The stunning Puglia or Amalfi coast may be popular among travelers, but one southern Italian gem is gaining popularity: Matera, the most magical and enigmatic town.
Located in the “arch” of the distinctive boot of Italy, Matera lies in Basilicata’s massive agricultural region, snuggled between the series of endless mountain ranges to the west and Puglia to the east.
Matera has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, and since then, the destination has bloomed even more as it enjoys a quick surge in popularity. While Italian tourists mostly visit the area, the city has also captured the interest of international visitors because of the famed pictures of its Sassi, or the unique neighbourhoods made up of countless twisted alleys and stone dwellings immersed in the spectacular Mediterranean backdrop surrounding the area.
How to Reach Matera
Matera is located far from the major international airports due to its location in Southern Italy. If you want to visit the site, you might want to plan a longer itinerary in South Italy that also touches the many gorgeous nearby attractions.
Bari is the international airport closest to Matera which is just 65 km away from the city. From there, you can take public transport, including train and bus, or rent a car that will take you to the city of stone.
When to Visit Matera
Although the months of May to October are the best time to visit Matera, those who have been in the area suggest that the best time are May, June, and September because of the longer days and more enjoyable climate that is not too cold or too hot.
Colder months are from November to February with colder and shorter days. Fewer tourists also visit the city during this time. Of course, the prices are also better but you won’t be able to enjoy the terraces and bars in the city as you would during summer.
Getting Around Matera
Matera is a fun and enjoyable city to explore on foot. With its rustic stairs, balconies, terraces, and narrow alleys, your feet are the only things you need to discover more about the city and have the best experience.
If walking long distances isn’t your thing, there are also gracious ape-car taxis in the city that will take you on a tour all over the entire city for a reasonable price.
What to Do and See in Matera
Travel back in time, learn a part of the rich history of Italy, bask in the welcoming weather, and relish the rhythm of slow food and life. All of these are possible in Matera, a place to discover and explore.
Instead of just one route, there are hundreds of gnarled narrow streets, tunnels, spectacular viewpoints, and staircases that await you here. Below are some of the top attractions you shouldn’t miss visiting:
- Sasso Barisano
- Sasso Caveoso
- Casa Noha
- Hypogeum MateraSum
- Casa grotta di Vico Solitario
- MUSMA Museum of Contemporary Sculpture
- MOOM Matera Olive Oil Museum
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