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Sassi di Matera Tours and Activities

Sassi di Matera
A European Capital of Culture, the UNESCO-listed Sassi di Matera are one of Basilicata’s most fascinating destinations. The cave dwellings and caverns carved into the hillside of Matera date from prehistoric times and were inhabited until the 1950s. Today, they host unique hotels, restaurants, churches, and museums.  

The Basics
To fully appreciate the history of the labyrinth of troglodyte dwellings that make up the Sassi di Matera, it’s best to visit as part of a walking tour. Explore on foot with a guide, weaving your way through the narrow alleyways, and checking out highlights like the frescoed cave churches; the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, an 18th-century house museum; and the MUSMA art museum, situated in an atmospheric cave.

Many day trips include a stop at the Sassi di Matera as well as visits to other nearby attractions like Alberobello, Castel del Monte, and Bari.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Sassi di Matera particularly appeal to photographers and archaeology enthusiasts.
  • Due to steep lanes and stairs, much of the Sassi di Matera might be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
  • Walking tours include stretches under the strong Mediterranean sun, as well as visits to indoor caves with lower temperatures. Take both a sun hat and a light jacket.

How to Get There
The Sassi di Matera are located in the southern region of Basilicata, and aren’t well-served by public transit. The most convenient way to get there is to join a guided tour that provides transportation.

When to Get There
Southern Italy can be very hot in the summer, so if you’re there between June and September, visit the Sassi di Matera in the early morning or late afternoon. These times of day also offer ideal light for photographs.

Layout of the Historic Sassi di Matera
The Sassi di Matera are divided into two distinct districts: Sasso Caveoso, with older dwellings that give an authentic sense of cave life, and Sasso Barisano, where many of the caves have been repurposed as hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has served as a backdrop for a number of films, such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
Address: Matera, Province of Matera, Italy
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25 Tours and Activities to Experience Sassi di Matera

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Private walking tour in Matera

Private walking tour in Matera

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2
Private tour with a multilingual tour guide that will lead just you discovering the city and its history.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.40
Price varies by group size
From
$48.40
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Ape Tour Matera - Panoramic tour in ape calessino

Special Offer

Ape Tour Matera - Panoramic tour in ape calessino

star-5
29
A tour of the three neighborhoods in the historic center of the Sassi with panoramic stops and curiosities on the recent history of the city of Matera: from national shame to a city known and appreciated worldwide. The path lasts about an hour and in this time visitors will be able to observe the area of the Piano, that is the part behind the Sassi and learn about the historical places from another perspective. The area of the Piano is actually the first area built immediately after the Sassi at the turn of the Renaissance.
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  • 40 to 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.83
$31.04
$6.21 savings
From
$24.83
$31.04
$6.21 savings

Discover Matera Walking Tour

Discover Matera Walking Tour

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Explore the lovely Sasso Caveoso district in the city of Matera on a 2-hour tour walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Visit one cave, one church and the historical center, hearing about the fascinating history and subterranean architecture of the city. See parts of the famous Sassi of Matera, ancient cave dwellings that are still in use today and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$119.80
From
$119.80
Taking safety measures

Matera Sassi - European Capital of Culture 2019

Matera Sassi - European Capital of Culture 2019

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2
Get more out of your visit to Sassi di Matera with a guide to show you the best ways around the area. Along with leading you through the region, your guide will also tell you interesting historical and cultural facts as you go. Plus, see tops attractions such as Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$187.56
per group
From
$187.56
per group

Private Tour: Matera Sassi Experience with Official Guide

Private Tour: Matera Sassi Experience with Official Guide

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We will visit a beautiful UNESCO site like the Sassi of Matera: SASSI represents an extraordinary urban ecosystem able to perpetuate the most distant prehistoric ways of the past to live in caves up to modernity. Known as "the Underground City", Matera is famous for being one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. On October 17, 2014, Matera was declared the European Capital of Culture for 2019.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$145.21
per group
From
$145.21
per group

Private Panoramic Tour with Piaggio Ape Calessino in Matera

Private Panoramic Tour with Piaggio Ape Calessino in Matera

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10
Unique panoramic tour on board the historic Piaggio Ape Calessino, it will give you an indelible memory of the splendid Matera. Customizable for your every need.
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  • 45 to 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$32.67
From
$32.67
Taking safety measures

Matera 2 hours walking tour

Matera 2 hours walking tour

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1
Discover the old mountainside city of Matera on a 2-hour private walking tour. Visit the city’s key landmarks like Palazzo Lanfranchi, the church of San Pietro Caveoso, the Sasso Caveoso, and visit a typical cave house from the region. Learn about the history of this centuries-old city from your informative guide and even walk the streets where Mel Gibson filmed scenes from ‘The Passion of the Christ.’
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$166.38
Price varies by group size
From
$166.38
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Sassi di Matera Pass and City Cards Official

