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How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

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Frankfurt, Germany
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How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Hi,

We are family of 5 vising Matera in June. On that particular day, we would visit first Alberobello for few hours in morning and come to Matera in Noon and visit it till late evening (5-6) and continue for Vietri/Salerno... So we will have unfortunately only 3-4 hours to spend in Matera and that's mainly in Sassi district..

We are interested to have good overview of Sassi with walking inside by self (no guide), visiting 1/2 churches and mostly taking tons of photos..

Now how can we see Sassi best by self and would it be possible to get nice views of Sassi in 3-4 hours? Where to park car and start walk? I believe Piazza Vittorio Veneto is central point.. Where to get the all those best photographic views over Sassi & Ravine & rock churches?

Kindly, give us some suggestion about the time required for best photographic walk in Sassi... so we can have some overview for time to spend in Matera...

And as a side question, how long it would take to drive to Veitri/Salerno, google says just 2 and half hour so we plan to leave by 5/530 from Matera.

London, Canada
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1. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

From Matera, follow S7 down to the S407 for a distance of 30km. This is a good road.The S407 quickly becomes an Autoroute. Eventually after about 90-100kms, it joins the A3 into Salerno. Salerno is quite confusing with it's autoroutes, so keep an eye out for the Amalfi Coast exit and Vietri. If you are interested, a part of the S7, was/is the Via Appia which you can drive towards Potenza. But it is not as straight as you would think for an ancient Roman road.

London, Canada
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2. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

If you tell me your starting point (city) I can better help you. But I have to tell you, that you don't need to spend a lot of time in Alberobella, unless you want to go into dozens of Trulli gift shops. I think 60-90 minutes is enough, and that includes lunch.

Potenza, Italy
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3. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Pza V Veneto is a great place to start - you can see part of the upper city architecture and there is an overlook to the sassi. From here you can start into the old city and just follow downhill. Once you get to the ravine follow along and you will eventually head back out and end up by Palazzo Lanfranchi with another overlook. It can be a lot of walking but you'll have many photo opportunities

I agree that Alberbello is mostly a quick walk among the trulli and is full of gift shops. Spend some more time in Matera.

From Matera to Salerno I suggest closer to 3 hours travel time. Stick to the ss407 route (good signs directing towards Salerno), and be prepared for various road works along the way. Your day sounds like a lot of driving.

Frankfurt, Germany
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4. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Thanks travels1940 and BrunoAP for your valuable tips...

@travels1940:

I am exactly planning to take the same route... S7 and then S407 to Salerno.. (with including Castelmezzano, if possible for half n hour)

My complete itinerary seems ambiguous but kindly give your suggestions upto the same..

The day before we arrive at 1615 at Bari aiport and we would have Alberbello and Matera in our plate, together with whatever we combine.. so we have 3 options by car...

1. Stay near Alberbello: then explore Alberbello for 2 hours in evening (sunset at 2030 in june), explore 1 more hour next day morning and reach Matera by 1130 - explore till 1700 and drive to Vietri, if possible have half n hour stopoever at Castelmezzano. We wish to reach Vietri by 1000PM

2. If Stay near Ostuni/Polignano al mare-- visit any of this city at evening, fit Alberbello (9to1130) and Matera (1300 to 1700) next day till 1700 and leave for Vietri

3. If stay near Matera -- explore matera for 2 hours in evening, next day till 1200 with lunch, reach Alberbello at 1300 and explore for 2 to 3 hours + locorotondo (if fitting), leave at 1700 for Vietri through Bari (More driving)

I know they sound too tight but being not to any of the places, they seems doable to me... What's your expert opinion?? which option is nice? if we drive from Matera to Vietri, i belive Castelmezzano worth to stop for half n hour.. I can drop any of the additional town from it other than Alberbello and Matera..

@BrunoAP: Thanks for the itinerary to explore Sassi,, Yup I am planning something similar + also visit to

SASSO BARISANO district to get view of Sassi with RAvine.. so would north and south district doable in 3-4 hours..? I check in google map walking whole round is 4 km and takes 50 minutes..

Thank you very much for your suggestions...

Potenza, Italy
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5. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

For me Italy is about experiencing the country, not just seeing as much as possible in a limited time period. Yes, you can do all of these things based on your time schedules, but you leave no flexibility to enjoy what you will be seeing.

The sassi of Matera are Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. My route starts you in Caveoso and you come out through Barisano. Yes you can walk this in under an hour but you won't "see" anything. I have spent several days at a time there and still feel like I haven't seen everything. The city changes with the lighting and the weather.

Castelmezzano is worth a stop but beware that it is almost 30 minutes one-way from the ss407. (don't take the Pietrapertosa exit) There are some good overlooks for quick photos if that is all you want.

Slow down and enjoy all that we have to offer here in Basilicata.

