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Beautiful and fascinating, Matera is considered one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world. It dates back to the 9,000 B.C. and is situated in Southern Italy in the Basilicata region.

  • History

  • Architecture

  • James Bond fans

  • Off the beaten track

It’s perfect for history lovers and those seeking a unique and memorable experience, in a stunning location. Tourism has only started to take off relatively recently, so the city retains an exciting and undiscovered atmosphere. We recommend staying 2 days in Matera and combining it with a stay in PUGLIA to fully appreciate everything this city and region offers.

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Holiday To Matera. Off the beaten track Italy


Go back in time to the ‘City of Stone’, and explore the spectacular Sassi, or cave dwellings carved into the ancient tufa limestone. Approximately 70% of the Sassi is underground. Peasants and their animals lived in the caves until the 1950’s when the inhabitants were relocated. In the 1980’s many were renovated into upmarket restaurants, art galleries and hotels with fascinating cave accommodation.

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Sassi. Cave Houses. Italian Holiday

Matera became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 and was completely off the tourist track until it became the European Capital of Culture in 2019 and the setting for recent blockbuster films. For James Bond fans, scenes from the car chase in the latest film ‘No Time To Die’ were filmed here, as was Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ.’

Head to Casa Grotto which has interesting displays showing how people and their animals lived together in a small cave in the 18th century. Check out the ceiling in the majestic 13th century cathedral and admire the stunning views. There are more than 100 churches to explore in the area, with fabulous frescoes and sculptures in the many churches which are carved into the rock. You can take a subterranean tour and also walk into the ravine and the archaeological Parco della Murgia Materna.

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Travel Time

Matera is situated 40 miles from Bari airport, where you can catch a train to the city or a transfer.
The flight from the UK to Bari is around 3 hours.

Top Tips

1. If you wish to combine a stay in Matera with Puglia, we can arrange this for you.
2.Matera is fairly small but has steep, winding paths and steps, so comfortable walking shoes are essential.

When To Visit

May to June or September to October

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