Sassi di Matera Pass and City Cards Official

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3
The Smart Card offers visitors the chance to visit unique and evocative places within the City of Stones: • Rupestrian Church Madonna delle Grazie • Casa Grotta Narrante • Rupestrian Church of Sant’Antonio Abate • Casa Cava • Stone Tales Museum • Immersive Museum of Bruna
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$11.18
From
$11.18

Discover the Wonderful Matera Sassi with Local Guide

Discover the Wonderful Matera Sassi with Local Guide

Join this fascinating 2-hour private tour of the Matera Sassi. Meet your expert guide in Piazzetta Pascoli, a viewpoint with a breathtaking panorama over the stones of Matera. Make your way down narrow stairways into the heart of Sasso Caveoso, one of the two Civita' districts, towards the baroque style church, San Pietro Caveoso. Venture inside a rupestrian church (carved into the rock), visit Santa Maria di Idris, set into a large, limestone rock and the ancient monastery, Santa Lucia alle Malve that has remarkable 1000 year old frescoes. Head up a stairway to see a cave house and get an understanding how people once lived. In the Sasso Barisano district you can admire the churches of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Clare and the stunning Romanesque Cathedral. Marvel at this UNESCO World Heritage site and chosen location for numerous Hollywood movies. Together with your guide you'll discover the magic, history, architecture and stories of the exquisite Matera.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.19
Price varies by group size
From
$47.19
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Excursion of the Sassi of Matera of 3h Complete

Excursion of the Sassi of Matera of 3h Complete

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28
Discover the city of Matera in a journey through the city of the Piano with its Baroque churches, the Rione Civita where the cathedral in Apulian Romanesque style, and the two famous Sassi, Barisano and Caveoso districts, defined for their beauty and history a true cultural landscape.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$43.44
From
$43.44

Matera and the Sassi area

Matera and the Sassi area

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1
A visit to the 2019 European Capita for Culture and its sassi area is a must during your staying in Italy
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.94
Price varies by group size
From
$65.94
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

On the Footsteps of James Bond, Matera and Gravina in Puglia

On the Footsteps of James Bond, Matera and Gravina in Puglia

A tour between Matera and Gravina, two cities with an ancient history and unique views, setting of the last of the famous James Bond saga "No time to die". During the tour an expert local guide will show you the locations of the most spectacular chases and the most reckless action scenes that animated the two cities for two months, during the shooting. In Matera you will see how difficult it was for the stuntmen to drive on the streets among the caves and in Gravina you will walk on the famous bridge which is the first scene in the newest trailer of the movie.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$308.42
From
$308.42
Taking safety measures

The Best of Matera Walking Tour

The Best of Matera Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the European Capital of Culture 2019 and Unesco world heritage site! Are you ready to explore the secrets of Sassi? Admire the town in carved out rock where inhabitants lived until 20th century. Visit the cave cathedral. Why it is truly unique? You will find out why Matera is an architectural miracle. Why Matera's cemeteries are quite unusual? And did you know that the city has its own Bizarre Festival? You will see the most impressive places of the city together with a professional local guide.
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  • 2 hours
From
$367.24
per group
From
$367.24
per group

The Sassi Caves of Matera Private Walking Tour

The Sassi Caves of Matera Private Walking Tour

The Sassi Caves of Matera, nestled in the southern region of Basilicata, still remains relatively undiscovered even with its coveted status as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the European Capital of Culture in 2019. On this 2.5-hour private tour, your expert guide will share stories of Matera's incredible history, cave dwellings, and Rupestrian (rock) churches, all offering you an appreciation for this unique city. As you stroll through the labyrinth of narrow stairs and alleys, you'll visit must-sees sites including Sasso Caveoso, Sasso Barisano, the Rupestrian churches, and its "new" historic center (Il Piano).
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$240.80
per group
From
$240.80
per group
Taking safety measures

Ape tour Matera - Guided tour in ape calessino

Special Offer

Ape tour Matera - Guided tour in ape calessino

star-5
1
A tour of the three districts in the historic center of the Sassi with panoramic stops and curiosities about the recent history of the city of Matera: from national shame to a city known and appreciated worldwide. It will also be possible to visit a cave house and a rock church. The route lasts just over an hour and in this time visitors will be able to observe the Piano area, that is, the part close to the Sassi and get to know the historical places from another perspective. The Piano area is actually the first area built immediately after the Sassi at the turn of the Renaissance.
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  • 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.73
$45.98
$8.25 savings
From
$37.73
$45.98
$8.25 savings
Taking safety measures

