Jewel of Basilicata
Nestled in the heart of the enchanting region of Basilicata, Matera stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of human civilization. Known for its ancient cave dwellings, Matera is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture and natural beauty. Let's embark on a journey through time and explore the captivating allure of Matera.
Matera's history dates back to the Paleolithic era, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Sassi di Matera, a complex network of cave dwellings carved into the limestone, tells a fascinating tale of human adaptation and resilience. These dwellings, with their timeless charm, earned Matera a UNESCO World Heritage designation.
In the centuries that followed, Matera evolved, witnessing the rise and fall of various civilizations. From ancient settlements to Byzantine and Norman influences, Matera's history is a rich tapestry woven with the threads of diverse cultures.
The Sassi: A Living Heritage
The Sassi, Matera's most iconic feature, consists of two districts – Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso. The cave dwellings, carved into the rock, served as homes, churches, and businesses. Today, many of these caves have been transformed into unique hotels, restaurants, and artisan shops, offering visitors a chance to experience the city's history firsthand.
Points of Interest
• Matera Cathedral (Cattedrale di Matera): Admire the stunning architecture of Matera Cathedral, a masterpiece that reflects a blend of Romanesque and Apulian-Gothic styles. The cathedral is located in the heart of the Sasso Barisano and provides panoramic views of the city.
• Tramontano Castle (Castello Tramontano): Perched on a ridge overlooking the Sassi, Tramontano Castle is a medieval fortress offering breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding landscape. Explore its ancient halls and imagine the events that unfolded within its walls.
• MUSMA – Museum of Contemporary Sculpture: Immerse yourself in contemporary art at MUSMA, housed in a 17th-century palace. The museum showcases a diverse collection of sculptures from Italian and international artists within the unique setting of the Sassi.
Matera's culinary scene is a gastronomic journey through the flavors of Basilicata. Indulge in local specialties such as orecchiette pasta, Matera bread, and the renowned Matera wine. Explore the charming cafes and trattorias tucked away in the narrow alleys of the Sassi for an authentic taste of Matera.
Festivals and Events
Matera hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, celebrating its cultural heritage. The Festa della Bruna, dedicated to the city's patron saint, and the Matera Women's Film Festival are just a few examples of the vibrant events that bring the city to life.
Matera, with its ancient allure and modern charm, invites you to step back in time while savoring the pleasures of the present. Whether you wander through the stone-paved streets of the Sassi or marvel at the breathtaking views from the ancient castle, Matera promises an unforgettable experience that transcends the boundaries of time.
Come and discover Matera, a city where history and beauty converge in a mesmerizing dance, leaving an indelible mark on all who venture into its embrace.