What to see in Matera in one day

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

City built on a rocky outcrop in Basilicata, Matera is renowned for its "stones", the complex is cave houses carved into the mountain.
Precisely for its particular conformation one can only be amazed! Every year tourists from all over the world arrive in this town.
Although a single day to visit Matera is short, we want to give you some tips to appreciate this Italian jewel in 24 hours.
Here's what to see in Matera in one day.


  1. One day itinerary in Matera: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Matera: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Matera: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Matera: Morning

1 - Historic center, Casa Grotta

Have a hearty breakfast with fresh croissants and a good coffee from the Bar Caffè Tripoli (€ 3,50) then head straight to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the largest in Matera which also has one of the most belvedere in the city.

Below is also the Palombaro Lungo (also visible from a view), thehuge cistern with a dense system of channels (opening hours 10: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-18: 50; admission € 3,00) which is worth a visit only if you have time available.

From here, passing through Piazzetta Sant'Egidio take a quick look at the church of Purgatory and in a few minutes you arrive at Sasso Caveoso. Visit the "Casa Grotta" in Vico Solitario to discover how people once lived inside the stones (opening hours 9: 30-20: 30; admission € 3,00).

2 - il bottegaccio, viewpoint Madonna de Idris, Church of San Pietro Caveoso

Continue the second part of the morning by visiting the artisan shop "il Bottegaccio" where, in addition to shopping, you can also simply let the friendly owner tell you about the local tradition of the Pupa, the sun and the cuckoo.

It is also located in the small square of the shop a splendid and suggestive viewpoint, the Madonna de Idris Church.

Finally visit the Rock church of San Pietro Caveoso overlooking the small square.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,4 km / 20 min
  • Places visited: Piazza Vittorio Veneto (free), Palombaro Lungo (€ 3,00) Piazzetta Sant'Egidio (free), Chiesa Del Purgatorio (free), Sasso Caveoso (free), Casa Grotta (€ 3,00), il bottegaccio (free) ), viewpoint Madonna de Idris (free), Church of San Pietro Caveoso (free)
  • Matera: 2-hour guided tour of the Sassi Matera: guided walking tour of the Sassi
  • Where to have breakfast: Bar Caffè Tripoli Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 17 (Get directions)

One day itinerary in Matera: Afternoon

1 - Casa Noha, Piazza Duomo, Cathedral

Passing through Via Madonna della Virtù you arrive at the restaurant "I due Sassi", a nice place where you can enjoy the Lucanian cuisine in the rustic dining room with fireplace or on the terrace overlooking the hills (lunch from € 22,00).

Once your break is over, in 2 minutes you reach Casa Noha, a multimedia information center inside a noble palace. Here you can discover the history of Matera by watching the documentary screened and finding all the information you need (Wed-Mon 9: 00-19: 00 April-October; November-March 10: 00-17: 00; admission € 6,00, ).

Then go in Piazza Duomo, another panoramic point overlooking the Sasso Barisano, the first to be established in the past and visit, both internally and externally, the beautiful Cathedral of Madonna della Bruna and Sant'Eustachio (opening hours 10: 00-19: 00, free admission).

2 - Civita, Church of San Nicola dei Greci, Church of the Madonna della Virtù, Terrace Contact

Passing through via Riscatto, in 4 minutes you will arrive in Civita, agglomeration of cave houses which divides the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso.

Visit the rock church of San Nicola dei Greci, with the beautiful frescoes of the '200 and that of the Madonna della Virtù which today are used as exhibition spaces and periodically organize exhibitions and reviews (opening hours 10: 00-13.30 and 15: 00- 18:00, admission € 3,00)
Finally, towards the sunset time you reach Terrace Contact where you can enjoy a good aperitif enjoying a spectacular sunset over Matera.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,1 km / 16 min
  • Places visited: Casa Noha (€ 6,00), Piazza Duomo (free), cathedral (free), Civita (free), Church of San Nicola dei Greci (free), Church of Madonna della Virtù (free), Terrace Contact (free)
  • Sassi di Matera: private tour with a local guide Matera: sunset walking tour
  • Where to have lunch: I Due Sassi restaurant, Via Ospedale Vecchio, 1 (Get directions)

One day itinerary in Matera: Evening

1 - Dinner, Rione Cavernoso

For a dinner to remember, book a table at the Ristorante all'Abbondanza Lucana, in the Rione Caveoso.

The location completely underground within excavated rocks will leave you speechless and the flavors of the cuisine will amaze you (dinner around € 40,00 per person)

2 - Walk among the Sassi

You cannot fail to stroll through Matera after dinner; get lost among the squares, the stones, the caves: you will feel like you are in an illuminated nativity scene.
If you are looking for a place to have a drink while listening to good music, the "Stone", very close to Piazza Vittorio Veneto is ideal because it offers evenings with live bands and DJs.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1 km / 15 min
  • Places visited: Rione cavernoso, historical center
  • Matera cooking class in a stone restaurant Matera: authentic dining experience in a private home
  • Where to dine: L'Abbondanza Lucana restaurant, Via Bruno Buozzi, 11 (Get directions)

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Best time: the city is beautiful in every season, in summer the dazzling sun illuminates and brings out the white of the city, while during the Christmas period the lights make this place a living nativity scene.
  • the reference airport is that of Bari (63 Km away) where direct flights arrive from all over Italy also with low cost airlines. From here by bus you can reach Matera in 1 hour at a cost of € 3,50. Alternatively, you can rent a car if you intend to visit the surroundings (daily cost around € 18,00).
  • choose the marvelous rooms carved into the tuff or those inside ancient buildings with a view of the city in the historic part of Matera, the most suggestive. If you prefer cheaper accommodation, look for it in the north, outside the center - Hotels and b & b from € 45,00 per room -
  • Getting around: the historic center can only be visited on foot; equip yourself with comfortable trainers and be prepared to walk. To discover the Murgia Park and its surroundings, however, it is advisable to have a car because public transport is scarce.
  • Tickets, Useful Cards and Passes: the Matera Smart Pass at a cost of € 25,00 if you intend to visit these 4 attractions: The Musma, the Casa Grotta, the Materasum hypogeum and the Murgia Park.
  • Advice: start sightseeing early in the morning when it is less crowded with tourists.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

  1. Park of the Murgia Materana
  2. The Crypt of the original Sin
  3. Domenico Ridola National Archaeological Museum
  4. Musma, Museum of Contemporary Sculpture of Matera
  5. Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata

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