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Matera, city of Stones, European Capital of Culture. How to arrive


The city of stones, capital of culture.

Located in the beautiful region of Basilicata, Matera is one of the most unique and picturesque cities in Italy, with a wonderful and charming historic center, of which the Sassi are the real protagonists. That is, a truly unique urban complex, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1993!

The city, today, represents one of the oldest testimonies of human settlements of the Paleolithic, with a great heritage of culture and traditions. Since 2019, it has been designated with the Bulgarian Plovdiv, the European Capital of Culture. It is the fourth Italian city to be awarded this honor, after Bologna, Genoa and Florence.

The wonderful stones, which include the 1270 Cathedral and suggestive rock churches. Narrow streets, steps, dwellings carved into the limestone tuff… And, an extraordinary cultural offer that includes museums and interesting temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the city is the ideal base for exploring the wonderful Basilicata.



There are no direct connections with the city. The closest airport is located in Bari, about 60 kilometers away. The small central railway station, on the other hand, is served exclusively by the line managed by FAL (Ferrovie Appulo Lucane), which connects the city of Bari. The car, in our opinion, is the ideal solution.


The Naples-Capodichino international airport, about 250 kilometers away, is one of our recommended solutions. First of all, due to the higher number of direct air connections with the rest of Europe. Secondly, those wishing to travel exclusively by public transport can use the comfortable and cheap bus of the Marinobus company. At a cost of €25, you can leave from Naples central station, and reach Matera by direct bus. The bus stops at Via Don L. Sturzo where the Church of San Paolo is located. The total journey takes just under 5 hours. The service is also available from Rome, Bologna and other Italian destinations with a single change. On the official website there is no shortage of offers and promotions if you book in advance.

Those wishing to land from the nearest Bari airport, as mentioned, can arrive at their destination with the trains managed by FAL. The journey, by train, takes about 75 minutes.

Another option could be to rent a car directly at the airport.


Coming from the North, the Adriatic highway is the reference point. You exit at Canosa di Puglia and continue along the SS93 and SS99. From Bologna, you have to travel a little less than 700 kilometers, of which the last 100 on the highway. From Naples, however, are about 250 km, divided, almost equally, between A16 and Highway. The travel time to reach Matera is over 2 hours.

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