Talking about Matera, the Basilicata’s stone jewel, words of astonishment are never enough. The suggestive Sassi, the ancient houses carved in the rock, the symbol of the city, are increasingly arousing admiration the visitors, not only the first time. Matera is not just Sassi: that’s why we have managed some “taylor-made” itineraries to live it best, if you want to stay just one day or stop a little more.
If yours is just a one day trip in Matera, dedicate your visit to the Sassi, of course, getting lost in the famous Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, where there is a little wonder in every corner: views, arches, flowered coutyards, giving you a timeless atmosphere. Admire the sacred art of Madonna della Bruna’s Cathedral, built since 1230 commissioned by emperor Frederic II of Swabia, where there is a wonderful stone Nativity scene of the ‘500 and a medieval fresco that reports the Judgment. Even older is the rock church of Santa Maria de Idris, located on a cliff in the center of Sasso Caveoso that almost concludes your mini tour.
The city of Sassi starts to intrigue you a little more, isn’t it? So stay here a day more. We suggest to rely to the companions of Matera City Tour. They will take you not only to visit the Sassi revealing curiosity and details, but also to discover an authentic “Casa Grotta”, to show you life in Matera in the past. The authorized guides will take you to the ancient "crypt of Original Sin", called "the Sistine Chapel of rock art", that, if you want, you can visit with the help of an environmental audio guide with Gregorian chants and to follow a tour in panoramic ecological bus to the Park of the Murgia of Matera, admiring "Belvedere caves". The evening could be ended with an excellent dinner of typical products (cardoncelli mushrooms, peppers, legume soup called "crapiata", and many other delicacies served with the excellent bread of Matera) and live the emotion of sleeping in one of the many Sassi converted into bed & breakfast or luxury resort, depending of your budget.
Now you no longer want to leave Matera: then visit the Palombaro, an immense underground cistern resurfaced during the work of reconstruction of Piazza Vittorio, built in the mid-1800s to collect rainwater for the use of the inhabitants of Sasso Caveoso. The route, lasting about half an hour, winds at about 17 meters deep and is made of caves, tunnels, reservoirs, a sort of underground "city of water". Resurfacing on the surface, you can dedicate yourself to modern art by visiting the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture which preserves works of art including ceramics, jewels, medals, drawings by contemporary artists. The museum is located in the beautiful Palace Pomeraci, also called "palace of a hundred rooms". Here, now you have really seen Matera. And you will want to come back again, and again and again.
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