History & Art

Basilicata is one of the very few locations in the world where you can explore an area steeped in history dating back to the Palaeolithic age, a time when woolly mammoths roamed the earth. From pre-historic times until the modern day, Basilicata is a land of many influences.

After World War II the importance of Basilicata started to become widely recognised, most notably when the Sassi di Matera became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. With one of the most ancient histories on the Italian peninsula, Basilicata truly is one of Italy’s greatest historical treasures. In the words of Carlo Levi,‘The future has an ancient heart.’

The rich history of the region can be seen in its architecture, ranging from the exquisite rock churches of Byzantine monks to Longobard, Angevin, Norman-Swabian, Benedictine, Franciscan and Romanesque architecture. Frescoes, paintings, and sculpted objects throughout Basilicata represent a long and beautiful artistic heritage. The region even boasts what is thought to be a self portrait by Leonardo da Vinci while the contemporary art scene includes permanent installations by internationally recognised artists.

Basilicata is also full of vibrant culture and traditions, different from the sort of things you can see in a sterile, cold museum. Exciting and alive, constantly growing and evolving, each generation adds the thumbprint of its own particular Basilicata to the culture as a whole.



  • Matera Cathedral
  • Church of Santa Maria d’Idris
  • Church of Madonna delle Virtù and the monastic settlement of San Nicola dei Greci
  • Church of San Pietro Barisano
  • Church of San Pietro Caveoso
  • Chiesa di Sant’Agostino
  • Castello Tramontano
  • The Museum of Contemporary Sculpture ‘MUSMA’
  • The Archaeological Museum Domenico Ridola
  • The Crypt of Original Sin (booking essential)
  • Parco Della Murgia Materana (The Park of the Cave Churches of Matera)


  • Parco Della Murgia Materana (The Park of the Cave Churches of Matera in both Matera & Montescaglioso)
  • Benedictine Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo (11th century)
  • The Abbey Church of San Michele (12th century)
  • The Basilica of Santi Apostoli Pietro e Paolo (18th century)


  • Metaponto Archaeological Park & Museum


  • Archaeological Museum & Park


    • Miglionico Castle (15th century)


      • Melfi Castle
      • Melfi Cathedral
      • Abbey of the Holy trinity
      • Castle of Pirro del Balzo & Archeological museum
      • Fountain of “Angioina” from 1298


      • Archaeological Park
      • Jewish Catacombs


      • The Archaeological Museum of Basilicata



      • Acerenza Cathedral,
      • The church of San Laviero Martire (12th century)


      • Lagopesole Castle (12th century)