The Best of Matera Walking Tour

The Best of Matera Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the European Capital of Culture 2019 and Unesco world heritage site! Are you ready to explore the secrets of Sassi? Admire the town in carved out rock where inhabitants lived until 20th century. Visit the cave cathedral. Why it is truly unique? You will find out why Matera is an architectural miracle. Why Matera's cemeteries are quite unusual? And did you know that the city has its own Bizarre Festival? You will see the most impressive places of the city together with a professional local guide.
More
  • 2 hours
From
$367.24
per group
From
$367.24
per group

Sassi and Murgia walk by electric bike

Sassi and Murgia walk by electric bike

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4
The 2-hour tour gives guests the opportunity to stroll in contact with nature with an assisted pedal bike. Crossing, in a fun and carefree way, the ancient "Sassi" districts (Barisano and Caveoso), they will reach the Murgia Materana National Park. Our guests will be accompanied on the nature walk by a leader who, at the head of the group, will indicate the right way to go. Within the tour, included in the ticket, stop and visit of the suggestive Madonna della Palomba Sanctuary, stop in an ancient tuff quarry still active, arrival on the panoramic point of Murgia Timone and free stop of 15 minutes.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$31.04
From
$31.04

Matera Walks

Matera Walks

Matera is a beautiful town in the Italian region of Basilicata. If travelling in southern Italy, you cannot miss a stop to this gem! Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera". The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are habitations dug into the calcareous rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia. Take a stop at the Cathedral of Matera and at Palazzo Lanfranchi, to historical buildings of Matera.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$177.88
Price varies by group size
From
$177.88
Price varies by group size

Matera balloon flight for small groups

Matera balloon flight for small groups

Our company was created to promote flight, air, nature and southern excellence. Southern Italy is a unique territory, yet to be discovered, and the balloon is the best way to admire it from a new perspective, upside down. The experience of our team will lead you towards the discovery of the true and authentic soul made in the south, made up of food and wine excellence, typical crafts and sites of historical and cultural interest. We are a true airline, the only Italian company in southern Italy authorized to perform commercial flights with passengers, as we have a license issued by ENAC, the National Civil Aviation Authority and specific aeronautical insurance.
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  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$277.10
From
$277.10
Taking safety measures

Exclusive Private Hot Air Balloon Flight in Matera with Breakfast

Exclusive Private Hot Air Balloon Flight in Matera with Breakfast

The experience of our team will lead you towards the discovery of the true and authentic soul made in the south, made up of food and wine excellence, typical crafts and sites of historical and cultural interest. Our company is a true airline, the only Italian company in southern Italy authorized to perform commercial flights with passengers, as it has a license issued by ENAC, the National Civil Aviation Authority and specific aeronautical insurance.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,087.84
From
$1,087.84
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Tour of Matera

Full-Day Tour of Matera

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1
Named the European Capital of Culture for 2019, the city of Matera is like no other. Famed for its sassi (ancient cave dwellings) and rock-carved churches, the city is rich in history and unique scenery. This full-day tour makes it easier than ever to explore: following pickup from your area accommodation, travel via comfortable vehicle to Matera, where you’ll go on an in-depth walking tour, can enjoy a traditional lunch, have time at your leisure to explore independently, and more.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$279.25
From
$279.25
Taking safety measures

Combo Offer: 3 Private Walking Tour Unesco (matera Alberobello Castel Del Monte)

Combo Offer: 3 Private Walking Tour Unesco (matera Alberobello Castel Del Monte)

This package includes 3 private walking tour to the UNESCO sites of Matera, Alberobello, Castel del Monte. Visits can be made whenever you want, just communicate time and date.
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  • 1 to 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$590.28
per group
From
$590.28
per group
Taking safety measures

COMBO OFFER: 4 PRIVATE WALKING TOURS (Matera Alberobello Castel del Monte Lecce)

COMBO OFFER: 4 PRIVATE WALKING TOURS (Matera Alberobello Castel del Monte Lecce)

This package includes 3 private walking tour to the UNESCO sites of Matera, Alberobello, Castel del Monte, Lecce. Visits can be made whenever you want, just communicate time and date.
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  • 1 to 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$787.03
per group
From
$787.03
per group
Taking safety measures

COMBO OFFER 5 Pvt WALKING TOUR (Matera Alberobello Lecce Ostuni Cas. del monte)

COMBO OFFER 5 Pvt WALKING TOUR (Matera Alberobello Lecce Ostuni Cas. del monte)

This package includes 5 private walking tour to the UNESCO sites of Matera, Alberobello, Castel del Monte and the towns of Ostuni and Lecce Visits can be made whenever you want, just communicate time and date.
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  • 1 to 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$983.79
per group
From
$983.79
per group
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Sassi di Matera?