20 Hotels in Matera, Italy
Matera is the second town in the region of Basilicata and it's set on the border with Puglia. The city is worldwide renown for its "Sassi", which have been nowdays declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site and from 1993 were included in the list of UNESCO. The "Sassi" are charming ancient districts, inhabited since ancient times by the poorest population, with houses dug into the rock tuff. The town lies in a small canyon, which has been eroded in the course of centuries by the Gravina river. The surrounding area is part of the territory of Murgia, a vast plateau characterized by a lack of vegetation.
The origins of Matera are very old, given that this area was inhabited since Neolithic times. During the Middle Ages was provided with defensive walls but is under the Norman domination that started the process of peopling of Sassi. At the end of the seventeenth century, the city was divided into two parts. The Sassi remained at the bottom while the top was enriched with important public and private buildings. With its appointment as chief of the region the city underwent further development and beautiful palaces in Baroque style were built, like the Annunziata, now the headquarters of the provincial library.
On the same square facing the church Mater Domini, coupled with a bell tower that allows views on Sassi. Nearby there is the Tramontano Castle, started in the fifteenth century but never completed. Continuing along Via Duomo you arrive at St. Mary's Cathedral, built in Romanesque style in the thirteenth century. Inside are kept precious works of art, including a statue of the Madonna. Also worth visiting the National Archaeological Museum, where are collected specimens and documents of various eras of the city, from the Palaeolithic until Greek and Roman period.
From here you can descend to the Sassi, who surely represent the main attraction of Matera. The district, accessible only on foot, has maintained the characteristics of the Middle Ages that make it truly unique in the world. Along the streets alternate homes and many small churches. One of the most beautiful is the St. Peter Caveoso chapel, whose interior is richly frescoed. Matera, as well as being a city of art, it allows daily excursions to discover the natural beautys of this area. In a short time we can reach the archaeological sites of Metaponto and Policoro or relax in the Pollino National Park.
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About Matera, Italy
Longitude:16° 90' 0'' E (16.6)