Frankfurt, Germany
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6. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Thank you very much BrunoAP for your great suggestions..

Yes, I see that, just touching to one place and running ahead would not give the 'feel'. I came to know the same after booking... Indeed Basilicata sounds great region with lots more beauty and things to explore... I underestimated the size and attractions in Matera.. nevertheless I would give another chance in future to Basilicata and puglia in detail...

The itinerary for exploring matera is really great help, I would have around 4 hours to walk in Sassi, would this give some good overview over the district? I was overwhelmed with all the photos from Sassi (giving full views) and while searching on map/earth, it was very hard for me to find lookout points.. so my real intention was not to miss any lookout points which was easy accessible... I think the views from San Pietro Caveoso and basilica are also worth to check... what do you think?

Where is the best parking location in Matera nearby Sassi?

It mentions only 10 km from SS407 to Castelmezzano,, so would detour take so long time 30 minute? Is the road situation good enough?

And in my limited time which option do you suggest? staying near alberrobello(1) or matera(3)?

Thanks.

London, Canada
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7. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

The road to Castelmezzano is extremely winding and very steep as you are climbing into the southern dolomites. I stayed there the night in the only hotel. Really the only thing to see that's stunning, is the view from the bottom of the town looking up to the town clinging to the side of the mountain above you. It looks much the same as all the hill top towns clinging to the sides of mountains all over Basilicata. The road between Pietrapertosa and Castel is closed. You either drive out across the top of the mountains west (an absolutely amazing view) or go back the way you came. My best guess would be that a quick visit into Castel would take 90 minutes altogether.

For Matera, there is paid parking right at Pza V Veneto. However, we found it full up. We parked at the train station and walked to Pza V Veneto. It's down hill all the way. But a terrific climb up to return. Matera has a very confusing ring road, with specific exits marked for the Sassi.

Given that you have the first night to stay nearby, that's what I would do. Stay near Albo...then visit the trulli in the evening...eat dinner there. I guarantee, that's enough time. I know they look delightful in pictures, but really, there isn't much to see, once you have been into a couple and walked around the hillside streets covered with them.

I see no point in going to Locorotondo

This gives you the best part of the day for Matera. This means you can leave earlier for Salerno, allowing for your quick visit to Castel if you so desire.

Frankfurt, Germany
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8. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Thank you very much for great suggestions and help...

I would finalize the similar itinerary:

Stay near by Alberobello or in Alberobello, explore it in evening and 1 hour morning if not checked, move to matera asap and then explore Matera...

With great suggestion from BrunoAP and little bit homework about the Sassi, I came up with following rough walk itinerary:

" While entering Matera stop at Belverde for quick overview on city and then while going to P. V.Veneto pass by to Chiesa sant agostino church to see the famous view on Sassi together with Ravine and then continue to V.Veneto and park the car.

From P.V.Veneto check the view and walk down to Via Fiorentini to Via casale and via Madonna delle Virtù along the gravina side walk along it till Piazza San Pietro Caveoso admire the church and view from it. from there continue to S. Pietro in Monterrone through via Via Madonna dell' Idris. to Chiesa rupestre di Santa Lucia lle Malve and S. Maria de Idris e di S.Giovanni. Finally with Via S. Leonardo to Palazzo Lanfranchi. Admire view from it and back to V.Veneto. Optionally, go to Basilica with Via Duomo and check out the view"

Kindly, give your advice on the same.

This might be little exhausting then I would start other way around as I found Cavaseo is more interesting district than Barisano, what do you think?

It seems there are so many churches I came across, but if I want to choose only few to visit, which church(es) is/are most worth to visit? To check out the cave houses I might take look into cave-house of Vico solitario while walk. What else do you think should be included/excluded to get the best overview of Matera??

IF time permits, I would visit Castelmezzano along the way or else would directly continue to salerno..

There is another town looks promising to check on the way to SAlerno - Pisticci. It looks like spanish white villages, somehow. What do you think, would it be big detour than Castelmezzano and more worth to see?

London, Canada
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9. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Pisticci is quite pretty, but closer to your route is Ferrandina which is similar in appearance, but more dramatic in appearance. It can be seen from the S407 where you join it from the S7r. Also, there is a small 'offshoot' road taking you into the village, at this location. The link below will show you pictures of the town.

https://www.google.ca/#q=pictures+of+ferrandina+italy

Frankfurt, Germany
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10. Re: How to best see & photograph Matera in few hours by self?

Thanks for the suggestions!!! But, it seems this picture perfect view is not from highway but we need to take detour of around 10 km in side to a country side road in parallel to the town... but nevertheless indeed an awesmoe view and of half the distance of pisticci... Castelmenzanno is also equal distance but mountainous road I guess... I would try to check out any if having time.. thanks