Photo of Matera

About Matera

When you take your first step into Matera, you find yourself immediately plunged into a time warp. The third longest continously inhabited city in the world (for some 7000 years), it is a web of archaic grottoes carved into the tufa limestone of the mountainside on the edge of a ravine: etched with narrow alleyways, it's a tangled labyrinth of stone houses built on top of each other where roofs and streets are blurred into one. It is a hidden gem of untold mystery and breathtaking beauty, and our collection of the best places to stay in Matera are sure to make you want to lose yourself in this enthralling city.

The Old City is divided into two sections (the Sassi Barisano and the Sassi Caveoso) by a majestic 13th century cathedral sat atop a ridge with a spire that scrapes the sky. Walking on foot, you will discover that the whole of Old Matera is a museum, where even the restaurants and charming hotels are pieces of history. It is an undeniably beautiful place and when the sun is out on a clear blue day, the "sassi" dwellings glimmer golden and bright, turning it into some half-remembered holy city of times gone by. It therefore comes as no surprise to find out that this city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Modern Matera sits on the crest of the ravine which the sassi cling to both sides of. It's modern compared to the sassi dwellings, but its still got an Old Town, which has its own charms, including an elegant pedestrianised centre around the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. It has also got a lot of life, with plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry.

What not to Miss

  • Matera's sassi, which redefine our understanding of 'old' - these communities dug into the mountainside have been continuously inhabited for the last nine thousand years, gradually including all the mod cons, but still basically residing inside a mountain. Many of the cave dwellings have been abandoned, but just as many have been refurbished and are now comfortable homes, or even hotels.
  • Some of the oldest dwellings here date from the Palaeolithic era - that's 15,000 years ago! When you add to that the sassi, the beautiful stone churches with their wonderful frescos, and Tramontano Castle, you can see why the whole town has been made a World Heritage site.
  • Don't miss Matera's cathedral - situated on top of the Civitas Hill, it dates back to the 13th Century - and its Rupestrian Churches.
  • MUSMA Art Museum: set in a 17th century palace, houses an impressive collection of modern sculptures.
  • Casa Grott di Vico Solitario: an 18th century dwelling showcases historic daily life in Matera.
  • Museo Archeological Nazionale Domenico Ridola: a small but wonderful archaeological museum, shows everything from Roman amphorae to marble busts.
  • Cripta del Peccato Origonale has fascinating 8th century cave paintings and murals in the Late Romanesque style with Oriental flourishes. Discovered in the 1960s by some local youths, it was previously a shelter for sheep herds.
  • Materasum Ipogeo: a series of truly ancient "sassi" dwellings that show how people lived in millenias past.

Use our guide to the best places to stay in Matera and start planning your visit to this extraordinary city.

The Best Place to Stay in Matera

For stunning views

  • The Palazzo Gattini is an elegant five-star spa hotel with 20 comfortable, contemporary rooms, a rooftop pool and terrace and an excellent restaurant serving local specialities. Historic, chic and romantic.
  • The Locanda di San Martino is a gorgeous hotel offering 32 large rooms, with charming original features and beautiful antiques. There’s an indoor pool, excellent spa and Turkish baths. And of course splendid views.
  • Basiliani Hotel is a designer stay with minimalist rooms boasting white limestone walls and views over Matera's prehistoric caves.

Cave hotels

  • If you want to stay in one of the cave hotels, consider Le Grotte della Civita. Built into the sheer rock face, this hotel's 12 rooms and 6 suites are vaulted caves - so you sleep surrounded by lovely pale sandstone. If it sounds chilly don't worry, there are log fires and generous stand alone bathtubs to keep you feeling cosy, and the medieval lair of a kitchen somehow turns out excellent food, so this is also one of the best places to stay in Matera for foodies.
  • Thymus Residence Nei Sassi is a stylish hotel carved into the rocks. A charming spot, with breakfast served in a 13th-century church and rustic-chic accommodation.
  • La Dimora di Matello is a boutique spot with gorgeous rooms built into the rockface. A stunning place to stay whilst visiting Europe's oldest city.
  • Palazzotto Residence and Winery features rustic-meets-minimalist rooms just 5 minutes from the city centre. Come back after a day out and enjoy one of their vintage wines from the cellar.
  • Corte San Pietro is a fantastic stay carved into the mountains. Their rustic rooms are bound to please, whilst you're also just minutes from the sights.
  • Palazzo del Duca offers all you need: rustic en-suite rooms, a wonderful restaurant and massages on offer.

