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Underground Matera

The excavations carried out in Vittorio Veneto Square in the 1990s revealed an underground ancient part of the city incredibly rich in charm and historical and achitectural value that had been covered up due to the increase in urban development. Such underground places originally represented the hub of the city: ‘Il Fondaco di mezzo’ (the ancient city market), the little rock church of ‘Santo Spirito’ and the ‘Palombaro lungo’. In particular, the Palombaro lungo had been, for a long time, the main water storage of the town. This enormous cistern has a maximum capacity of five million liters of water. It is also known as the cathedral of water for its impressive internal structure made of archs and pillars, perfect example of hydraulic engineering and the most representative instance of the rainwater collection systems developed in this region. Today it is possible to enter and visit the amazing insides of the Palombaro Lungo with a guided tour.

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