If you’re arriving in the region by air, the closest airports are in Bari and Brindisi (information for both can be found at www.aeroportidipuglia.it). Pugliairbus (http://www.aeroportidipuglia.it/bus-pugliairbus-) makes hourly trips between Bari airport and Matera throughout the day, and SITA Sud (www.sitasudtrasporti.it; tel. 080/790111) buses make 5 trips a day; travel time is 1 1/4 hours. Matera is 73km (44 miles) south of Bari via SP236; from Brindisi, it’s 136km (82 miles) northeast via E90 and SS7.

Fast trains from Rome and other major Italian cities stop at Bari; to continue on to Matera, you’ll have to switch to the narrow-gauge train operated by Ferrovie Appulo Lucane  (FAL; ferrovieappulolucane.it), which runs every 1 to 2 hours (no service Sun) and takes about 1 1/2 hours. Train arrive at Matera Centrale station, from which buses run down to the Sassi.  

If you’re traveling to Matera from Naples, the easiest way is by car, following the A3 south, then the E847 east through Potenza; the drive takes a little more than 2 hours. Six-times-a-day bus service between Naples and Matera is run by Marino (www.marinobus.it; tel. 080/3112335) and takes about 4 1/2 hours. About a dozen trains (www.trenitalia.com) run daily between Naples and the nearby town of Ferrandina, which is connected by bus to Matera (fare about 3€; see ferrovieappulolucane.it for schedules).

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.