5 reasons to visit Matera, Italy

by Addison Takats
Stripes Europe

Located in a distant corner of southern Italy, Matera is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. For the most part, Matera remains foreign and undiscovered to tourists, but this city should be one of your top must-sees when visiting. If you need some convincing let us make our case with five reasons why you should visit Matera!

 

1. The gorgeous Sassi di Matera.

The Sassi di Matera are two neighborhoods of the city Matera (Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano). When you get off the train in Matera, you’ll be able to look down over the Sassi and see the gorgeous city. Winding streets and alleys, houses stacked on top of houses, ancient hotels, restaurants, and more! The best way to explore it all? Put on your best walking shoes and simply take to the streets!

 

2. Caves, caves, and more caves!

This is a city that is literally built out of caves. Historians have found signs that Matera may have been one of the first human settlements in Italy, and these original settlers made their homes in the cave system. Many of these caves are homes, restaurants, shops and hotels, and they’re still in use today! You can even visit the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario a historic cave home that is furnished exactly how it would have been in the 18th century. Tickets are three euros for adults and discounted for children.

 

3. The breath-taking hike down into the ravine.

The city sits above an absolutely stunning ravine. The hike up and down may look daunting, but really isn’t too difficult. Once you get down to the base, you can take in Matera from a whole different view. It’s an amazing hike, and not one most people can say they’ve done!

 

4. A unique stay.

Remember those caves we talked about? You can stay in some of those hotel caves! Nice and cool, and surprisingly not damp, these hotels are amazing! Most of the hotels have been revamped for modern comfort, and it’s definitely a stay you won’t quickly forget.

 

5. The (do we even have to say it?) food!

Italy is Italy and the food is always amazing no matter where you stay. Try as many Matera restaurants as possible and experience the mouth-watering spreads of focaccia, jams, fruit, juices, cheese, meats and more! Stretchy pants are a must.

 

We won’t lie to you, Matera takes more of an effort to get to than many of the popular Italy tourist destinations but that’s just it… this isn’t your average tourist destination. You’ll have this beautiful ancient city to yourself to wander and explore. Next time you’re in Italy add Matera to your list!

 

 

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