Out of time! It is a paradox for a city having such a complex history: border town, characterized by contrasts, competition and fusion of different landscapes, civilizations and cultures.
At first, the irregular landscape of Murgia Materana ideally supported the “Rupestrian civilization” of Byzantine and eastern origin; then, starting from the coming of the Normans, it was the time of a systematic attempt to force the “Rupestrian town” into the rule based system of the European “culture of the city”. From the Romantic Age to the Renaissance and the Baroque, eight centuries of building and finishing tried to shape the city, to gain over the natural “oppositions” of the prior Rupestrian habitat, creating urban architectures and arrangements, which show particular quality and originality.
The human settlement in Matera is very ancient. The original centre was, and still is, Civita; at its sides, in two karst valleys, the amazing Sassi developed. In the 10th century, groups of shepherds started to settle there and to dig their rustic houses into the soft rock. These areas became so complex to completely occupy the slopes, creating one of the most incredible organized urban structures of the world, an absolute masterpiece of the intelligence and adaptability of human beings working hard to overcome environmental difficulties.
Thanks to the width of the concerned ravine and to the historical durability of the urban settlement, which still exists, the ancient part of Matera can be considered “the capital of the “Rupestrian civilization” which developed in Murgia Pugliese between the 9th and the 11th centuries AC.
Matera is the capital of European Culture 2019.
With its 192,000 hectares, the Pollino National Park is the nation’s most extensive national park. Stunning views, woods, rivers and highlands follow one of the most beautiful and characteristic massifs of the Apennine, between Basilicata and Calabria, and between two seas: the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea. Between extensive woods of beech, fir, maple, oak and the extraordinary pines loricati (plant species relitte of the last glaciation, become the symbol of the Park), the large summit ridges give the deepest sense of the wilderness, thanks to a modest and absolutely noninvasive presence of man. Visitors can immerse themselves in nature and observe horses and wild boars but also extinct animals such as oysters and real owls, while the sky will be a constant place to pass for kite, real eagles and capovaccai. Considerable floral influences (including orchids, narcissus, gentian, broom) accompany the rise for over 2000 meters, snow-covered for most of the year. Beautiful valleys are riversed by different watercourses and rare geological treasures are shown in rocky outcrops, deep faults, galleries and galleries that creep for miles in the heart of the earth. Fantastic canyons flow between imposing walls, ideal scenery for canyoning and rafting. The Pollino can be visited in all seasons: in winter, when trails and plains become soft stretches for cross-country skiing; in the spring, when blooms explode in a thousand colors, inviting to hiking; in autumn, the most astonishing moment of color; and in the summer, when hiking, walking and mountain biking are activities that will bring you to discover one of the wonders of southern Italy, as well as one of the wealthiest and varied botanical universes of the whole peninsula.
The closest airports Karol Wojtila airport in Bari Palese, which is about 60 Km far from Matera. Another airport is Salento airport in Brindisi, which is about 150 km far.
Matera is the last station of the Bari-Matera section (narrow-gauge line) which is part of the railway network of Ferrovie Appula Lucane.
Matera è capolinea della linea Bari-Matera (a scartamento ridotto) delle Ferrovie Appulo Lucane.
Naples Airport – Capodichino
Bari and Lamezia Terme Airports
Motorway del Mediterraneo
Visit the city center of Matera an have dinner in one of the typical resturants of the Sassi.
Guided tour of the Parco della Murgia Materana: you will visit the Sassi di Matera, the Cripta del Peccato Originale, which is known as the Sistine Chapel of the parietal cave art, its frescoes are of Longobardic origin and date back to the IX century, and they are among the most ancient frescoes that you may come across in the Basilicata Region. You will then visit the cave art areas. In the afternoon you can visit the Santa Lucia alle Malve and Santa Maria dell’Idris rock churches and the extraordinary area of the Convicinio di Sant’Antonio.
The surrounding areas of Matera are as precious as the city itself, like Miglionico, a small town characterized by the impressive Castello del Malconsiglio: it has Norman origins and overlooks the valley. Your next destination can be the Basilica Pontificia di Santa Maria Maggiore (the Papal Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore), where you’ll enjoy the invaluable polyptych by Cima da Conegliano and a wonderful Norman crypt. Now, take your time and stroll through the town center and then leave for Montescaglioso.
Visit to the city center of Potenza and taste the local specialities in one of the town’s restaurants.
Visit the tourist attractions and the area around Potenza: the Tibetan Bridge in Sasso Castalda, the zip line in Castelmessano and the village in Pietrapetrosa. Then you can depart for the Pollino Nature Reserve for dinner and overnight staying in Rotonda (PZ), home to the Nature Reserve’s HQ.
Excursion and guided tour of the Pollino Nature Reserve, rich in biodiversity. Depending on your preferences and level of preparation, you can opt for more or less demanding walks and choose those with different panoramic and natural features. Mountain bike and horse riding trails are also available.
Guided tour to River Lao, where it is possible to go rafting between the river’s gorges. Guided tour around the villages located in the park, and also the Museum of Natural History and Paleontology in Rotondo, which has the restored remains of a specimen of Elephas antiquis italicus that dates back to the Pleistocene Era (400000-700000 years ago) and also fossil findings of many other species of animals.
ASSET – Azienda Speciale della Camera di Commercio della Basilicata
Tel. +39 0835 338408