Make your own discoveries in Matera, an ancient city of rock-hewn
buildings made famous by the movie, The Passion of the Christ
. Walk the
historic streets to explore the more than 100 churches built into the rocky
surface of the city. Admire the magnificent Greek and Byzantine frescoes
painted inside these cavernous houses of worship. Visit the Sassi ancient
quarters, or tour the Romanesque-Apulian Cathedral. And along the way, learn
the fascinating history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Available only with the Air Inclusive Package.
Single Supplement: $145
Depart the U.S.
The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight
itinerary and airline tickets.
Day 2 - Arrive in Bari / Begin your Trip Extension
Upon arrival at the airport in Bari, Italy,
claim your luggage and clear customs. A VBT representative will meet you and
help you transfer (approximately 1 hour) to your centrally located hotel in Matera. VBT provides you
with City Information included in your Final Travel Booklet to help guide your
independent exploration of this unique city. At the hotel, our local expert
will be available at a set time to answer your questions and offer an optional,
private-guided walk to help you make the most of the city. Dinner tonight is on
Day 3 - Independent exploration of Matera
Matera has been made famous in the U.S. by Mel Gibson's
movie, The Passion of the Christ and
bears unique signs of history and prehistory. In fact, it is considered one of
the most ancient settlements in the world because it has been continuously
inhabited as far back as the Paleolithic era. The Sassi di Matera (Stones of
Matera) is the city's ancient quarters and is recognized as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site for its unique architecture—homes and churches built directly
into the rocky surface of the ancient town.
The town's legacy of 100 rock-hewn churches containing
magnificent Greek and Byzantine frescoes adds to its historic allure.
The town is 400 meters (1,312 feet) above sea level and
clings to a hillside, half-open like an amphitheater, before extending over a
wide plateau. It can be explored by climbing the steps and narrow roads that
meander inside the ancient quarters, which cover two distinct valleys. From the
uppermost streets, you can admire breathtaking views.
During the day, visit the Romanesque-Apulian Cathedral
overlooking the two valleys of the Sassi, see a typically furnished cave-dwelling
that shows how the population lived here 50 years ago and explore various
crypts and underground churches.
It’s worth noting that our hotels (sister properties) are carved
out of the tufa rocks. They are the result of a painstaking renovation of over
1,400 square meters of the Sassi, including cave dwellings, pathways, stairways
and courtyards. They are made up of a total 35 historical dwellings and they
share the restaurant, main reception and services. The property mirrors a
typical Matera neighborhood; its rooms and courtyards laid out on a steep slope
and connected by stairways and landings.
Day 4 - Independent exploration of Matera / Join VBT Air Package guests
After a morning on your own exploring more of Matera, transfer to
Savelletri and your first masseria. Your transfer is scheduled for 1:30 pm
from the Matera
hotel reception area.
Upon arrival in Savelletri, you have the rest of the day free
to discover the peaceful countryside and relax at our luxurious 5-star deluxe
masseria where there are a number of amenities to take advantage of. You can
play golf at the 9-hole course, get a massage at the Aveda hotel spa, spend the
afternoon relaxing on the private sand beach or stroll through the large
orchards, vineyards and olive groves. By contacting the hotel in advance, you
may also book a cooking class, rent a boat or practice outdoor sports like
tennis, sailing and horseback riding. Whatever you choose, you will be amazed
by the simple and quiet rhythm of life and the friendliness of local people
Note: On some dates we are using Masseria Cimino. This property is a 4-star hotel
and is part of the 101 best hotels selected by Tatler.
VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.