For Great value

  • L'Hotel in Pietra was converted from a 13th Century monastery, but its simplicity is grand rather than barren, and everything is on a vast scale. Suites and bedrooms are cavernous, with vaulted ceilings and mezzanine levels. And the boutique hotel has stunning views over the town. Rooms start from around €112 per night.

For Intimate Breaks

  • Casastella is a four-room B&B located in Matera's historic quarter. With an intimate atmosphere and a "sassi" cave restaurant, it's a wonderfully romantic spot.
  • Slow Living boasts two rooms with stunning views of the rock churches. The accommodation oozes a warm ambiance, whilst it's also located close to all the sights.
  • Antica Civitas boasts breathtaking views and two stylish rooms featuring terracotta floors, vaulted ceilings and marble bathrooms. A lovely retreat.
  • Antica Torre di Luso also offers just two rooms which are minimalist in style but exude a warm ambiance. Both suites come with a jacuzzi, and it has breathtaking views - wonderfully romantic!
  • Le Origini's five en-suite rooms offer rustic rooms in the typical Materan style as well as boasting lovely vistas of the surrounding "sassi" properties.

For Local Exploring

  • Maison D'Ax is an elegant hotel with quirky, ornate accommodation in the centre of town. Join in on one of the organised guided tours of Matera.
  • Five-star Hotel Sant'Angelo is set right in the heart of town. Gorgeous views, cosy accommodation and just a short distance from the sights - what more could you ask for?

For an Apartment or private Villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Bari International airport is the closest airport to Matera, about 43 miles away - which is about an hour by bus or an hour and a half by train.
  • Timing is important when visiting Matera, some churches and other attractions are only open on weekends in winter and some require advance booking. Some sites are also closed for up to four hours each afternoon.
  • There’s also no public transport on Sundays. Matera is gradually becoming more popular but it is still a relatively quiet destination, so its one of the places in Italy you probably can visit in the summer months without feeling swamped by tourists.
  • Matera's nicest weather-wise in the summer months, with the average temperature around 24°C in July and August.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we strongly advise if you’re staying in Matera and you want to see more of Basilicata and its beautiful coastline - we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Matera

  • Casastella 4 rooms from £70

    Matera

    A small B&B set in a 19th century house in the historic quarter of Matera. Rooms feature exposed stone walls, antique furniture, tunnelled rooms and soft hues; an effortless blend of minimalist decor and rustic charm. Guided tours and romantic dinners are on offer and the price is very attractive.

    Romantic Break  -  The hotel organises romantic dinners inside a "sassi" cave for guests with locally-sourced cuisine.
    Sights nearby  -  Only 600 meters from the first prehistoric rock settlements in Matera.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Slow Living 2 rooms from £70

    Matera

    Charming B&B in the historic centre of Matera offering comfortable, contemporary rooms with breathtaking views of the Rock Churches. The rooms emit a warm ambience, with parquet flooring and marble-tiled bathrooms. Next to the Museum of Medieval Art and the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale Ridola.

    Local exploring  -  Well placed for exploring the ancient "sassi" dwellings of Matera, it is near many museums and has views of the Rock Churches.
    Sights nearby  -  Matera Cathedral is barely 0.3 miles away.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Traditional
    Check prices
  • Thymus Residence Nei Sassi 5 rooms from £89

    Matera

    Stylish hotel in the historic centre of Matera offering five rooms, hewn from the rock, that combine rustic charm with contemporary comforts. Breakfast is served in a 13th century church and guided tours are organised for guests. Ideal for lovers of antiquity.

