On our fascinating natural history tour, you will delve into the most picturesque sites of the Park of the Monks, located in the well-known Murgia Materana Regional Park. After a quick stop at the visitor’s centre, we will continue climbing along the right side of the ravine called "Vallone della femmina" – literally Valley of the Female – from where, surrounded by the mastic evergreen shrubs and the inebriating scent of thyme, you can admire magnificent landscapes, remained unaltered over the millennia. You will experience the same mysterious atmosphere that hailed different hermit communities when they settled here in the Middle Ages. Following the path, we will reach the Saracen village – a rock-cut settlement made up of about 70 cave dwellings and used until the 19th century by pastoral communities – that lies nestled in a small valley. Here you will admire roof gardens, the ancient canal system dedicated to the rain water collection into wells and cisterns, rock-cut recesses and a medieval burial ground. You can visit the two rock-hewn churches, the Vitisciulo Crypt and St. Luca’s Church, within the settlement. The latter is a masterpiece of rock-cut architecture, as the interiors of the place of worship were made by carving out the natural stone instead of building up every single architectural element, and represents the utmost expression of the Italo-Greek and early medieval Benedictine architecture within our territory.
Full Admission: € 85
Concessions (children under 18): € 35
Meeting Point: Altieri Viaggi, Don Minzoni 36 Street, Matera
Duration: About 4h, including stop-overs and a round-trip to the Park
Our Tour Includes: Licensed English-speaking guide and a Round-trip to the Park
Mandatory: Ankle high hiking shoes in good condition
Recommended equipment: Water supply; long trousers; comfortable, breathable clothing according to weather conditions; use of trekking poles is highly recommended