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A Taste of Imma Tataranni's Matera:A Tour of the City of Sassi

Local tips from the hometown of Imma Tataranni

Article byLinda Sarris
MHz Choice Logo eyebrow 150x150

A Taste of Imma Tataranni's Matera:A Tour of the City of Sassi

Local tips from the hometown of Imma Tataranni
Article byLinda Sarris
Seasons 3 coming Spring 2023!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Who better to help guide us through Imma Tatartanni's beautiful hometown of Matera than Palermo based Chef, author, food, wine and travel consultant, Linda Sarris! Linda has spent much of the last decade living, working, cooking and traveling throughout Southern Italy and is a self-confessed fan of our own Imma Tataranni! Linda recently created a delicious recipe series based on Imma's kitchen and is the co-author of Moon Southern Italy: Sicily, Puglia, Naples & the Amalfi Coast (Travel Guide).

Where to Eat, Stay & Drink in Imma Tataranni’s Matera

A Tour of the City of Sassi

The juxtaposition between the Parco Regionale della Murgia Materana’s wild lush natural landscape and Matera’s unique carved stone city make it unlike any other Italian travel destination. So, how can you best explore it? For starters, while you’re home and possibly unable to get there right now, pique your interest with a little “research”. MHz Choice enthusiasts will recognize Matera right away as the setting for our Imma Tataranni series. It has also been the fictional home of Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman, the site of Daniel Craig’s new James Bond film, and referred to as the “Jerusalem of Lucania” for the multiple biblical movies filmed here.

The region of Basilicata can be found in the arch of Italy’s boot shape, nestled between the southern trifecta of Calabria, Campania and Puglia. In Season 1, Episode 1, Imma Tataranni chases her lost elderly mother through the steep terraced streets of Matera, quickly clicking away with her wooden-soled heels, like only a fabulous Italian woman can. We love how she can just jet off to her in-law’s beach house in Metaponto, like New Yorkers heading out to the Hamptons. In Matera, you can get the best of both worlds with thousands of years of history connecting nature, city life and even access to the Ionian Sea in under one hour.

When you’re ready to start planning your trip to Matera, here’s some of our favorite experiences in the “City of Sassi”.

Visit Matera’s Top Sights

Palombaro Lungo

30-minute guided tours are available daily to discover this subterranean 3,000-year-old cistern water reservoir hidden beneath the Piazza Vittorio Veneto.
Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 34

Cathedral of Saint Mary 'della Bruna' and Saint Eustace

Built on the site of an 11th-century monastery, Matera’s main “duomo” cathedral and its iconic 52-meter high bell tower sit on the highest point of the old city between the two ancient Sassi districts. It was built in the Apulian Romanesque style with Byzantine-style frescoes dedicated to the Madonna della Bruna, the patroness saint of the city.

Casa Grotta nei Sassi

Frozen in time, the Casa Grotta museum depicts how the cave dwelling inhabitants of the Sassi lived up until 1956.
Vico Solitario, 11
Phone: +39 0835 310118

San Nicola dei Greci - Madonna delle Virtù

The limestone crypt church of San Nicola dei Greci is recognized for its importance for the significant archaeological findings and 11th – 12th century frescoes (including the famous triptych of St. Nicholas, St. Barbara and St. Pantaleone) that were discovered there. Built around the year 1000 and dedicated to the Madonna delle Virtù, this is one of the oldest crypts in the city of Matera.
Via Madonna delle Virtù

A Guided Walking Tour of the City of Sassi

Get lost on a journey from the Paleolithic era through present day in the City of Sassi from the dark caves of the Murgia to the rock churches, deep cisterns and century-old palazzi. The expert guides from Matera Experience offer a range of experiences including 2-hour city walking tours and hiking/trekking excursions through the natural landscapes of Basilicata.
Via Pentasuglia, 31
Phone: +39 328 645 7257

Browse Through Matera’s Top Museums

Most of the museums are located along the main streets of Matera. Spend some time browsing through the various exhibits, unique archaeological finds and modern/contemporary works of art.

Casa Noha
MUSMA – Museo della Scultura Contemporanea
MOOM – Matera Olive Oil Museum
Ipogeo MateraSum

Trekking & Private Cave Lunch

Explore the dramatic landscapes with a guided hike in the gorges of Matera and enjoy an unforgettable private lunch in an 11th century cave church with Southern Visions Travel.
Phone: +39 338 131 8026

Authentic Italy

These expert travel consultants can customize visits for families, friends, business associates, individuals and couples. They will help you seek out the most unforgettable upscale experiences from breathtaking accommodations to exclusive sightseeing excursions and more.
Phone: +1 646 767 0089

Basilicata Turistica

There’s so much more to see than just Matera. The online tourism site Basilicata Turistica provides recommendations on exploring this lesser-known region with cycling or motorbike itineraries, beach destinations, camper van tours, transportation tips, cooking and ceramics workshops, restaurants, accommodations, and outdoor adventures.
Phone: +39 0835 331983
[email protected]

Discovery Matera

This easy-to-use online resource provides information on what to do and what to see in Matera as well as helpful recommendations on electric bike and scooter rentals, guided tours of the Sassi and the Murgia of Matera, and transportation tips. Their tourism office is located in the center of Matera, a short walk from Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Some sample excursions you can book through Discovery Matera include a horse ride in the San Giuliano Nature Reserve, trekking through the Cristo la Selva rock settlements in the ravine of Matera, and explore the gloomy Grotta dei Pipistrelli “bat cave” with a professional guide.
Via delle Beccherie, 19
Phone: +39 0835 339192

Gravina di Matera - Basilicata, Italy (photo by: Victor Malyushev)

Imma Tatranni

Deputy prosecutor Imma Tataranni cracks cases with attitude to spare in this entertaining crime series set in Basilicata.


Where to Eat, Stay & Drink in Imma Tataranni’s Matera

About the Chef
Linda Sarris is a food/wine travel consultant and private chef based in Palermo, Sicily. From her sun-lit kitchen studio above the 1,000 year-old Ballarò food market, Linda works as a freelance writer, social media manager, and culinary communications consultant while still traveling regularly for private chef work with clients in the fashion and music industries. Under her brand, @thecheekychef, she is self-publishing a Sicilian food and wine ‘zine and curates a series of Mediterranean culinary/lifestyle retreats and travel experiences. Her first book will be published in 2022 with Hachette Book Group.