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Sassi di Matera
Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera

Matera, Province of Matera, Italy

The Basics

To fully appreciate the history of the labyrinth of troglodyte dwellings that make up the Sassi di Matera, it’s best to visit as part of a walking tour. Explore on foot with a guide, weaving your way through the narrow alleyways, and checking out highlights like the frescoed cave churches; the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, an 18th-century house museum; and the MUSMA art museum, situated in an atmospheric cave.

Many day trips include a stop at the Sassi di Matera as well as visits to other nearby attractions like Alberobello, Castel del Monte, and Bari.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Matera

star-5
Best Tour of Our Trip
Victoria_M, Sep 2021
Secret Matera Sassi (Private Tour)
We had a fantastic time in Matera and Giorgio was by far the best tour guide we have ever had. He was very knowledgable and answered all of our questions and knew all of the good places to go for the best views and experience. More importantly, he was just a nice guy who we enjoyed hanging out with.
star-5
THE BEST TOUR EVER
Sarah_T, Sep 2021
Secret Matera Sassi (Private Tour)
This was honestly one of the most amazing tours we have ever been on. The 3 hours really flew by and Giovanna went above and beyond. She is incredibly passionate about the history of Matera (and all of Puglia) and helped us to fully understand the magic behind Matera. You visit all the hidden little locations that other tours did not seem to be going on it almost felt as though we had Matera to ourselves. She even took the time after the tour to book us in for a drink at one of the most gorgeous hotels over looking an incredible view to see matera at night. If you are visiting Puglia you have to go to Matera and I would HIGHLY recommend this tour for the most memorable day.
star-4
This tour was beautiful however we...
Alissa P, Jan 2017
Puglia Full-Day Tour: Bari, Trulli of Alberobello, Castel del Monte and Sassi of Matera
This tour was beautiful however we felt rushed at the end and would have liked to stay at Matera longer. I think it's too much in one day. The guide was perfect person for the tour but I would recommend staying away from talking about politics with clients. Politics are a sensitive subject.
star-5
Giorgio - the best guide we've ever had
mariog445, Aug 2019
Secret Matera Sassi (Private Tour)
The Matera tour given by Giorgio (@apuliatours) was one of the best private guided tours we've ever taken - thorough, detailed and unique. However, Giorgio's depth of knowledge, selfless energy and willingness to show us places & things that are not on the usual overdone itineraries made it even more special. Matera, of course, is not to be missed and you should seek out Giorgio to show it to you.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Sassi di Matera particularly appeal to photographers and archaeology enthusiasts.

  • Due to steep lanes and stairs, much of the Sassi di Matera might be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.

  • Walking tours include stretches under the strong Mediterranean sun, as well as visits to indoor caves with lower temperatures. Take both a sun hat and a light jacket.

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How to Get There

The Sassi di Matera are located in the southern region of Basilicata, and aren’t well-served by public transit. The most convenient way to get there is to join a guided tour that provides transportation.

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When to Get There

Southern Italy can be very hot in the summer, so if you’re there between June and September, visit the Sassi di Matera in the early morning or late afternoon. These times of day also offer ideal light for photographs.

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Layout of the Historic Sassi di Matera

The Sassi di Matera are divided into two distinct districts: Sasso Caveoso, with older dwellings that give an authentic sense of cave life, and Sasso Barisano, where many of the caves have been repurposed as hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has served as a backdrop for a number of films, such as Mel Gibson’sThe Passion of the Christ.

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