The Cantatour stops in Matera, the City of Sassi a stone’s throw from the beauties of Puglia: a journey on the Murgia

Puglia Region Link

After Polignano and Putignano, here is Matera. The third stage of the Cantatour 2023, the Radiobari tour supported by Pugliapromozione and the Puglia Region, is scheduled for Thursday 26 October in the Città dei Sassi: songs and comic gags, music and laughter will enliven the municipal cinema Gerardo Guerrieri. As always, Renato Ciardo will entertain and involve the public, with the support of the voice-over of Silvia De Sandi, author of the show. Guest of the event will be Francesco Baccini, a Ligurian artist, a true symbol of Made in Italy songwriting. Info and reservations on

The symbol of Matera, however, are naturally the two Sassi districts: Caveoso and Barisano, recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO since 9 December 1993. The Sassi of Matera, the first site in southern Italy to receive UNESCO recognition, extend into two small valleys separated from each other by the rocky spur of Civita. An excellent starting point for visiting the beauties of nearby Puglia, primarily those of the Murgia, which develops in all its splendor along the Apulian and Lucanian territories amidst greenery and scenery very similar to those of American canyons.

A typical feature of the southern part of the Murgia, in fact, is represented by the ravines. The gravina is a karst erosion comparable to the American canyons, with steep walls and depths, in some points, even greater than 200 metres: the largest, in terms of extension and depth, is the gravina of Laterza, in the Tarantino area, considered the example most representative of the karst-tectonic phenomenon at a European level. A true natural oasis that develops within the Terra delle Gravine Regional Natural Park.

The Gravina di Laterza Oasis, therefore, extends for 12 kilometers among plants and animals typical of the Mediterranean. The entire area, protected as a protection oasis since 1984, has been managed by LIPU, the Italian Bird Protection League, since 1999. Immersed in a typically Mediterranean habitat of pseudosteppe rich in vegetation, the oasis boasts pine forests, fragno oaks and holm oak forests populated mainly by birds of prey at serious risk of extinction. An ideal destination, therefore, both for birdwatching lovers and for the many trekking enthusiasts.

Also unmissable in the area is the Alta Murgia National Park which, extending from the Adriatic coast to the Lucanian hills, houses the last example of Mediterranean steppe present in Italy. Made up mainly of limestone rocks, tuffs and clay deposits, the entire plateau is rich in mushrooms, lampascioni, wild asparagus and cardoncelli. Standing out among the greenery are the dry stone buildings which, during transhumance, served as a shelter for animals. The farms are powerful and majestic, some fortified like real castles. The pride of the park is Castel del Monte, a super manor built by Frederick II.

There is no Murgia without Valle d’Itria, a portion of central Puglia between the metropolitan city of Bari, the province of Brindisi and that of Taranto. Its territory, in fact, coincides precisely with the southern part of the Murge plateau. The main peculiarity of the valley are naturally the trulli: the typical and exclusive cone-shaped stone houses, known and appreciated throughout the world. The Itria Valley entirely includes the territories of Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Ostuni, Cisternino, Locorotondo, Alberobello and a very small part of Noci.

Then there is the Murgia Matera, located at the eastern end of Basilicata and right on the border with Puglia, which runs alongside the Sassi. Also in this area there is a castle to admire. This is the Tramontano Castle: an imposing structure in Aragonese style, with a central keep and two round lateral towers, left unfinished following the killing of Count Giancarlo Tramontano by the population of Matera in 1514. Fortino del Cantatour of Radiobari, however, will be the Guerrieri cinema theatre. With the audience in the room as always the protagonists of the evening through singing performances on the texts of Apulian artists. The Cantatour is a musical format promoted by Pugliapromozione