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What to do and see in Matera

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Surely the symbol of the province of Matera are the famous “Sassi” which are Unesco world heritage for over twenty years and have made the city famous everywhere. The Sassi are houses of ancient origin that were carved into the rock and only the facade is brick and which are interconnected by tunnels, narrow paths and stairways, everything placed in a rocky and steep city which faces the cliffs that overlook the deep gorges carved by the torrent Gravina. They are located in the old city and are divided into two districts: the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. In both districts also religious buildings and churches are built in the rock that is why they are called rock churches. The best known are: the Church of San Pietro Caveoso, the Cave Church of Saint Lucia of the Malve, the Church of San Pietro Barisano, the Church of St. Augustine and the Church of Our Lady of Virtues. Near the city of Matera is the Archaeological Park of the Rock Churches of Matera which collects many historical remains of prehistoric villages and over 160 rock churches (carved into the rock). Other places of artistic and tourist interest are: Tricarico, Montescaglioso, Tursi and Grassano. For nature lovers there is the opportunity to enjoy a holiday immersed in the natural beauty by visiting the Natural Reserve of Bosco Pantano or the Natural Park of Gallipoli Cognato – Piccole Dolomiti Lucane, in both you can spot animals and birds, including rare, that live in complete freedom. In the northern part of the province you can go into the Pollino National Park with its scenery and trails in one of Italy’s most beautiful national parks. In the southern part of the province is the coast overlooking the Ionian Sea and offering many pristine areas with beautiful beaches where you can practice various sports activities related to the sea. The main coastal tourist resorts are: Metaponto, Policoro and Pisticci.

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