    Romantic Break  -  The suites, carved into the mountain rock, are soundproofed and one has a Turkish bath.
    Sights nearby  -  The Church of San Pietro Barisano and the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture are a 3 minute walk away.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Outstanding location
    Check prices
  • L'Hotel in Pietra 8 rooms from £101

    Matera

    A monasterial boutique hotel with enormous rooms in Matera. Cavernous bedrooms and suites with vaulted ceilings, mezzanine levels, and stunning views over the town. Unusual and great value.

    Value chic
    Cooking classes  -  Check for timings.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Antica Civitas 2 rooms from £113

    Matera

    With breathtaking views of the "sassi" dwellings of Matera, a stylish luxury B&B that combines rustic charm with modern comforts. Featuring terracotta floors, vaulted ceilings, artisan chairs and marble bathrooms, it omits a warm ambience. Ideal for guests wishing to explore Europe's oldest city.

    Local exploring  -  The B&B lies in the archaic Roman military settlement in Matera, one of the oldest quarters of the city.
    Sights nearby  -  Stroll down to the nearby Matera Cathedral and marvel at its stunning architecture.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • La Dimora di Matello 4 rooms from £117

    Matera

    A stylish boutique hotel in the historic centre, offering en-suite rooms decorated in a minimalist fashion with marble floors, exposed stone walls and vaulted ceilings. Only 350 yards from Matera Cathedral, it is ideally placed for exploring the city and her famous "sassi" prehistoric houses.

    Local exploring  -  The "sassi" cave dwellings, carved into the mountain rock, have been inhabited for some 6000 years.
    Sights nearby  -  Stroll down to the majestic Matera Cathedral.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Check prices
  • Palazzotto Residence and Winery 10 rooms from £121

    Matera

    Stunning hotel in the heart of Matera, offering rooms and suites built out of the ancient cave dwellings of the "sassi". Only 5 minutes from the city centre, this is ideally placed for those hoping to explore Matera. The rooms are rustic-meets-minimalist, with antiques and exposed stone walls.

    Foodies  -  The hotel boasts a large wine cellar, many vintages are from its own winery.
    Local exploring  -  Well positioned to explore the historic city of Matera by foot.
    Sights nearby  -  Only a short walk from Matera Cathedral.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Check prices
  • Maison d'Ax 9 rooms from £121

    Matera

    Elegant hotel in the heart of Matera, offering quirky and ornate rooms with tiled bathrooms, exposed stone walls, murals and antiques. Ideally positioned in the heart of the historic city. The hotel organises guided tours of Matera with an historian and sailing trips.

    Local exploring  -  The hotel organises guided tours of the Certosa of Padula with the historian Michele Rizzo.
    Sights nearby  -  Tramontano Castle. a splendid example of 15th century Lucanian architecture, is only 0.3 miles away.
    Sailing  -  Take one of the hotel's cruises on a beautiful sailing ship exclusively for guests.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor plunge pool
    Check prices
  • Basiliani Hotel 10 rooms from £126

    Matera

    Designer hotel in the historic centre of Matera. Rooms blend bright minimalist styles with the ancient traditions of the "sassi" houses. Red wooden furniture is set against carved white limestone walls and all rooms boast views over the prehistoric caves of Matera. Ideal for history lovers.

    Local exploring  -  The historic centre of Matera is one of the oldest cities in Europe and her very houses are sights worth seeing.
    Great walks  -  Matera is a city enshrined in a time warp, the archaic "sassi" cave dwellings have been inhabited for some 6000 years.
    Sights nearby  -  The hotel overlooks the prehistoric caves of the Chiese Rupestri Archaeological Park.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Check prices
  • Corte San Pietro 10 rooms from £132

    Matera

    In an immortal city carved into mountain stone, this is a hotel like no other. The rooms are restored cave dwellings built around an ancient courtyard and are ideal for those looking for a unique holiday experience. The rustic rooms have exposed stone and wooden furnishings. A serene and rare place.

