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Things to do in Basilicata

Our most recommended things to do in Basilicata

Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

1. Matera: Guided Tour of Sassi di Matera

Embark on a day out in Sassi and explore the ancient neighbourhoods with a live guide. See a series of grottoes carved out of limestone and marvel at the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. Your tour will begin at the meeting point in Via Alessandro Volta. From here, your expert guide will lead you to the Church of San Francesco, situated in the historic centre of the city. Next, you’ll continue along a panoramic road comprised of narrow streets and winding alleys. After arriving at the Rupestre Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside: a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city. Afterwards, you’ll move on to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia "Pert P’stèl" to conclude your cultural adventure.

Matera: Guided Walking Tour

2. Matera: Guided Walking Tour

You will meet a local tour guide in the main square, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where you'll begin your walking tour admiring the landscape of the historic center from unique viewpoints. Then the tour will lead you through the historic center, covering topics of Matera history on the way. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been chosen as the 2019 European Capital of Culture, an important acknowledgment for its history and beauty which has been carved in stone.  Walking among the "Sassi" (the ancient neighborhoods of Sasso Barisano e Sasso Caveoso), you will discover the cave houses and churches carved in the rock, as well as the newly restored Cathedral. From the Cathedral which is built on a high point of the hill, you will enjoy enchanting views over the historic center and of Murgia Materana Park, an area characterized by hills and Mediterranean vegetation.  Over the course of 2 hours, you will be completely immersed in a magical unique land, seeing all of the major sights of Matera.

Matera: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

3. Matera: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

Enter the streets of Matera through this special tour. You'll be guided comfortably through the most beautiful parts of the city, with your local guide explaining the beauties that you will see along the way. You'll first visit the Purgatory Church, which boasts a wonderful Baroque Facade. Following that, you will reach the Romanesque cathedral which sits in the main square of Piazza Vittorio Veneto. After the cathedral, it will be time to begin your descent down to Sassi. Your tour includes stops to some of the most picturesque areas, from where you will be free to take beautiful pictures of both Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso.

Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

4. Matera: Sassi di Matera Guided Tour

Meet your guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Matera. From here, your expert guide will introduce you to the districts of Sassi. From the square, head to the heart of the historical center, where you will find the wonderful Apulian-Romanesque Church of San Giovanni Battista. Continue with a visit to Casa Cava, a hypogeum used in ancient times as a quarry, today turned into a convention center, thanks to outstanding restoration work. Stop at Sasso Barisano, to visit the rock church of Sant'Antonio Abate where you’ll find a pleasant surprise waiting inside, a classic example of the traditional culture of this remarkable city.  Move on to Sasso Caveoso to visit a typical Matera cave-house before continuing along Via Madonna delle Virtù and Porta Pistoia. Make a short stop at Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and stroll down one of the main streets of Sassi, Via Bruno Buozzi, to reach the second rock church of Madonna delle Grazie. Continue to the Baroque Church of Purgatorio. Next stop will be Piazza San Francesco d’ Assisi where you will visit the church dedicated to the Saint and from there you will move to Piazza del Sedile, Parliament's headquarters during the domination of the Kingdom of Naples. Finish your tour with a visit to the magnificent Apulian-Romanesque Cathedral, overlooking the highest part of the city.

From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

5. From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

This excursion to the Rocky Churches Park is a beautiful experience. During this tour, you will discover the history of this magical place. On Murgia Timone you will see the first human settlement and traces of an ancient Neolithic village. Moving on, you will see two important rocky churches, as well as the Rocky Crypt of San Falcione and the Rocky Church of Madonna delle Tre Porte, with its Byzantine frescos. You will also head to a scenic point, called Golgota, where Mel Gibson filmed “The Passion of the Christ”. During the excursion, you will enjoy the unique spectacle of the City of Stones as it lights up at sunset.

Matera Cave Town & Sassi Guided Walking Tour

6. Matera Cave Town & Sassi Guided Walking Tour

Meet your top-rated tourist guide and the rest of the group in Piazzetta Pascoli where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Sassi di Matera. In this square you can also admire Palazzo Lanfranchi, which hosts the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata and the Church of Madonna del Carmine. Start your walking tour along the streets of the ancient city, navigating down stairways and alleys that will bring you to the heart of Sasso Caveoso. Throughout the tour, your knowledgeable tour guide will reveal the secrets of this extraordinary city, awarded the status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 and chosen by Passolini and Mel Gibson as a filming location for their movies. With games and stories along the way, this informative and interactive tour will captivate you and your children.  Visit the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, one of the most characteristic places in Matera, built in 1200 and modified in the 17th-century with the addition of a baroque bell tower. Enter the Rupestrian churches such as the Church of Santa Maria di Idris on the top of a big rock, or the Church of Santa Lucia alle Malve, part of an ancient monastery of Benedictine nuns built in the 8th-century. Here you can admire striking frescoes which are more than 1000 years old and perfectly preserved. After this, visit the Casa Grotta, a typical Matera house dug out of the rock, with a cellar and a stable where people lived side by side with animals like rabbits, chickens, and horses. Finish your tour in the baroque area of the city where you can admire the churches of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Clare. Enjoy the magnificent beauty of Sasso Barisano from the viewpoint in Piazza Vittorio Veneto in front of the wonderful Romanesque Cathedral.

