The Sassi district is divided into two parts, the Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano. There are countless churches, many of which are found inside the urban Sassi district. Each church has its own distinctive features, ranging from the majesty of San Pietro Barisano, often used for jazz concerts, to the variety and rich detail of the iconography of Santa Lucia alle Malve and are for the most part dug out of the soft tufa stone.
The Convicinio di Sant’Antonio is a complex of fascinating and enthralling cave churches; entry is through an elegant portal where four churches, each with its own distinct style, give out onto a rectangular courtyard.
The Monterrone rocky outcrop dominates the Sasso Caveoso and is visibile, with a large cross on top, from most look out points; inside the rock itself you will find the churches of Santa Maria de Idris and of San Giovanni, connected by an inner passageway and forming a single church complex.
The church of Santa Maria de Armenis is easily accessabile from the historic part of Matera. It has a a masonry façade adorned by pointed arches and pilaster strips and is currently the venue for a number of interesting art exhibits. The church of Santa Barbara* is a veritable jewel of local cave art with its wealth of extraordinary frescoes and signs of the original iconostasis.
One must-see sight is the cave church complex of the Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci. Each summer, this stunning complex is the site of an international sculpture exhibition organized by the La Scaletta cultural association.
Past artists have been of the caliber of Martini, Melotti, Fazzini, just to mention a few names.
Rock churches in the urban area of Matera (Santa Lucia, Madonna de Idris and San Giovanni in Monterrone, Convicinio di Sant’Antonio, Santa Maria de Armenis* and Santa Barbara*)
5 Rock Churches
Full ticket € 6,00
Reduced ticket € 3,00
3 Rock Churches
Full ticket € 5,00
Reduced ticket € 2,00
1 Rock Church
Full ticket € 2,50
Reduced ticket € 1,00
* Reduced tickets are applied for teenagers under 16.
* Santa Maria de Armenis and Santa Barbara are visitable upon request.