Basilicata Tour

Matera - Craco - Metaponto - Aliano - Maratea - Venosa

For information write to

1st day - Matera,
Arrival in the morning in Matera and accommodation in Hotel ***** and guided walking tour of Matera, Sasso Caveoso and Civita, European Capital of Culture 2019, City of the Sassi and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with tasting of products typical local; Guided Tour Itinerary - Duration: about 2h 15 '.

- Piazza Pascoli: the beautiful central square of Matera, a window on a breathtaking view. - Crossing Via Domenico Ridola, street dedicated to Senator Domenico Ridola, founder of the "Domenico Ridola" National Archaeological Museum.
- Church of San Francesco d'Assisi: the second for beauty and importance after the Cathedral of Matera, first impact church in Baroque-Lecce style built on an ancient underground crypt, the first building dates back to 1200.
- Piazza del Sedile: ancient political and administrative center of the city dominated by the Palazzo del Sedile.
- Via Duomo: main access road to the Civita, highest spur that divides the two Sassi, bounded by the two ancient entrance doors Porta di Juso and Porta di Suso.
- Cathedral of S. Maria della Bruna and Sant'Eustachio: the Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and Sant'Eustachio is the main Catholic place of worship of Matera, Mother Church of the Archdiocese, built in the Apulian Romanesque style in the XIII century, rises on the highest and oldest point of the city, called "Civita".
- Rupestrian churches: churches carved into the rock and their walls are embellished with frescoes of exquisite workmanship.
- Porta Pistola: square from which you can enjoy a view of the Gravina di Matera for which you can understand the geological aspect of our territory and main set of the most recent Mel Gibson film, "The Passion" (2004).
- Church of San Pietro Caveoso: built between the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century. The church overlooks the homonymous square, which offers a very suggestive view of the Sassi di Matera, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Casa Grotta: a typical dwelling of the maternal peasant culture, accurately furnished in the period style in which it was inhabited, to better understand the uses and customs of our ancestors.
- Barbaric-Longobard cemetery: an ancient necropolis located in the heart of Sasso Caveoso, overlooking the former monastic complex where there is the necropolis called "Barbaric cemetery" that must have greatly affected Carlo Levi, so as to make him write in his book-complaint on the poor conditions of life in Matera in the 40s that "The dead are above the living".
- Illustrative stop at c/o Local crafts: in the characteristic workshop, in the heart of the Sassi of Matera, it will be possible to observe the master craftsmen who produce their works and have a small museum of rural culture.

Lunch at a typical local restaurant of the Città dei Sassi; in the afternoon, guided walking tour of the Sasso Barisano and part of the Hypogeum of Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019, City of the Sassi and World Heritage Site, with tasting of typical local products;  Guided Tour Itinerary - Duration: about 3h 15 '.

 - Piazza Pascoli: the beautiful central square of Matera, a window on a breathtaking view. - Crossing Via Domenico Ridola, street dedicated to Senator Domenico Ridola, founder of the "Domenico Ridola" National Archaeological Museum.
- Notes on the Church of San Francesco d'Assisi: the second for beauty and importance after the Cathedral of Matera, the first impact church in Baroque-Lecce style built on an ancient underground crypt, the first building dates back to 1200.
- Piazza Vittorio Veneto: previously called Piazza Del Plebiscito, it was also known as "Piazza della Fontana" due to the presence in the past of the monumental large "Fontana Ferdinandea", built in 1832 to collect the water coming from the hill above the castle "De Montigny" , currently moved a few hundred meters towards Via del Corso.
- The Hypogeum Materasum is a marvelous example of settling man's adaptation to the surrounding territory. An ancient territory, in constant change, that through the passing of the lived eras and of the anthropic transformations, gives us back today, glimpses of a lost past.
- Via Fiorentini is one of the main streets of the Sassi di Matera. In fact, it is located in the middle of the Barisano rock, and is so named for the presumed presence of Florentine-born fabric merchants who would have had their own shops in this area.
- Casa Grotta Antica Matera and Sassi in Miniatura, this singular place entitled "Once upon a time" shows us and tells us with furniture and sculptures, life, between the domestic walls of the Matera civilization until the end of the '60s.
- the rock church of San Giuliano, one of the least known, is located inside the church of Sant'Agostino; The information that reaches us on the church are few, yet once crossed the narrow corridor (dug into calcarenite) that leads to the church the scenario that is presented is fabulous: the walls are for the most part covered with frescoes, dating back to mostly 1600, depicting the Holy Trinity, a crucifixion, the Madonna with Child, San Leonardo, Santa Barbara and San Silvestro.
- The Church of San Pietro Barisano is a perfect example of the typical architectural structure of the Sassi: it has a front built in tuff, but the interior is almost completely excavated. The church dates back to the year one thousand and was known as San Pietro in Veteribus.
- Casa Cava is a fantastic theater and congress center completely carved into the rock, in the heart of the Sasso Barisano. A place where you have managed to achieve perfect harmony between beauty and functionality.

