Matera is one of the most unusual, interesting and singular tourist destinations in Italy. Located in region of Basilicata in southern Italy named also the European Cultural Capital for the year 2019. The town is known for its extensive and ancient cave dwellings, known as sassi, that were inhabited as far back as Paleolithic times. While Matera is a little isolated and difficult to reach, it is one of Italy’s most picturesque and inspiring destinations and well worth the effort.
The following is a proposed 2 days itinerary that leads from Rome to Matera and back again to Rome. One the way you can also enjoy the Amalfi coast if you wish and add an additional day
Your day start pretty early, your driver will meet you at your hotel in Rome for you to start your journey towards Matera. On the way of course you can pass the Campania region without stopping at the archaeological site of Pompeii. You have part of the morning here exploring the preserved ancient site with your own private guide before continuing on your journey to Matera.
Arriving to Matera after your long trip you have the evening at your leisure, your driver will drop you off at your hotel and also give you recommendations for dinner place. One thing we can recommend for you to do in evening, is one of the pleasures of Matera, the evening promenade (called passeggiata) which takes place between Piazza Sedile and Piazza Veneto. There are no cars to contend with, it’s just people out and about, strolling leisurely and be part of the local tradition.
You have a full day to discover Matera and the Sassi which are the main attractions in Matera. You have the day to wonder in the maze of alleys, stairways and dead ends. The highlights are a series of ancient, Byzantine style churches. Santa Maria de Idris is carved into a huge rock pinnacle perched on a rock ledge overhanging the ravine. Another rock church, Santa Lucia alle Malve contains 10th century frescoes. The small Church of San Pietro-Caveoso is free standing and the only one of the churches not carved into the rock.
After the morning spend in Sassi area, you can go to main town and visit Matera, starting with a visit at Cathedral which is the highest point in the city. The walls and columns in the Cathedral are painted a light blue with opulent gold trim and the nave is lined with chapels on both sides, another highlight is the small but very interesting Church of the Purgatorio, the interior is heavenly light blue color and colorful frescoes adorn the walls, but a dramatic counterpoint to the skull and crossbones and stern admonitions posted on the exterior of the church. There appears to be a message here for the subtly challenged.
In the afternoon you will meet up with your driver again and we will take you back to Rome leaving the lovely mystical Matera behind.
Note that hotels, meals, gratuities nor entrance fees are not included in the rates.
Price includes meal, hotel for the driver during the trips.
Price includes English speaking driver for all the tour.
Taxes and all the traffic fees are included in the rates.