Matera: Bus Tour with Audio Guide and Casa Grotta Entrance

7. Matera: Bus Tour with Audio Guide and Casa Grotta Entrance

Discover Matera from the comfort of an open-air bus. Learn more from your audio guide as you drive past sights such as the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia. Stop to visit Cava Paradiso and Casa Grotta with entrance to the latter included. Board the tour bus near Castello Tramontano and set off on your journey. As you drive, learn about the sights, the history of Matera, and its people from the audio guide. Drive past the Museo di Palazzo Lanfranchi and marvel at its impeccable 17th-century architecture. Continue to the Villa Comunale dell'Unita d'Italia and take admire this historic park before you head to Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you pass the Sassi, learn about the history of these caves which have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Hop out of the bus at Casa Grotta Sassi di Matera. Spend 10 minutes exploring this fascinating cave house and learn the tragic history of the people who occupied it. Rejoin your driver and continue past the rock churches of Madonna delle Virtu and San Nicola dei Greci. Continue your tour with a drive past the Piazza San Pietro Caveoso and Alvino before hopping out at the Cava Paradiso for a 20-minute stop to explore this fascinating exhibition.

Matera: James Bond 007 Guided Tour

8. Matera: James Bond 007 Guided Tour

007’s movie tour No time to die Brief reference to the genesis of the film from the choice of the director, from the reconfirmation of Daniel Craig, to the elaboration of the controversial script and to alternative endings that had been thought A map showing all the "materane" locations of the film is provided News and funny anecdotes are provided about the period in which the production has remained in Matera You will reach on foot all the places of the historic center that appear in the film from via Stigliani - via Gattini, passing through Piazza San Giovanni Battista, via D'Addozio, via Fiorentini, area del Casale, via Madonna delle Virtù, piazza San Pietro Caveoso, via Buozzi, rione Malve to go up through the famous via Muro (where Mel Gibson set his unforgettable "via crucis") to reach piazza Duomo theater of the spectacular landing of James Bond with the bike after jumping over the roofs of Sasso Barisano and finally piazza Pascoli at the most spectacular overlooking the Sasso Caveoso. The tour lasts about two hours A brief reference to the distribution problems caused by the pandemic and some changes in the film due to the delayed release in cinemas

Bari: Day Tour of Puglia and Basilicata with Matera Visit

9. Bari: Day Tour of Puglia and Basilicata with Matera Visit

You’ll travel with an expert guide through an unspoiled landscape boasting centuries-old vineyards that have produced the famous Primitivo, Negromaro, Sussumaniello, and Aglianico e Bombino Bianco wines. This full-day excursion begins in Gioia del Colle. You’ll be taken on a tour by one of the owners of the organic vineyard, where the focus is on the fantastic Primitivo wine. We will take you through the organic wine production process. Head to the ancient city of Matera, which is home to movie director Francis Ford Coppola. Matera has been the setting for a number of well-known films. Take some free time for lunch and afterward visit the famous Sassi cave dwellings. In addition, you’ll have free time to explore the city at your leisure.

Matera: Dining Experience at a Local's Home

10. Matera: Dining Experience at a Local's Home

Arrive at the home of your expert host for a memorable private dining experience where you will taste authentic recipes treasured in family cookbooks passed down by real Italian mothers. During an exclusive cooking demonstration, feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as your host shares the secrets of her family cookbook while preparing the dishes right in front of you. Once the end result is ready, sit at an authentic Italian dining table and enjoy your 4-course seasonal menu including a starter, pasta, main course with side dish, and dessert. At the end of the experience, not only will you take home your official apron, you’ll also have memories that'll stay with you for life.

Other Sightseeing Options in Basilicata

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What people are saying about Basilicata

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,312 reviews

Annalisa was a fabulous tour guide. Having a tour guide whose own grandparents experienced the Sassi was really eye opening. She was extremely engaging and shared with us so much history about Matera. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking to learn more about this magical city.

The tour was very well organized. Our local guide Lucia was really very amazing, kind and knew all about the place. She guided us among the Sassi explaining lots of things that are unknown if you do not have a local guide. I was very satisfied and I recommend this tour

We walked around Sassi di Matera and the old town as the tour guide explained the history of the area. We were a small group of about 8-10 people and the tour lasted about two hours maybe more.

Responsive guide. Angela had great English and was even great with my energetic young boys. Would highly recommend.

The guide was excellent. Deep knowledge about history.