Matera - Living in a Cave.

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Matera. The third oldest city in the world. A hidden gem in Southern Italy.

In this post I will be sharing how we got there, where we stayed, ate, drank, and what we did when it rained.

Getting There.

Before arriving in Matera, we had to embark on the logistical nightmare of how to actually get there, but, with a little research, we found a way.

Matera has recently been awarded the European Capital of Culture, which has led to the reconstruction of the train line between Bari and Matera. This is great for future tourists, but not ideal for us. Also, buses ran at bizarre times that just didn't fit with our flight times. And hiring a car? Well, just no - trust me.

So what did we do? Well, we organised an amazing tour guide who picked us up from Bari and drove us to Matera! Fabrizio then gave us a tour of the city made of stone, including it's history and recommendations for places to see and places to eat. He also taught us some Italian phrases on the way there.

Our Accommodation.

The majority of buildings in Matera are cave dwellings carved into the mountains, and our accommodation was no different. I found it on Airbnb (book it here!) and it looked pretty spectacular on there but in person it was something else. Anything with candles, a bath and a wood burner and I'm sold.

Where We Ate and Drank.

In every nook, cranny and cave nestled in the mountain side is a little, authentic, family-run restaurant, each as good as the other. This makes it pretty difficult to choose!

First place I'm going to recommend is Palazzo del Duca. It's actually a luxury hotel but, even if you're not a resident, you can still eat there. So we did. We went for breakfast. Obviously, I ate as many ham platters, croissants, breads, cheeses and unknown-white-chocolate-and-Nutella-type-balls-of-heaven as humanly possible, for just 8 euros!

Our favourite restaurant was Trattoria Del Caveso. A reservation is recommended, as it's always busy. We just about got in. It was full of locals, so you know it's good. I ordered a lasagne off the specials menu. I didn't get a picture because everyone knows what a lasagne looks like. I did, obviously, get a picture of the most important part of a meal, the desserts. Yes plural. We ordered four.

A trip to Italy wouldn't be complete without finding a wine bar. This one was conveniently located 15 metres from our accommodation. It was called Enoteca dai Tosi and, other than it selling wine, it was not your usual wine bar as there were no tables or chairs. The wine bar had three circular chambers.

The bar had LOADS of wine to choose from. We really were spoilt for choice. Little nibbles are brought out as well. We painfully ate them out of politeness, as we had just eaten a three course meal, but they were delicious.

The seating arrangement is circular stone steps around the walls. You grab a cushion, take a pew and wait to be served.


What does one do on a Rainy Day in Matera?

One finds a spa in a cave of course. The spa was part of Locanda di san Martino, which is a hotel, but was open to the public. It opens at 8am - 1pm and 2pm - 9:30pm. We decided to get there for 2pm; I'm glad we did. I'm not sure if it was because it was raining, or because people were still having a siesta, but we were lucky enough to be the only ones in there.

*Side note, you had to wear a very sexay swimming cap for the pool. You won't find a photo of me wearing it, as some photos aren't meant for the internet.

Anyway, that's a wrap. What is your favourite city in Italy?



  1. A very interesting and fun read. I Want to book to go immediately! More travel blog posts please!

  2. Looks and sounds amazing �� will definitely be looking into going here! ��

    1. Thank for having a read Sian, it's made my day :) Definitely get yourself there!

  3. Going December 9th. I’m getting obsessed. We are doing a home exchange outside the city but very close. Can’t wait. Loved your post. Keep traveling, keep blogging.


    1. Thank you Dana!

      You will just love it! I hope it snows for you, it would look amazing!


  4. Very interesting read. Can you give advice on how to get to Matera and Arbelobello from Bari airport? Arrival in Bari airport is at 10:20am therefore will miss the tour that starts at 10:00am. Are there other tours other than this one that will pick us up from the airport?
    You urgent reply will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply!

      I hope I'm not too late in replying, if I am, I hope you have a fabulous time!

      Fabrizio was pretty flexible with times so I would highly suggest you contact him, if not perhaps he knows of some other options for you.



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