Even if it is not as famous and popular as other Italian cities of art, such as Rome, Florence or Venice, Matera, the capital city of Basilicata and the European Capital City of Culture for 2018, is a stunning destination, which offers to the visitors interesting museums and art galleries that worth to be seen. Here’s a list of the top six places to visit in town.
Museo Nazionale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna della Basilicata
The 18th-century Lanfranchi Palace, built as a seminary inside an earlier church, is home to the National Modern and Medieval Arts Museum of Basilicata, one of the most important museums of the region. Here, visitors can view several sacred art paintings and ancient mosaics, including the famous Camillo D’Errico collection, one of the greatest Italian collectors, and the 44 paintings of Carlo Levi, including the panoramic mural Lucania 61.
Museo Nazionale Domenico Ridola
Ridola is the National Archaeological Museum of Basilicata and contains plenty of artefacts from the Neolithic-era to the Middle Ages. The highlight here is the Greek collection, in particular a vase collection dating back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Did you know at that time, the region was an Ancient Greek Colony? Well, to learn more about that period, there is nothing better to do than visit this interesting museum.
Museo della Scultura Contemporanea
MUSMA, Contemporary Art Museum, is a stunning museum located inside the 17th-century Palace Pomarici, dotted with stunning frescoed rooms, and is one of the most important sculpture museums of Italy. Here you can admire fabulous examples of Italian sculptures from the late 19th-century to the present days, and also interesting pieces of graphic art, ceramics and jewellery.
Besides the famous and public museums, Matera is also home to stunning art galleries that are worth a look, most of them built inside the famous sassi. We highly recommend you visit the beautiful Casa Noha, a multimedia exhibit spread across three rooms of a 16th-century family home-sassi, where visitors can learn more about the history of Matera and its unique buildings. Inside Casa Noha, you will be amazed by the history and transformation of the sassi; in ancient times, their inhabitants considered them a shame, a symbol of poverty. Today, sassi are a world heritage and symbol of beauty.
Strolling through the spectacular city centre of Matera, you will be amazed by the tuff sassi, most of them turned into boutique hotels, apartments, store and art galleries. To admire, and buy, locally crafted ceramics, sculptures, lamps and other pieces of art, the best place to go to is BG Arte, a little museum-shop on Piazza Veneto, Matera’s main square.
Another unusual place to visit in Matera that looks like a small museum but is a shop, is the laboratory of the artist and painter Dacia Capriotti. Here, Capriotti sells her own handmade pottery. If you want to see something traditional and buy delightful pieces of art for your friends and family, come here and you’ll not be disappointed.