Dinner in a typical local restaurant of Matera and overnight.


2nd day - Matera, Parco Murgia Materana and Cripte,
Breakfast and guided tour of the Regional Park of the Rupestrian Churches, (Parco Murgia - Belvedere);
- Visit of three rock churches: - San Falcione XVIII-IX century AD, with tombs, cisterns, Byzantine style frescoes; - San Vito and the "holy sepulcher" of Pasolini; - Madonna delle Tre Porte and the frescoes stolen in the '60s by the German university professor. At the end of the excursion return to the starting point and tasting of typical products. The historical-natural Archaeological Park of the Matera Churches of Matera, also called Parco della Murgia Materana, is a regional park in Basilicata. Since 2007, the definition of Sassi di Matera in the UNESCO list of World Heritage has been extended to include the Sassi and the Park of the cave churches of Matera. The park, which lies between the towns of Matera and Montescaglioso in Basilicata, a few kilometers away from the border with Puglia, is characterized by a soft rock, called "calcarenite", which played an essential role in the forms assumed by the landscape, drawing cliffs, valleys and caves used by the man who settled there since prehistoric times. In the Park of the Murgia there are 150 cave churches, different for architecture and iconography, made mostly in the early Middle Ages. What is surprising is that despite being born as places of worship, over time the churches have also been used as dwellings or shelters for animals. Even these churches today represent an important testimony of the human presence, relating in particular to Benedictine, Longobard and Byzantine monks. The Murgia plateau acts as a natural backdrop to this scenario, with the numerous rocky churches scattered along the slopes of the ravines, protected by the institution of the historical-natural archaeological park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera, also known as the Murgia Materana Park. Altieri Viaggi organizes excursions every day to explore the Parco della Murgia Materana or Natural History Park of the Rupestrian Churches. The park is very fascinating, engraved by ravines, with cultivated areas and some survival of the Mediterranean scrub. Finally, there are also fortified farmhouses, jazzi (animal farms) and fascinating paths carved into the rock for the collection of water in cisterns, drinking troughs and wells, evidence of centuries-old agropastoral development. You will walk on a prehistoric paleolithic soil, rich in fossils and suggestive corners that will make you travel in time and space. Lunch at a typical local restaurant of the Città dei Sassi; In the afternoon free visit to the city and following Guided visit to the Cripta del Peccato Originale a natural cavity overlooking the Gravina di Picciano. This exceptional rock oratory is one of the oldest examples of rock art in Southern Italy. Its extraordinary cycle of frescoes, realized five hundred years before Giotto, highlights the typical features of Benedictine-Benevento art summarized stylistically by the Langobard cultural climate (8th-9th centuries). For the theological and artistic value of the pictorial compendium the cave-church has been called the Sistine Chapel of rock wall painting, and to the Crypt of the Four Evangelists, the rock complex or Pecchiara by Don Pirro Groya preserves hypogean rooms, a totally frescoed crypt from wall paintings of exquisite workmanship and workplaces for beekeeping.  Dinner in a typical local restaurant of Matera and overnight.

