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Cripta del Peccato Originale

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Contrada Pietrapenta, 75100, Matera, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 3203345323
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

Through a quiet path, among vineyards and wheat fields, you reach the Crypt...

Through a quiet path, among vineyards and wheat fields, you reach the Crypt of Original Sin. This exceptional cave church represents one of the oldest examples of the rupestrian art of Southern Italy. Its extraordinary cycle of frescoes, made five hundred years before Giotto, illustrates scenes from the Old and New Testament. For its theological value and artistic pictorial compendium, the cave-church has been called the 'Sistine Chapel' of the rupestrian wall painting.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 38
  • 9
    Very good
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  • 1
Fascinating Hidden Frescoes & Crypt!

We found the Crypt easily using the directions below. Having only been discovered relatively recently (1963) the grotto dates to about 900 ad & lies in a small ravine & has... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Saint Louis, Missouri
via mobile
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601 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 50: English reviews
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
520 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We found the Crypt easily using the directions below. Having only been discovered relatively recently (1963) the grotto dates to about 900 ad & lies in a small ravine & has several excellent frescoes. The English audio guide provides a nice overview. To go there take the car and follow directions from Matera to POTENZA, after about 10km you will... More 

1 Thank JimSTL1021
Wellington UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2017

We visited the Cripta, having pre-booked via the website before we left Britain. We were given clear directions as where to go to pick up the tickets, although you do have watch carefully for the turn off. We were lucky to be two of only four people visiting and it was just fabulous. Our guide was helpful and the audio... More 

Thank Sheena P
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2016

Location not easy to find nor to reach, and thus extra rewarding. The audio guide gives an excellent insight into the wall paintings, a "must see" site whenever in or near Matera

1 Thank Peter G
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2016

Really nice and interesting place to visit, if you like old paintings made in the rock. you have to reserve by phone or via website and then go to a vine yard (Dragone) , where they take you with transport to the Cripta. The guide inside it is in several languages (English, Italian, Spanish, amongst others). Photos with flash are... More 

1 Thank vicQ9563XW
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2016 via mobile

A very unusual and interesting place, the audio guide explained the symbolism of the pictures very well, if you are in Matera you should definitely go to see it.

Thank Emelie_83
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2016

My brother-in-law recommended this for our group after researching things to do around Matera. Very nice presentation and explanation of religious paintings on a cave wall. The presentation has lighting to highlight the paintings during the presentation. Located outside Matera. Quite difficult to find. Our B & B owner wrote out directions which did not help us. 2 off duty... More 

Thank rlrobles5
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2016 via mobile

This tour is an absolute must if you are in the Matera area. The history of the crypt is tremendous, and Antonio will answer as many questions as you want to ask. He was super knowledgable about all kinds of off beat things I had read about the cave and added so much color to the stories. That first moment... More 

2 Thank CorinnaBsWorld
Edison, New Jersey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2016

If it is possible - visit the crypt and see the frescoes from the 9th century. The presentation is excellently performed in the dark with lights pointing to each fresco and music and narrative.

1 Thank olga_ben
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2016 via mobile

Stunning and well preserved frescos. The old place of worship is tucked away in a cave just outside of Matera. The tour has very well done audio explanation of what you see with excellent lighting. No photos unfortunately.

Thank IndianaGeologist
Level Contributor
43 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2016 via mobile

I emailed Brunella several times about tickets, opening, location & found communication was excellent & directions very accurate as the sat nav couldn't locate - having a car is essential. Located in a vineyard, you gather half hour before, looks available, pay 10€ each, we were then given English audio guide then follow the guides car down to the grotto... More 

3 Thank DBegg

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