Visit Matera: what to see in one day

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Alejandra Rangel
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SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Matera, better known as the City of Stones, is a provincial town of Basilicata. Its historic center is made up of Sassi of Matera, the most interesting and visited part of the Lucanian city.

The Sassi di Matera were included in the list of Unesco world heritage site in 1993. The city of Matera is a concentration of alleys, streets, houses, balconies, churches, all collected in the stone, the tuff.

Matera owes its tourist and cultural importance to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", which made it rediscovered internationally. It is an interesting destination for lovers of intriguing landscapes and with a distant past.



This urban nucleus complex is formed by the "Caveoso" stone, from "Barisano" stone, And from "Civita" district. The best way to visit the Sassi of Matera is walking, walking up and down its streets, discovering churches, houses and a few remaining inhabitants.

The visit of the city of Matera and its Sassi can be done easily in one day. But let's see what are the main things to see.

What to see in the Sassi of Matera

1. The Natural Historical Archaeological Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Materano and housed inside the Palomba Sculpture Park.

2. The Duomo (Cathedral of Matera) it is located on the highest point of the city. From here you can enjoy a splendid view of the Sasso Barisano. The building dates back to the 1627th century and stands on the ruins of the former Benedictine monastery of St. Eustatius. Since XNUMX the cathedral has been dedicated to the Madonna della Bruna and St. Eustatius, protectors of the city of Matera.



3. The various rock churches of the city.

4. The Casagrotta of Vico Solitario, a typical house of the old city of Matera.

5. The Convent of Sant'Agostino, formed by the church and the convent, is a religious building dating back to the end of the sixteenth century.

6. The Crypt of Original Sin, an ancient church built in a cave where ancient cave paintings have been found.

7. The Long diver, a large cistern dug under the central Piazza Vittorio.

8. Located in Palazzo Lanfranchi, immediately behind the Sasso Caveoso, the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of the Basilica it is a prestigious building with important exhibitions.

One of the most beautiful areas of the Sassi di Matera, Basilicata -

Other places to visit (if you have time)

- Church of San Giovanni Battista

- Casa Noha

- Miniature stones

- Tramontano Castle

- Rock Church of San Pietro Barisano

- MUSMA Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Matera

- Church of Saints Peter and Paul

- Tramontano Castle

- Materasum Hypogeum

- Rock church of Santa Lucia alle Malve

- Laboratory Museum of Peasant Civilization

- Church of Madonna delle Virtù

When to go

The best time to visit the city of Matera is in spring and autumn, when the temperatures are not high and you can easily walk the stairs and climbs of the city.


On rainy days the roads and especially the stairs can be slippery. While on summer days it can get very hot in the alleys of the city. In the summer, it is better to visit early in the morning or at sunset.



How to reach Matera

Arrive by plane

The closest airport to the city of Matera is Bari Palese airport, which is about 50 km away. From the Apulian airport, buses leave daily which in about 1 hour connect the city of Matera.

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Arrive by train

If you want to arrive by train in Matera, the only route is the Bari-Matera-Montalbano Jonico. The route from the capital of Puglia to the city of Lucania takes about 1 hour. Or you can arrive at Metaponto train station and from there continue by bus.


Arrive by bus

Direct buses leave from Bari central station to Matera.

Arrive by car

Matera can be easily reached by car. The conditions of the main roads are good and with a navigator it is quite easy. The only difficulty may be in walking the steep streets and streets of the city.

Accomodation

If you want to fully "enjoy" the charm and atmosphere of the historic area, it is advisable to sleep in one of the ancient renovated "Sassi". If you prefer something more convenient and comfortable, you have to opt for hotels and lodges in the modern and new area of ​​Matera.

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Matera, Basilicata - Photo from Istock
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