3rd day - Craco and Metaponto, 
Breakfast, transfer with QUAD or alternatively in courtesy car and guided tour to the ghost town of CRACO (Mt), In the sixties, the historic center has experienced an evacuation that has made it a real ghost town. However, this phenomenon has contributed to make the town of Craco particular, which for this feature has become a tourist destination and a film set for various films. Always in QUAD or courtesy car, ride on the beaches of Metaponto. Lunch at a typical local restaurant of the Ghost Town;  In the afternoon visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto and to the Tavole Palatine, The Palatine Tables (so called perhaps in reference to the identification, in the past, with the site of an ancient palace) are the remains of a Doric temple peripterum exastyle of the sixth century BC. dedicated to the mythological divinity Hera. The temple, located near to Bradano, was linked to an extra-urban sanctuary, which emerged the wall of the temenos and remains of an older altar later, returning to QUAD or courtesy car in Matera.  Dinner in a typical local restaurant and return to Matera for overnight. 

Alternatively this day can be experienced in 4 or 2 people, as follows:
Sasso di Castalda (Pz) - Tibetan bridges
The path of the tibetan bridges of Sasso di Castalda spreads on the shores of the "Fosso Arenazzo" that opens right at the foot of the charming old town. Through the narrow streets that branch off between the characteristic stone houses of the old town, you reach the departure of the first bridge, "Ponte Petracca" 95 meters long and suspended at about 70 meters in height, through which you reach the opposite bank on a slope characterized by characteristic geological formations. Following the path along the bank of the "Fosso" you pass the votive chapel and in 15 minutes you reach the start of the impressive "Ponte alla Luna". With a single span of 300 meters and suspended in a vacuum 120 meters above the stream below, you can literally reach through the air, the ruins of the castle that dominates the village from above. Upon arrival, a glass sky-walk suspended over the bridge awaits us and a belvedere equipped to catch a few minutes, admiring the panorama of the surrounding mountains seated on the ancient ruins. Following a short downhill section on the stone stairways, one returns to the historic center passing through the characteristic recently restored church of San Nicola. The total duration of the Tibetan bridges is about one and a half hours.

4th day - Aliano,
Breakfast and guided tour for the whole day at the Municipality of Aliano (Mt) of 971 inhabitants in the province of Matera. It is known for being the place where he spent part of his period of confinement the writer Carlo Levi who was buried there. Aliano is also affiliated to the National Association of Oil Town and its surrounding area is characterized by the typical landscape of the gullies. The name of the village derives from the Latin Praedium Allianum, that is the farm of Allius, a Roman noble family. Given the proximity to the Agri and Sinni rivers, since ancient times it was an important center of exchange between the Greek, Etruscan and enotria civilizations, as evidenced by the discovery of a necropolis dating back to a period between the seventh and sixth centuries BC, containing more of a thousand tombs and numerous artifacts. These findings are now kept in the Siritide Museum in Policoro. Some sources speak of an existing village of shepherds already developed in the times of Pirro, in 280 BC. However, the first texts in which Aliano is officially mentioned are dated to 1060, when a papal bull dates back to which the administration of the village was attributed to the bishop of Tricarico. In the 8th century the various caves excavated in sedimentary rocks of alluvial origin located in the area of ​​the San Lorenzo ditch, already inhabited in prehistoric times, were home to numerous Basilian monks who had escaped iconoclastic persecution in the East. In medieval times Aliano was a fief of several families, including the Sanseverino, the Carafa and the Colonna.

Carlo Levi In the recent history of this small town one can not but remember the writer Carlo Levi, who set the book in this place. Christ stopped at Eboli (1945). Levi during the fascist regime, in the years 1935-36 was condemned to confinement in Lucania because of its anti-fascist activity and spent a long time in Basilicata, first in Grassano and later in Aliano (which in the book is called Gagliano, imitating the local pronunciation ), where he got to know the reality of those lands and its people. The writer in his last will expressed that of being buried in Aliano "among his peasants". In the village are still intact all the places described in the novel and in the alleys are engraved some phrases symbol of the book. Levi had the opportunity to discover another Italy that was, in fact, the peasant of the South. Lunch and dinner in a typical local restaurant and return to Matera for overnight.

