Matera Underground


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Walking tour in the beautiful historical center in Matera.

Matera preserves a large and diverse collection of buildings related to the Christian faith. These churches, which are also found in the neighboring region of Apulia, were listed in the 1998 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.

Matera Cathedral (1268–1270) has been dedicated to Santa Maria della Bruna since 1389. Built in an Apulian Romanesque architectural style, the church has a 52 m tall bell tower, and next to the main gate is a statue of the Maria della Bruna, backed by those of Saints Peter and Paul. The main feature of the façade is the rose window, divided by sixteen small columns. The interior is on the Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles. The decoration is mainly from the 18th century Baroque restoration, but recently a Byzantine-style 14th-century fresco portraying the Last Judgment has been discovered.

Matera was built such that it is hidden, but made it difficult to provide a water supply to its inhabitants. Early dwellers invested tremendous energy in building cisterns and systems of water channels.


The largest cistern called PALOMBARO, has been found under Piazza Vittorio Veneto. With its solid pillars engraved in the rock and the vault high more than fifteen meters, it’s a real cathedral of water, which is navigable by boat. Like other cisterns in the town, it collected rain-water that was filtrated and flowed in a controlled way to the Sassi.

At the end of this beautiful trip underground Matera we will walk in the Sasso Barisano: This is the larger of the two sassi districts, and many of the cave dwellings have been restored and converted into cosy houses, shops and restaurants. For interesting souvenirs, traditional whistles (cuccu) and ceramics visit the craft shops along Via Fiorentini. Continue towards Via Madonna delle Virtù for a panoramic view of the ravine and the caves dotting the opposite hillside.


Cost of the Tour (Half day): € 150.00 in total

There is 1 Guide every 40 participants

Entrances to pay at the moment: € 3.00 per person


The price includes:

  • English guided tour
  • Entrance in the Palombaro