group of about 8-10 people and the tour lasted about two hours maybe more.

Responsive guide. Angela had great English and was even great with my energetic young boys. Would highly recommend.

The guide was excellent. Deep knowledge about history.