Murgia Plateau is a sub-region of Puglia widespread , corresponding to a plateau karst quadrangular located in central Puglia . In the north – west are the highest mountains : Desperate Tower , Monte Caccia , Serraficaia , and Monte Scorzone ( 668 m ) .
The plateau is included for most of the metropolitan city of Bari and the province of Barletta – Andria – Trani and extends to the west even into the province of Matera , Basilicata ; also it extends to the south in the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi
The Murgia is situated at the eastern end of the Basilicata region , near the border with Puglia . In its territory there is the Gravina of Matera , deep groove limestone on the bottom of which flows the river of the same name which , after skirting the Sassi of Matera and touched the town of Montescaglioso , flows into the river Bradano after about twenty kilometers . Inhabited since prehistoric times , still stationing Paleolithic , as the bat cave , and to the Neolithic Age , as the numerous villages entrenched . One of the most important features of the area , set up as a Park of the Murgia Matera , it is the presence of about 150 rock churches scattered along the Murgia and Ravines . Since the early Middle Ages there is in the whole area the presence of both the Benedictine monastic communities that Byzantine .
LA GROTTA DEI PIPISTRELLI (THE BAT CAVE)
The Bat Cave is located on one of the sides of the Gravina of Matera a few km . away from the current inhabited city .
A Ridola was responsible for the identification and systematic excavation of both sites between 1872 and 1878 , this activity proved to be very important for both the amount of materials recovered for their quality .
The bat cave was only the latest offshoot of a complex system of caves . The survey conducted by Ridola was conducted methodically and unearthed many artifacts that allowed the doctor Matera to document how this place was frequented continuously from the Palaeolithic until the age of metals . In addition to exhibits of ceramic type dating back to Neolithic acquaintances they were also found materials of organic type which promote the reconstruction of the fauna that inhabited these places then . By accounts we left we also know that at the entrance there were sacred images and tombs carved into the rock , due to frequent medieval . The burial cave , has an internal structure consisting of a corridor ending in an underground environment for the burial of the dead .
THE ROCK CHURCH OF MADONNA DELLE TRE PORTE
It is called in this way for the three entrance arches that led to three separate speakers , the church has today only two of the three naves and apses , being the most ‘ outside was destroyed by repeated collapse due to erosion by the elements.
Wonderful frescoes are visible in the nave : a Deesis with Christ , the Virgin and St. John , and a depiction of the Madonna of the Pomegranate , attributed to the Master of Miglionico protagonist of fresco painting Lucania in the second half of the fifteenth century .
Inside we find the apse aisle in a crucifixion , while on its wall a beautiful Annunciation ( XV century ) and a Byzantine Madonna Regina ( Kyriotissa ) enthroned with child of the thirteenth century .
CRYPT OF ORIGINAL SIGN
A few kilometers from Matera , along the Appia Antica , in one of the ravines that run through the Murgia plateau , is one of the most beautiful places in Southern Italy : the Crypt of the Original Sin .
In a rocky hollow overlooking the limestone cliff of the skilful hand of the ” Painter of Flowers of Matera ” narrated scenes from the Old and New Testament in a cycle of frescoes dating from the ninth century . A.D..
Rediscovery back in May of 1963 by a group of young fans of Matera , a shelter for herds the Crypt of Original Sin has become one of the must-see stops on a visit to the City of Rocks . An exemplary restoration , has restored the extraordinary murals of the Crypt to full fruition . For its splendor the Crypt is called THE SOUTHERN ITALY Sistine Chapel .