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Situated in the Basilicata region of souther Italy, Matera is a historic city as well as the capital of the province of Matera. The city has been nicknamed "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), and has a popular historic town center known as "Sassi", which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Although the city is relatively undiscovered by tourists, Matera is a quaint destination brimming with ancient sites, lively Italian culture, and thriving shopping streets with cozy outdoor cafes around every corner. Couples and families alike will be delighted by the sights and sounds of Matera. When searching for your ideal hotel in Matera, it pays to enlist the help of Venere and our thousands of user submitted reviews, hotel room photo galleries, and a helpful interactive map for exploring the area and attractions around your chosen hotel.
What's Matera Like?
Enjoy an afternoon walk through the idyllic Medieval streets of Matera, and soak up the thousands of years of history and culture that the city has to offer. Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, and visit the likes of Sassi di Matera (Stones of Matera) or the Cripta del Peccato Originale (Crypt of the Original Sin) and you can see some of that history first hand as you take in the sights of ancient structures and vast tunnel networks. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) will be a hit with the history buffs, and contains plenty of Medieval as well as Roman artifacts. There are also plenty of multilingual guided tours available around the city, and proves to be the most informative way to exploring the ancient ruins of Matera.
Tips for Getting Along with Locals in Matera
Like much of Italy, Matera enjoys a Mediterranean climate which results in dry, hot summers from June to August, and mild winters from December to March. Summer temperatures usually average at around 25°C, however it has been known to reach almost 35°C on occasion. As the city has remained relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists, try not to expect many of the locals to speak English. Instead, it would be more beneficial to learn a simple phrase or two such as "Parla inglese?" (Do you speak English?), or at least carry around a pocket reference book. Unfortunately no trains come through Matera, so you will have to rely on private cabs or buses to get out of the city. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes, and Matera has an obscene amount of stairs throughout the city.
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