Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the “Sassi di Matera” (meaning “stones of Matera”), reason enough for a visit to Basilicata.
The “Sassi” of Matera (“Stones”) belong to UNESCO World Heritage since 1993. In fact they represent one of the most enchanting landscapes in the world. By Sassi we mean the old city of Matera, almost completely dig out into the rock. Their cultural and historical value was condensed in Carlo Levi’s masterpiece “Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli” (“Christ stopped at Eboli”). He was an important Italian writer that revealed to the world the conditions of the people living here until the latest years of 1960’s. The misery of the inhabitants of Sassi justify why they had to adapt the nature to their needs by turning natural caves into habitations. For this reason the Sassi of Matera have an important anthropological value and, at the same time, they are evidence of the old population whose economy was mainly based on agriculture. Moreover, Matera is considered as one of the oldest cities in the world: archaeological findings, from the prehistoric age to the modern age, show it has never been abandoned. The town lies athwart a small canyon, which has been eroded in the course of years by a small stream, the Gravina. A walk along the small streets of Sassi and their suggestive little yards allows a rich cultural experience made of craftsmanship realizations, nature, local culture and the art of rocky churches.
The Sasso Caveoso is the most fascinating part of Sassi: here in front of the wonderful landscapes of the “Gravine”, it is possibile to see how houses rises from the rock.
- “Cave dwelling with old furniture”
Its furniture and tools give evidence of how daily life was organized here in the Sassi. Usually a single place was used, at the same time, as habitation and stable for animals. A family compound of 11 people (with animals) lived here until 1956.
It is the first monastic settlement of Benedictine order and is very important in the history of the town. The church has been deeply transformed: evident architectural signs show the richness of this crypt. Of great historical-artistic importance are the frescoes which stillpartly adorn the walls.
- Tasting of local products
The tour ends with the tasting of local products, since they are an expression of local culture and tradition, too. So we reserve you a moment devoted to discovering the taste of genuine old flavours.
- Sasso Caveoso Area
- Cave dwelling with old furniture
- The rocky church
- Tasting of local products
Available: Every day
Persons: Min 1- Max 10 .
Price per tour: 1-2 pax € 180,00; 3-4 pax € 195,00; 5-6 pax € 210,00; 7-8 pax € 225,00; 9-10 pax € 240,00.
- Entrance Ticket (includes every entrances: rock house, rock churches and tasting)
- Licensed guide