Alternatively this day can be experienced in 4 or 2 people, as follows:
Castelmezzano / Pietrapertosa (Pz) - A unique emotion - Il Volo dell'Angelo
Above the Lucanian Dolomites, in the heart of Basilicata, a steel cable suspended between the peaks of two villages, Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa allows you to make and experience a unique emotion: the Flight of the Angel. It is a newly conceived attractor that allows an innovative use of the environmental heritage by responding to a new need and a new way of understanding leisure and leisure, more and more inclined to live new experiences and to look for new emotions. An adventure in contact with nature and with a unique landscape, to discover the true soul of the territory. Tied up in complete safety by a special harness and attached to a steel cable, the visitor will be able to experience the moment of the flight's flight and let slip into a fantastic adventure, unique in Italy but also in the World for the beauty of the landscape and for the maximum height of overflight. Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano: the two stations of Volo Arrived in one of the two beautiful villages, you will have the opportunity to turn between the houses, set among the rocks, to make fascinating historical-naturalistic excursions, to taste local products but above all to enjoy the beautiful surrounding panorama from a new, unusual and especially rich in emotion. What will be presented to the visitor, in fact, will be a panorama that is usually the privilege of only winged creatures: birds and angels. Once in the area of ​​arrival in front of the village, the "angels" will return with their feet on the ground and, freed from the harness can reach the center of the country first and the departure of the other line then, thanks to a shuttle. And at that point the dream will start again suspended between heaven and earth. The flight's flight will be felt on two different lines whose difference in height is respectively 118 and 130 meters. The first, called San Martino that starts from Pietrapertosa (starting altitude 1020 meters) and arrives at Castelmezzano (arrival altitude 859 meters) after traveling 1415 meters reaching a maximum speed of 110 km / h. The fishing line, however, will allow you to launch from Castelmezzano (starting altitude 1019 meters) and get to Pietrapertosa (arrival altitude 888 meters) touching 120 km / h over a distance of 1452 meters!

5th day - Maratea, 
Breakfast and transfer to Maratea (Pz) to follow Guided tour to Maratea, for its picturesque coastal and mountain landscapes, and for its artistic and historical features, Maratea is one of the main tourist destinations in the region, so much so that it is also known as "the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea ". It is also called "The City of the 44 Churches" for its numerous churches, chapels and monasteries, built in different eras and styles, many of which represent a remarkable artistic-religious heritage. The only town in the province facing the sea, it extends for about 32 km on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its coastline, set in a unique geographical and environmental position, is varied with inlets and caves, rocks and shoals. Numerous and characteristic coastal beaches, in front of one of which emerges the island of Santo Janni. Worthy of attention are the seabed and the 131 marine and terrestrial caves, some of which have returned fossils and prehistoric finds. The Marina Grotta stands out with stalactites and stalagmites. In addition, the mountains of the hinterland, arriving with their ridges directly on the sea, create a strong visual contrast of sea and mountains, which gives life to picturesque views and glimpses of view. A visit not to be missed is the Statue of the Redeemer which is located on the highest peak of Mount San Biagio, overlooking the historic center of Maratea. It was completed in 1965, with a mixture of cement mixed with Carrara marble, by Bruno Innocenti, a Florentine sculptor, on the idea of ​​Stefano Rivetti. With its 22 meters of height, it is the tallest statue in Italy and the sixty-sixth highest in the world, as well as the most famous monument of Maratea. It depicts Christ the Redeemer, after the Resurrection, in an iconography very distant from the traditional one. In addition, a particular optical effect makes it possible to look at the sea from a distance, while looking at the mountains of Lucania. Lunch at a typical local restaurant of the City of Maratea. In the afternoon guided tour of the Pollino National Park (Pollino Unesco Global Geopark), divided between the provinces of Potenza, Matera and Cosenza, with its 192,565 hectares, of which 88,650 in the Basilicata side and 103,915 in the Calabria region, the largest national park in Italy. It takes its name from the mountain massif of the same name. In Basilicata, in the municipality of San Severino Lucano, at about 1500 meters above sea level is the sanctuary of the Madonna del Pollino, destination of a religious cult deeply rooted in the local people. Interesting paleontological findings have been found inside the Mercure valley, in the area of Rotonda: Elephas antiquus, Hippopotamus major Dinner in a typical local restaurant and return to Matera for overnight.

