The Beautiful Stone City of Matera

Things To Do in Matera, Italy – Eat, Drink, Explore

Top Five Things to Do in Matera

Monica Tindall

Named European Capital of Culture 2019, Matera is one of the most memorable cities we’ve visited. The main attraction is the Sassi, a system of dwellings and churches (and now boutiques, restaurants, bars and hotels) carved into the rocky mountainside. With up to 7000 years of history, there’s much written into these stone walls and we’re happy to report that today’s inhabitants are keeping its heritage alive within their own contemporary context.

Here’s our list of Top Five Things to Do In Matera, Italy

Eat Bread

You’ll see it everywhere on display. Some in glass cases. Some with the weight and size marked. Heavy, crusty loaves are made from recipes passed down through the generations. Use it to sop up saucy local dishes or savour the flavour with locally produced olive oil. Yum!

Things To Do In Matera
Matera Bread

Wander the Streets

I recommend beginning with a walk around the perimeter to appreciate the location moated by a deep gorge and grottos. Then enter, getting lost in the never-ending maze of stone streets filled with historical sites, boutiques, small hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Things To Do In Matera
Matera, Beautiful Stone City of Italy
Things To Do In Matera
The Gorge Surrounding the City
Things To Do In Matera
Matera
Things To Do In Matera
Once Inhabited Caves
Things To Do In Matera
Church in Matera

Eat at Trattoria Lucana

Said be one of Mel Gibson’s favourite eateries during the shooting of the Passion of the Christ, Trattoria Lucana runs on more than just the endorsement of a celebrity. It too comes highly recommended by local residents and is one of the more reasonably priced restaurants in the city. Try a glass of Aglianico or Primitivo wine made with local grapes paired with a hearty meat dish or rich pasta. Service here is friendly and a number of waiters speak English.

Things To Do In Matera
Trattoria Lucana

Visit the Local Market

For foodies, Mercato Ortofrutticolo is an absolute joy. Filled with produce from the region and often sold directly by the growers themselves, prices are so very reasonable and the food is extremely fresh. And, while you’re there…

Things To Do In Matera
Farmer’s Market Matera
Things To Do In Matera
Almonds at the Market

Drink Beer

Right next door to the farmer’s market is the headquarters of Matera’s very own craft brewery, Birrificio Birfoot. Currently making four labels, everything bar the hops is sourced locally. Our favourite is the Hop Jungle but with only four to try I bet you can sample them all to find your love.

Things To Do In Matera
Birfoot Craft Beer

Have you been to Matera? What are your recommendations for things to do in Matera – Italy’s famed stone city?

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8 Comments

  1. Did you enjoy Matera? 🙂
    I went down the gorge and climbed to the other side, lots of empty caves there!

  2. caning jaramillo

    Great town and great beer!

  3. The vegetables are really fresh, ain’t no denying that!

  4. I love to visit local market.

  5. Oh! I do love crusty loaves. I would imagine myself packing on the pounds eating the wonderful breads.

  6. all five things to do sound great! i haven’t been to matera, but it looks like one to bookmark! 🙂

  7. Eat, drink and explore sounds good to me 🙂 Cheers fiane

  8. What a beautiful view of this stone city where every piece of land is taken up by real estate!! It must flood so easily with so much impervious surface.

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