Sassi of Matera - "Stones"
up to 8 people
9 Hours Tour - 5 Hours Drive
  • Sassi of Matera
  • Sasso Caveoso
  • Civita



The Sassi of Matera represent the ancient city of Matera. Sassi are divided in three part Sasso “Caveoso”, Sasso “Barisano” and the district “Civita”.

Until the 1950s, Matera was a source of shame for Italy, a place of poverty, malaria and high rates of infant mortality, where people lived in caves without electricity, running water or sewage.

Carlo Levi’s book Christ Stopped at Eboli raised awareness of the desperate conditions people were living in and about half of the 30,000 population were moved to new homes in the modern part of the city between 1953 and 1968.

Matera is located in a remote corner of southern Italy in the small region Basilicata.

It’s not the easiest place to reach which is why it has managed to remain relatively unknown, especially to foreign tourists, although since it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 visitor numbers are slowly growing and many of the caves have been transformed into stylish hotels and restaurants.

It still has an undiscovered air and as we wandered the ancient sassi we marvelled that Matera wasn’t on everyone’s “must visit” list, that we rarely heard English voices, and only saw a couple of tour groups.

Sasso Barisano, turned north – west edge of the cliff, if we take as reference the Civita, the heart of the old city, is the richest and friezes carved portals that hide the underground heart.

The Caveoso, looking instead to the south, is arranged like a Roman amphitheater, with the cave dwellings which descend in terraces, and perhaps takes its name from the quarries and classical theaters.

At the center of the Civita, rocky outcrop that separates the two Sassi, on top of which is the Cathedral.

And finally in front, on the opposite side of the Gravina of Matera, the Murgia plateau that serves as a natural backdrop to this scenario, with the many stone churches scattered along the slopes of ravines protected by the institution in the Parco Archeologico delle Chiese rock of Matera, also called Park of the Murgia Matera.

Tour order may be reversed but all sites will be visited.

Our Rates

Include: Transportation in a comfortable Mercedes van equipped with double air-conditioning and refreshments, English or Spanish speaking driver, Highway tolls,car fuel and Parking.

Exclude: Entrance tickets, lunch and any eventual extras and gratuities. Archaeological sites free for children under 18.

An authorized archaeological guide (tour for group) is available for 15€ per person/2 Hours.

Every itinerary can be modified to fit any special need or request.