    Local exploring  -  Located in an historic region there's plenty to discover nearby.
    Great walks  -  Walking through the old city of Matera is like stepping into a time machine, ancient chapels and forts dominate the skyline.
    Sights nearby  -  The Sassi houses have been inhabited for thousands of years and Matera is one of the world's oldest inhabited cities.
    Outstanding location
    Check prices
  • Antica Torre di Luso 2 rooms from £139

    Matera

    Hotel with regal elegance but modern, minimalist sensibilities atop an ancient tower in the historic centre of Madera, offering suites with breathtaking balcony views of the city. With vaulted stone ceilings, antique chairs and murals on walls, suites come with a jacuzzi bath.

    Romantic Break  -  The suites come with a jacuzzi and a dinner of traditional Lucan cuisine can be prepared on the balcony.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Spa
    Check prices
  • Palazzo Gattini 20 rooms from £140

    Matera

    Elegant 5* spa hotel. Rooms have contemporary furniture, exposed stone walls, luxurious bathrooms and artworks. Rooftop pool, terrace, extensive spa. Excellent dishes from Basilicata in the restaurant. Historic, chic and romantic.

    Spa breaks  -  Outstanding spa in the ancient cisterns of the palazzo, with extensive range of treatments in relaxing and luxurious hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Santa Maria di Costantinopoli; Cathedral of Matera, Sassi, and San Giovanni Battista Church
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Spa
    Check prices
  • Palazzo del Duca 9 rooms from £140

    Matera

    Elegant accommodation in the heart of Matera, offering en-suite rooms that seamlessly blend the rustic traditions of the "sassi" dwellings with modernity. There is a restaurant serving local cuisine, bar and massages on offer. Ideal for newly-weds or those looking to soak in the city's history.

    Romantic Break  -  The suites come with either a heated indoor pool or a jacuzzi.
    Swimming Pool  -  The suite Grottopignata has a small heated pool.
    Cooking classes  -  The restaurant offers cooking classes.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Check prices
  • Locanda di San Martino 32 rooms from £148

    Matera

    Gorgeous hotel in the city. Rooms are large and decorated with antique furniture, original stone features and modern bathrooms. Indoor pool and excellent spa with Turkish baths. Atmospheric stay with lots of Italian romance and splendid views of the city.

    Local exploring  -  If you can bear to leave the romantic hotel, there are many regional historical delights in Matera and surroundings
    Sights nearby  -  San Giovanni Battista Church, Sassi, and Cathedral of Matera
    Full of character
    Spa
    Check prices
  • Le Origini 5 rooms from £149

    Matera

    Gorgeous hotel in the historic centre of Matera, offering en-suite rooms which wed warm, rustic styles with minimalist decor. Expect tiled floors, colourful vintage furnishings and exposed stone walls. Rooms also boast delightful views of the "sassi" dwellings, and the suites come with a whirlpool.

    City Style  -  Book one of the chic suites boasting a whirlpool with chromotherapy features.
    Local exploring  -  Ideally positioned to explore Matera by foot.
    Sights nearby  -  At the foot of the Convent of Sant' Agostino, a former cloistered monastry.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Check prices
  • Hotel Sant'Angelo 21 rooms from £168

    Matera

    An intimate 5-star resort carved out into the mountain rock of Matera. Offering cosy, rustic yet modern, rooms completed with archaic furnishings and panoramic views of the historic centre. The restaurant serves excellent local cuisine. Ideal for those looking for a unique holiday.

    Local exploring  -  In the historic centre, Matera Cathedral and Tramontano Castle are a mere 3 minute walk away.
    Great walks  -  The hotel regularly organises walking tours around the city for guests.
    Cooking classes  -  Book a cooking class and learn how to make dishes of the region.
    Outstanding location
    Check prices
  • Le Grotte della Civita 18 rooms from £175

    Matera

    A cave hotel with medieval romance in a magnificent hilltop setting. Very unusual rooms and suites with vaulted ceilings, sandstone walls, and standalone bathtubs with burning log fires. Delicious food, cooking lessons, and spectacular views. Definite wow factor for honeymooners or romantic breaks.

    Unusual  -  Constructed caves.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Romantic Break
    Honeymoons
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet
    Check prices