Matera: what to see, itinerary to visit the stones

What to see in Matera, Basilicata discover the city and its surroundings along the scenic Sassi.

Travel Guide Matera

Matera is famous for the so-called Sassi of Matera, or the old part of the city that develops perched on the sides of the ravine, a deep valley encased in limestone rocks carved by rivers. The two districts, Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, divided in the middle by the hill of Civita, constitute a housing system with ancient origins and are entered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The houses are partially or entirely dug into the tufa, some have built brick facade and the paths that lead to the houses higher up are the roofs of those below that form the winding streets and steep confluent around small clearings called neighborhoods.

Sassi of Matera tourist route

At the base of the city unfolds, at various points above the precipice of the Gravina, the scenic route that offers views of the Sassi is very impressive on the two depressions of the Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, separated by rocky outcrop of Civita, on which stands the Cathedral Romanesque style of the thirteenth century, and via the picturesque Via Duomo.

Going into the ward Caveoso you come to a square on which stands the church of San Pietro Caveoso, dominated by a large cliff, with the small rock church of Santa Maria de Idris, reached by a flight of stairs near the cave church of Saint Lucia alle Malve.

Continuing on the scenic road and bypassing the spur of the Civita, you will reach the district Barisano, the most built between the two clusters. From the square of the Church of St. Augustine, located on the background of the Gravina, is very beautiful view of the old town and the Gravina same. On the opposite side of the ravine, the ‘plateau of Murgia, complete the picturesque landscape and retains many rock churches. The modern part of the city lies on the shelf.