The city of stone

« “The city has a curious look, located in three deep valleys in which, with artifice, and on dry native stone, the churches sit above the houses and those hanging under there, confusing the dead and living room. The night lights make it resemble a starry sky. »
-Giovan Battista Pacichelli, The Kingdom of Naples in Perspective

The stones of Matera is a real cultural landscape, capable of perpetuating from the most distant prehistoric past to the modern times, the ways of living the caves.

Renaissance and Baroque facades open on eighth century tanks,  converted into housing. Byzantine churches hide wells dedicated to the worship of Mitra. Some tombs have been excavated several times up until the fifties, other walled up and forgotten, are hidden in the hill-sides. The Stones, the peasant village, together with the aristocratic and medieval Civita, built on an ancient acropolis, are in effects a schedule full of surprises, even if they seem still and compact, enclosed in the bare rock at times touched by a light whitewash.

Matera is one of the oldest and best preserved examples of bio-architecture in the world.

Its strategic location in the area, useful for the safety of the city over the past centuries has, however, led its inhabitants to enormous difficulties in getting their water supply. In fact, the Sassi were built on a huge limestone table about 150 meters above the river level, while the clay hills surrounding them in the west are too distant. In a city designed to prevent sieges, autonomy is paramount and must be ensured from the inside.

Since the early days, therefore, its people concentrated their energies, not so much on the construction of houses, as the excavation of tanks and cisterns and their system of water pipes and plumbing.

If you pay attention, seemingly simple and rudimentary structures reveal wonders of technical efficiency. The humble archaic techniques, forgotten by the inhabitants themselves, disclose charm and value once unimaginable. The troglodytes who dig canals and tanks, build hanging gardens, and around the public spaces, now called neighborhoods and share their resources, suddenly show their human genius. Amazingly, all of this is still present and alive, before our eyes, in a city that keeps unchanged the magic of time gone by.

Matera, the city of stones

Matera is the city of the stones, the original urban core, which developed from the natural caves carved into the rock and then molded into increasingly complex structures within two large natural amphitheatres which are the Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano.



All the possible cultural and artistic experience of a land rich in natural beauty, a treasure chest that contains traces of an important past.


Explore the beauty

From the uncontaminated  blue of the Ionian Sea, to the majesty of the mountains: suggestions of wonder and ancient civilizations that enlighten the unique profile of a land like no other.


The adventure of the journey

Basilicata is a one-stop-region for experience,  adventure and sports, from the flight of the angel to hiking up on the bold profiles of the Pollino Mountains.


Guided tour

On request we organize for our guests guided tours of the Sassi of Matera and excursions in the park of the rock churches.
We pay tourist advice helping you to plan your stay in Matera and Basilicata.