"A stoned city" Top 5 Page for this destination Matera by xaver

Matera Travel Guide: 67 reviews and 194 photos

My arrival

This is a city that definitly did not leave me indifferent, it’s hard to arrive, even tougher to be visited around. Many corners, tons of steps you go up and down, you pass from the bright to the dark in few moments while you walk around it.
Matera welcomes you in silent, nearly diffident, narrow streets, a real labyrinth made by stones and wind centuries ago. Dark crypts that if you dare to go deep may show you at the end, an afresco done centuries before your visit.

First impressions

It’s not a city that asks to be visited, it doesn’t claim to be known, it doesn’t bright, it doesn’t want to show itself, Matera doesn’t welcome you with a smile or with a flower ring, you can notice it, you can see while working around, while asking for an info at the station, while entering a restaurant, it’s if you somehow have to deserve it before enjoying and you sure have this feeling while sweating walking up and down in the sassi, while climbing narrow steps just to reach an ancent church built in the rock.


According to some people Matera was probably founded in 251 b.c.
Matera still bears the unique signs of history and prehistory.Dating back at the period of the punic wars Matera sheltered the fugitives of Metapontum and Heraclea.
It’s name may derive from the meet of Met and Era or from Mata which means heaps of rocks.
Later on until the last century this area was a rural area inhabitated by shepherds, this was a land of Transumanza which means the seasonal migration of shepherds and their sheeps.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Genuine, silent, clean, great food, great sceneries
  • Cons:tourists are arriving
  • In a nutshell:I hope it will resist
  • Last visit to Matera: May 2007
  • Intro Updated May 23, 2007
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Reviews (19)

Travelogues (1)

Comments (18)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Corra, I have also never heard of Materna before. Still this area of Italy is still on my must visit list. Nice little page here.

    • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
      Apr 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      I haven't seen it, but now I know where it was filmed. *winkygrin*

    • xaver's Profile Photo
      Apr 7, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      you didn't mis much it's such a boring movie :-)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    I have never heard of Matera but it looks like just the sort of Italian town I love to explore - lots of hidden corners and a self-sufficient attitude that keeps it from being too touristy. I enjoyed your descriptions and your own affection for the town shone through :-)

    • xaver's Profile Photo
      Dec 19, 2013 at 5:16 AM

      Thanks for your visit, yes I enjoyed those few days in Matera a lot.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    This looks like a nice town with lots of history.

  • Maria81's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Wow, sembra un posto davvero speciale! Non vedo l'ora di andarci :)

  • MATIM's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Just back from a visit to Matera, I plan to make a site about this place. AFter reading yours I think all that need to say about this place, is said in your page :)

  • maple_air's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    Tnx for sharing your tips xaver. This is one place that I've always wanted to visit but hasn't had the chance yet. One day I will do so! ciao : )

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Matera looks like a great secret place with 'rari turisti'. Loved the views, the winding narrow streets, the churches and so many nooks and crannies that only someone with insider knowledge can show you. Thanks for the wonderful virtual tour.

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Very interesting page, about place I never heard of (just read about it in The Economist this morning!) Thank you for sharing.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    You have taken wonderful pictures of this city-and I also hope it stays out of tourist way. We love to visit, as a cultural visitor and try to blend in. Ciao and tutti. Mio parlano un po, ma imprare ancora.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2009 at 5:18 AM

    Matera seems to be a great tourist destination with lots of interesting tourist attractions such as the churches, cathedral, museum, square, castle, Casa grotta, Sasso, Sassi and Gravina. We hope to visit Matera one day. ~ho & pang


“Whee. Sal, we gotta go and never stop going till we get there." "Where we going, man?" "I don't know but we gotta go.”

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