Make a holiday apartment in Matera your home away from home
Matera is a fascinating cave city reputed to be one of the oldest in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its Sassi, ancient homes that were carved out of solid rock. Seemingly, there are dramatic and historic sights everywhere, which is why Matera has doubled as ancient Jerusalem in numerous films including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. The city centre is the oldest part of Matera, built on the edge of a plateau; today, many tourists enjoy wondering through its cave-filled districts. Matera is also close to an archaeological park of prehistoric caves, monastic settlements and ancient dwellings.
HomeAway offers a variety of Matera apartments. They benefit from such modern conveniences as televisions, air-conditioning and washing machines, even though some are housed in the ancient caves of the oldest parts of the city. There are also large villas in Matera with gardens, spacious bedrooms and free parking, and many come with free Wi-Fi as standard. Of course, Matera is in the region of Basilicata, so if guests want to get acquainted with more of the area, there's nowhere better than the capital city of Potenza, where they'll find a further selection of HomeAway rentals.
Things to do
-Historic sights: The ancient houses, or Sassi, have been in existence since prehistoric times, dug into the rocks. They appear to be more like caves, but built on top of each other, and historians today believe that they may have been among the first human settlements in Italy.
-Architecture: Matera Cathedral is a 13th-century building with a 52-metre high bell tower. Inside, the décor is from the 14th century with Baroque works of art. A good reason for booking Matera apartments is to the see the cave churches. These are ancient places of worship that were carved into the cliffs by Brazilian monks in the 8th and 9th centuries.
-Museums: Matera is proud of its art and history, showcased superbly in its museums. The Museo Nazionale Ridola houses relics from prehistory to the Roman age, while Museo Nazionale d'Arte Medievale e Moderna della Regione Basilicata features a lot of religious art. There are also opportunities to see inside some cave houses that have been reconstructed with period fittings.
-Food and drink: Matera has some good options for dining out in both the new and older parts of town. They offer a mixture of traditional Italian regional dishes and more chic and contemporary fare. There is also a good choice of cafés and pizzerias.
Weather in Matera
It's no secret that tourists also book villas in Matera because of the mild climate. The summer months are hot with average temperatures reaching 31°C in July and August. Spring is often warm with temperatures in the low-20s. During the winter the average daily temperature is around 5°C. September, December and January receive the most rainfall.
Travel to Matera
The nearest major airport to Matera is Bari at 64 kilometres away. Regular trains connect Bari with Matera. The cave city can also be reached by buses from there and from other towns in the region. Visitors can drive inside Matera although many people prefer to explore this historic place on foot.