If you want to visit one of the most spectacular and unusual cities in Italy, head towards Matera, a town located in the small region of Basilicata, that is definitely a must see destination if you are in Puglia, given the close proximity to its neighbouring region.
It is a very ancient town and a UNESCO World heritage site since 1993, where local people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their pre-historic ancestors!
This is because Matera is built all around and on top of amazing caves carved out of limestone and it's not by chance that it is nicknamed la città dei sassi (the town of rocks).
Be ready to roam through uninhabited caves, a maze of narrow alleyways, up and down uneven stone stairs and get lost for hours! Get a sense of what it was like to live there in earlier times! And what about shopping or dining in a cave?
This is possible because many of the grottoes have been transformed into cozy restaurants, hotels, shops and houses! Moreover, do not miss the chance to enjoy the spectacular setting by night, it can be very romantic with all the lights from the caves! Just tick this place in your "must-visit" list!
In Matera, do not miss:
- Sasso Barisano district, the largest of the two sassi districts, it holds most of the hotels and restaurants, the recreation of the sassi in miniature and the Museo della Civiltà Contadina (the museum of the farmer civilization);
- Sasso Caveoso district, organised as a Roman amphitheatre, with cave-dwellings that go down in big steps;
- Quartiere la Civita, the oldest part of the settlement, characterised by the presence of S. Maria della Bruna Cathedral, built in Romanique-Apulian style, as well as the palaces and the remains of several towers.