The Cave World of Matera

Location: Matera
Duration and Type: Half Day and Full Day, History & Art
Walk down ancient streets where prehistoric humans once tread in the city of Matera in Basilicata. This fascinating historical setting that has been used as a backdrop location for Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," and the Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993. In the half-day tour the guide will introduce you to the Sassi di Matera, while the full...
Walk down ancient streets where prehistoric humans once tread in the city of Matera in Basilicata. This fascinating historical setting that has been used as a backdrop location for Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," and the Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993. In the half-day tour the guide will introduce you to the Sassi di Matera, while the full day tour also includes an afternoon visit to the park.

The tour begins with an overview of the Caveoso and Barisano districts, both 9,000-year-old neighborhoods of Matera known for their cave dwellings, dug into the rock the city was built on. These habitats date back to the Paleolithic age and are among the first human settlements in Italy. Walk through this underground world, see the ancient water systems, look at how these caves are put to use nowadays and visit MUSMA - the Museum of Modern Sculpture - to see how the historical and modern ages come together.

In the afternoon, if you opted for a full day tour, you will explore the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. Over 150 rupestrian (cave) churches can be found here - some are a simple cave dwelling with one altar, while others are more complex, such as the Crypt of the Original Sin where you can see a magnificent set of frescoes showcasing scenes from the Old and New Testaments, dating back to the 9th century.

By the end of the day, you will come to appreciate the unique beauty of this remarkable 'cave city.'

Pricing & Booking
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Pricing at a Glance:

Half Day Tour
$166.00 per group
Full Day Tour
$275.00 per group

Additional Information

Price includes an expert, English-speaking guide and a tasting of typical local gastronomic products in a shop in the Sassi. Please note that tickets for the optional suggested entrances are NOT included in the tour price and are to be purchased on site. Service Duration: Approximately 3 hours (half day...

Sites Included

Half day tour includes: Sasso Caveoso Sasso Barisano A tasting of typical local gastronomic products Optional suggested entrances:...

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