Here an itinerary of the top things to see in Matera “la città dei sassi” (city of stones) is a city in southern Italy that make you fall in love with its historic center, the curious shape of the houses and above all the impressive stones that surround the whole city. For this reason, its place on the Unesco list as a World Heritage Site is definitely deserved. I have to say that when we visited it for the first time (in 2019) it was the current headquarter of the European Capital of Culture.

Matera: the movie city

Matera is a film-worthy city, where several famous movies were filmed such as The Passion of Christ (2004), The Nativity Story (2006); The Omen (2006); The Young Messiah (2016); Ben-Hur (2016), Wonder Woman (2017) and No time to die (2020) among others.

If you want to see all the museums and know the movie history of the city of Matera, I recommend you buy the city card.

Matera, how to get there

  • By plane: The nearest airport is Bari Airport, about 50km away, ideal if you plan to take a tour of southern Italy. Compare flight dates to Bari in EDREAMS.
  • By train: The nearest station is Ferrandina Station which is about 37 km away. Then from there you have to catch a direct bus.
  • By bus: from the aforementioned points (Bari and Ferrandina). There are several companies that offer this service as Cotrab, Trenitalia, Sita sud among others.

Matera, top things to see: Sasso Caveoso

A must-to-see in Matera is the Sasso Caveoso, is one of the two “Sassi di Matera” (Matera’s stones) and has a peculiar amphitheater shape.

In that same Sasso you can see the San Pietro Caveoso’s Church (also known as “St. Peter and St. Paul Church”.

Finally, inside the Sasso is located the Casa Grotta, a representation of how people lived in the peasant era.

Matera things to see
Sasso Caveoso, Matera

Matera: Sasso Barisano

Sasso Barisano is the other “Sasso di Matera”, they say his name may be due to the fact that it is “looking” towards Bari. Unlike the previous Sasso, this one seems more built, at least it is what you can see on the facades of churches and houses.

In Sasso Barisano you can visit three churches: the Church of San Pietro Barisano, the Chruch of Sant’Agostino and Madonna della Virtù and the Church of San Nicola dei Greci.

Matera things to see
Sasso Barisano

Matera, things to see: the Cathedral

Matera’s Cathedral is located in the highest part of the city and its beautiful silhouette with stunning views can be seen from the Sasso Barisano.

This cathedral stands out, for its beautiful entrance, also thanks to the presence of the statue of the Madonna della Bruna, patron saint of Matera. Also very nice is the central rose window in which you can see St. Michael the Archangel trying to crush a dragon.

Matera Cathedral
Cathedral of Matera

More places to visit in Matera

  • Palombaro Lungo: in this place you can see the ancient wooden caves. The price is about 3€.
  • Parco della Murgia Materana: it’s a park located in Sasso Barisano. It is a route where you can appreciate incredible rock landscapes.
Matera Parco
Parco della Murgia Materana
  • Church of San Francesco d’Assisi
Matera things to see
Church of San Francesco d’Assisi
  • Salvador Dalí’s exhibition in Matera
Dalí in Matera
Dalí’s exhibition, MateraDalí’s exhibition

So, if you are a movie lover and have the opportunity to visit southern Italy, you should include matera in your list of the “must-to-see of Italy”.

If you’re thinking about a tour in southern Italy, you can’t miss this POST of Naples, the pearl of the south.

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