Sassi (ancient city)

Matera panoramica
Matera panoramica

Matera is a whole cave city on the hill of Murj. Its unique ancient quarters – Sassi di Matera, completely carved in limestone rock, since 1993 declared by UNESCO the heritage of all mankind and included in the list of world treasures. The Sassi are dwellings dug in a settlement, and these dwellings are considered to be among the first human settlements on the territory of modern Italy.

Matera is a city in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, which cannot be compared with any other city not only in Italy, but also in the world. Matera is literally stunned by the uniqueness of anyone who sees her for the first time. This city, which is important to emphasize, is connected by its history and culture with Russia, namely, with the Russian thousand-year Orthodox culture. The explanation is quite simple: a significant part of the territory of southern Italy for a long time was under the power and influence of Constantinople, i.e., the Byzantine Empire. Material evidence of that era is the cave temples that have survived to this day with magnificent fresco murals of the Byzantine school dating back to the 10th – 12th centuries.

The tour includes a visit to the viewing panorama, then a visit to the historical part of the city, which is an unimaginable confusion of crooked lanes and steep stairs, caves-houses of the poor and majestic baroque palaces of the nobility, kitchen gardens and wide terraces, among which suddenly miserable chimneys and strange bells appear underground churches. In Matera and its environs, most of the cult film of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ was shot and not only – the city is a truly cinematic “star” thanks to almost 60 feature films shot here.

  • The tour takes 2-3 hours and includes a visit to the cave house-museum of the traditional peasant culture and life of Matera (the cost of a group entrance ticket is 1 euro).

  • Free time after the tour (duration of the tour and free time as agreed).

  • After the tour, visit the wine production near Matera, a short tour + tasting of local wines and products. Duration is about 1 hour.

  • Location Matera from Bari 70 km (1 hour drive).

  • It is recommended that you have comfortable shoes, a bottle of drinking water, and a hat or shawl that protects you from the midday sun.