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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 in 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.

Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset

3. Walking Tour of Matera at Sunset

Begin your journey at Matera’s main square, the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where you will meet the tour guide who will take you on a walking tour of the city of the "Sassi", a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture 2019. From 6 PM explore Matera as the sun sets and the city’s lights flicker on, illuminating the human dwellings that have existed in the Sassi di Matera since the Paleolithic period. Explore the ancient districts of Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso where houses and churches were dug into the rock. Take an optional guided visit of a cave-dwelling before heading to one of the highest points of the city, where you can visit a Rupestrian church and hear more about the history of Matera from your guide. The historic center of Matera also allows you to look out from the many balconies to view the Sassi and the Murgia National Park below.

From Matera: Murgia Park Rocky Churches Tour

4. 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: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour

5. 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

6. 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.

Matera: James Bond 007 Guided Tour

7. 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

Matera: 007 "No Time to Die" Film Sites Walking Tour

8. Matera: 007 "No Time to Die" Film Sites Walking Tour

The city of Matera has become an important filming location since the 50’s. Most of the films produced here share different biblical topics due to the fascinating landscapes of the ancient city which are very similar to locations you can find in Holy Land. Though in 2019, another "action" side of Matera was revealed by the new 007 “No Time To Die” film shooting. Step behind the scenes of the greatest spy film of all time while exploring the streets and history of Matera. Explore both the Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano and visit Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Piazza San Giovanni, via Madonna delle Virtù, admiring the view from the Civita area and Piazza Duomo. Enjoy a special cocktail '007' at the end of the guided tour.

Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

9. Sassi di Matera Walking Tour

This exciting tour begins at the Piazzetta Pascoli with a breathtaking view over the stunning Sassi di Matera and highland plateau of the Murgia. From here, you can see the Palazzo Lanfranchi, home to the Museum of Modern and Medieval Art of Basilicata, and the nearby Church of the Carmine. Continue the tour through the heart of the ancient dwellings of Sassi, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly built and partly carved out of the rock themselves and furnished as it used to be during the peasant civilization. Visit the church of Saint Lucy of the Malve and admire some striking frescoes and elaborate architecture before continuing the tour towards the ancient Gravina to the museum of farm history, with typical peasant dwellings, as well as artifacts and tools from the ancient peasant life. You'll also get to visit a typical cave house from around 1900, and pass the cave church of Saint Lucia delle Malve. Before the day's end, return to the center of town for a stroll around the town's Baroque area and admire some stunning churches of this style, including Saint Clare and Saint Francis of Assisi. End the fascinating tour at a look-out point over the Sasso Barisano in front of the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral.

Matera: Rock Churches Park Walking Tour

10. Matera: Rock Churches Park Walking Tour

Venture to the ancient Sassi of Matera and visit two rock churches on a two-hour guided walking tour.  Meet your guide and driver in the central square of Matera and head out to the Park of the Murgia Materana. As your guide explains the history of this timeless place, walk through the enchanting natural landscape and admire the ravines, vegetation, and once-inhabited cave dwellings.  Explore 2 of the Sassi area’s 155 rock churches: the crypt of San Falcione, with a beautiful fresco representing "the presentation of Jesus in the temple," and Our Lady of the Three Doors, with frescoes from the 12th and 17th centuries.  At sunset, experience a panorama of the city of Matera — an unforgettable experience. Your guide will then drive you back to the center of Matera.

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What people are saying about Basilicata

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,694 reviews

The two cities are worth it, the magnificent and very helpful guides. It was very hot and our guide Gianfranco, I don't remember if it was this name (forgive me) in Matera helped us at all times, and explained everything in great detail. In Alberobello, the driver Francesco guided us and even though I wasn't feeling well, he was great!

Very interesting tour! Despite the extreme heat that day, our German guide was able to offer us a very nice and extremely informative tour. I recommend everyone who wants to come to Matera to do a tour, otherwise some secrets of the city will not be revealed :)

Spectacular guide, with a unique sympathy and clarity. The possibility of hearing the tarantella playing from a local is very nice. So hot but it was absolutely worth it.

the culture of Matera lived through an amazing culinary experience, welcomed and pampered by the splendid hostess: Anna Maria. Absolutely to try.

Angela was wonderful. She was loaded with information and was very sweet.