6th day - Venosa, The City of Horace,
Breakfast and guided tour to the beautiful Venosa, province of Potenza, in Basilicata, located in the Vulture area. It is one of the 196 municipalities registered in the association "The most beautiful villages in Italy." The traces found together with the remains of a Neolithic necropolis, found in Toppo d'Aguzzo in Rapolla near the Venosa territory, certify the human presence in the territory of Venosa since prehistoric times. Most of these testimonies are found in the "Paleolithic Park" of Notarchirico, an area not far from the center "Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero" ... the verses of Orazio re-echo in the streets of Venosa, the city of Basilicata that gave birth to the famous Roman poet in 65 BC It is within walking distance of the village that rest the remains of the ancient Roman city, while in the narrow streets of Venosa the visitor can go in search of what tradition considers the home of the famous Latin poet, but Venosa also tells a story of music, passion and death: it is that of prince Gesualdo da Venosa, a composer of madrigals in the seventeenth century, so trotted to escape from the city for having murdered, in a fit of madness, the adulterous wife Maria and her lover. Then there is the story of the Incompiuta, the abbey of the eleventh century that was to become immense but today is only a mysterious wall and a roof of stars. Venosa is a city capable of telling stories, perhaps to be heard in front of a glass of Aglianico del Vulture, the precious red of Basilicata that is born in these lands. With visit and tasting in the wine cellars of Venosino. Lunch and dinner in typical local restaurants and return to Matera for overnight.

7th day - Matera - City Museums and the Cathedral,
Breakfast and free visit to the Museums of the City of Matera: The National Archaeological Museum Domenico Ridola of Matera is the oldest museum in Basilicata. Established on February 9, 1911 by the will of the senator and physician Domenico Ridola, who donated to the State its important archaeological collections, the result of years of research and excavations, presents the numerous testimonies found in the province of Matera and the Murge. The Museum is housed in the rooms of the seventeenth-century convent of Santa Chiara and collects materials from prehistoric times up to the third century BC. - The Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata is a museum located in the city of Matera, within Palazzo Lanfranchi. Since December 2014 the museum is under management at the Basilicata Museum Pole. - MUSMA (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Matera) is an Italian museum located in Matera dedicated to sculpture. It was inaugurated in 2006 and is located in Palazzo Pomarici, on the highest part of the Sassi district. It houses about 270 works by 200 different artists, among which Giorgio De Chirico, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giacomo Manzù and Pablo Picasso. Casa Noha, is located on the top of the Civita, the oldest part of the Sassi of Matera, and was once the 'home of the De Noha family (also called de Noya or of Noia), one of the noble extinct families of Matera. From the fifteenth century, the noblemen found in the Civita the right place for the construction of their residences. From Piazza del Sedile, going up through Piazza Duomo and following the various branches along Via San Potito, via Muro, Recinto San Nicola, is a continuous succession of palaces that belonged to noble families of the time: Malvinni Malvezzi, Gattini, Venusio (current Viceconte) and others moreover, La Casa di Ortega is not a simple Lombard residence, it is the cradle of a cultural project, inaugurated on 28 September 2014, aimed at enhancing the presence of the famous Spanish artist Josè Ortega in the city of Matera, also the artisan tradition local. The home of Ortega, in the Sasso Barisano, after the recovery was used as a museum space and area for the creation, exhibition and promotion of valuable handicrafts; in short, this place has become the Museum of Applied Arts, and finally the beautiful Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and Sant'Eustachio is the main Catholic place of worship of Matera, Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Matera-Irsina. The cathedral was built in the Apulian Romanesque style in the XIII century on the highest spur of the Civita that divides the two Sassi. Lunch in a typical restaurant of the city of Matera. End of services