Parco Archeologico Storico Naturale delle Chiese Rupestri del Materano
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Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Chiese Rupestri del Materano (della Murgia Materana) Archaeological Park:
    • Land Surface Area (ha): 10.856,00
    • Regions: Basilicata
    • Provinces: Matera
    • Municipalities: Matera, Montescaglioso
    • Establishment Measures: LR 11 3/04/1990
    • PA Official List: EUAP0419
  • Further managed Protected Areas:
    • ZSC e ZPS Gravine di Matera

Park Authority (Italian text):
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The shepherds' trails

Discovering Murgia Materana Park

Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular rupestrian landscapes of Italy witnessing the ancient relationship between man and nature is situated in Basilicata, in Matera, at a few kilometers from the border with Apulia.
Parco Regionale Archeologico Storico Naturale delle Chiese Rupestri del Materano, also called Parco della Murgia Materana, is characterized by a soft rock consisting of deep fissures creating cliffs, ravines, caves, and gorges which have been used by man since prehistory. It lies in the districts between the roads S.S. 7, S.P. Matera-Ginosa-Montescaglioso, and S.S. 175.

(the following links lead to Italian texts)

Further information



The flora of Murgia Materana Regional Park includes 923 species, that is about one sixth of the regional flora: a considerable quantity for an area covering about 8,000 hectares.
One hundred rare and very rare species, among which several of Mediterranean-eastern origin, 61 new for the flora of Lucania, and 36 endemic and subendemic species, that is species with a rather limited distribution area.

Further information (Italian text)

Lesser Kestrel


The apparent harshness of the territory of Murgia Park conceals a natural environment which strikes for its beauty: an alternation of imposing rocky walls and gentle hills, deep gorges and fresh swamps in a continuity which is always surprising.
Between the garigue and the Mediterranean maquis, in the residual woods of Downy oak and Macedonian oak, besides an interesting flora, also a rich and picturesque fauna can be found.

Further information (Italian text)

Matera and Murgia Materana Park
Matera and Murgia Materana Park

Man and Territory

Man has inhabited the territory of Murgia since prehistoric times, with settlements dating back to the Paleolithic period (Bats Cave) and to the Neolithic period (Murgecchia, Murgia Timone, and Trasanello villages). Several evidences of these stages are preserved in the National Museum "Domenico Ridola" in Matera, while evidences of the Greek period (8th-7th century BC) and Roman period (from the 3rd century BC) are more frequent on the side of Montescaglioso.
Probably during these centuries the territory of Murgia was inhabited by shepherds and herdsmen living in small villages obtained from the adaptation of small natural caves.

(the following links lead to Italian texts)

Further information

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