The Historical Center

Renaissance and Baroque facades open onto tanks eighth century , transformed into homes. Some tombs have been excavated several times until the fifties , other walled and forgotten , hidden in the hillside . The Palombaro Lungo , the huge reservoir of water beneath Piazza Vittorio Veneto , has sections built three thousand years ago , while the most recent are the 1700 , this is all part of the plan of the city of Matera .

Piazza Vittorio Veneto, previously called Piazza Del Plebiscito , was also known as ” Fountain Square ” because of the presence of large ” Fontana Ferdinandea ” monumental , created in 1832 to collect water from the hill above the castle ” De Montigny ” .


Among the Historical Center it is possible to visit some of the most beautiful Churches:

Church of San Giovanni Battista, It was built in 1233 , also in the Romanesque style . Inside , three aisles , there is a great time to sail rebuilt in 1793 , the year in which several changes were made ​​to preserve the static nature of the church , beautiful capitals of Puglia type that adorn the columns with anthropomorphic figures , zoomorphic and plant , and an imposing apse .

Church of San Domenico, It was built together with the convent from 1230 in Romanesque style . Very beautiful rose with around four figures in relief depicting a telamone two figures on the sides , top and the Archangel Michael . At the center of the rose window a dog with a torch in his mouth , a symbol of the Dominicans . The interior has three naves with side altars and with a hemispherical dome coffered renovation was completed in 1774 ; among the works kept inside there is the Crucifixion with St. Dominic , made ​​by Pietrafesa in 1653 .

Palazzo dell’Annunziata, this palace located in Piazza Vittorio Veneto , it first hosted the convent of the Dominican Sisters , and later became the court in 1865 and still the school . Today the building overlooking the main square of Matera is home to the Media Library and the Provincial Library as well as hosting the Cinema Hall.

Hypogeum in piazza Vittorio Veneto, located under the main square of the city and came to light a few years ago , as well as numerous underground rooms contain also an ancient cistern , called the Palombaro lungo , and a tower that formed part of the walls that once had to be close to the Castle Tramontano .

Fountain of Ferdinando II, restored by King Ferdinand II of Borbonenel 1832 , it was originally located at the foot of the castle hill and collected the water coming from the hill . After the Second World War , the end of its procurement function , was moved inside the town park . In April of 2009 it was returned to its original place in Piazza Vittorio Veneto

The other Squares in the Historical Center are:

Piazza del Sedile: already ” Piazza Maggiore ” used in the fourteenth century . as the market square and surrounded by stores , taverns and shops , is placed in 1550 to house the offices of the governor , the city jails , and the town hall or ” seat “.


Palazzo del Sedile, located in the central Piazza seat , was built in 1540 , renovated in 1759 , it is the headquarters of the Conservatory of Music ” Egidio Romualdo Duni ” and Gervasio Auditorium . The facade has two bell towers and is decorated with six statues . Overlooking the same square is also the Governor’s Palace , dating from the seventeenth century , the first seat of the Royal Audience of Basilicata . His basement was used as a prison in the city . Today it houses a hotel .

Church of San Francesco d’Assisi,  almost completely rebuilt in Baroque style in 1670 . Relevant are the external facade in late Baroque style , while inside there is the ancient crypt of St Peter and Paul , which has a fresco depicting the visit of Matera Pope Urban II in 1093. Notable also are the panels a dismembered polyptych of the Venetian school variously attributed to Bartolomeo Vivarini or to Lazzaro Bastiani .

Church of Purgatorio, built in 1747in the late Baroque style , it has a facade decorated with the theme of death and the redemption of souls . Noteworthy is the wooden portal is divided into 36 squares showing up in the skulls of priests and royalty and down those of ordinary citizens . Inside , a Greek cross , there is an octagonal dome .

Church of Santa Chiara, It was built in the late seventeenth secolo insieme to adjoining premises that hosted the first hospital , then the convent of the Poor Clares , and finally the premises of the National Archaeological Museum ” Domenico Ridola ” . The façade , rich in decorations , presents a lunette in the upper and lower portal flanked by two columns and two niches with statues of saints . The interior has a nave .

Giovanni Pascoli Square: Located to the left of the seventeenth century Palazzo Lanfranchi , Piazzetta Pascoli named by the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli , who own in Matera , between 1882 and 1884 , he started his own career as a teacher of Latin and greek . It is the point from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Sassi .


Palazzo Lanfranchi, century monument built by Friar Francesco Cupertino by order of Bishop Vincenzo Lanfranchitra 1668 and 1672, which originally hosted the Seminar hosts the premises of the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata and the offices of the Superintendence for the Artistic Historical and Basilicata .