Holiday in Matera

The magic of the Sassi and the words of Carlo Levi are what usually come to mind for any tourist on the way back from a holiday in Matera. 

Definitely one of the most singular and fascinating cities of the South, whose tuff houses, baroque palaces and urban experimentation mingle chaotically, Matera is located on the western edge of the Murgia Plateau. From a tourist, rural and landscape standpoint, a holiday in Matera is a unique and unforgettable experience that everyone should try at least once in their life.

The Church of Rupestre dello Spirito Santo, at the heart of the city centre, was one of the seven Benedictine settlements in the city. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the ancient rock church was extended to the side with a tuff construction, while the rest of the church underwent a series of changes due to its prolonged use as a home over the course of the centuries. Piazza Vittorio Veneto is the city's main square, completely surrounded by historic seventeenth and eighteenth-century buildings. You absolutely can't miss Belvedere Luigi Guerricchio, with a striking view of the Sassi on top of which the Basilica Cattedrale stands. The cathedral offers a splendid view of Sasso Barisano and stands at the highest point of the city, on the Civita Hill. The outside of the basilica is in Romanesque-Apulian style, while on the inside it is characterised by invaluable baroque works.

If you want to know more about Matera's rural past, you absolutely must visit the Casa Grotta, filled with furniture and farm tools typical of the era which give a precise idea of how farm life was organised in the houses of the Sassi, as Carlo Levi described it in the book Christ Stopped at Eboli. A large rock hollow frames the entrance arch to the Casa Grotta, the only constructed element on the grotto that the habitation was made out of, and the last changes to its façade date back to the 1700s.

The city of Matera means folklore and events, jazz concerts and live classical music, village festivals and religious feasts, but also outdoor activities and authentic dishes from the rural tradition. Far from the lights and intrusive noise of the large cities and mass tourism, Matera should be explored on foot, up and down the stone lanes, between rock houses and churches exalted by the fairytale evening lighting. Let this timeless city's charm sweep you away, too. Check out our holiday packages to Matera now and get ready to experience a new unforgettable adventure!

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