Chiesa del Cappuccino Vecchio

Cappuccino Vecchio - Cappuccino Nuovo

Useful Information

Location: Via Cappucini is a southern suburb of Matera. Driving south turn left into sidearm of Via Cappuccini. At number 10 cross gravel plaza and follow staircase down to the church.
(40.653980, 16.618884)
Open: Acces not restricted.
Its not possible to enter.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaSubterranea Museum
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Chiesa del Cappuccino Vecchio, Via Cappuccini, 75100 Matera MT, Tel: +39-0835-336166.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Chiesa del Cappuccino Vecchio (Church of the Cappuccino Vecchio) probably gave its name to the southernmost district of Matera, the Cappuccini district. All the roads in the quarter are named Via Cappuccini, so its a bit tricky to find a place. Coming from the city center driving south on Via Cappuccini there is a place where the road splits in two, 50 m before turn left into a narrow road named Via Cappuccini. It goes a little uphill and you reach a huge empty space and a row of houses on the left. Park here, cross the empty space and follow the stone staircase leading downhill on the far side.

It seems the place was once a hermitage or monastery, probably of cappucine monks, hence the name. But the site is in a much worse shape than many others. Frescoes, if they once existed, have not survived, also parts of the acves have collapsed. In ancient times the cave monastery had two entrances, which collapsed due to erosion. Now the first underground room is open to the surface. The city restored the caves and closed them with an iron railing, it is possible to look inside, but not to enter them. The interior of the cave church has two parallel naves. Both naves have a pulpit with a higher floor and are connected by an arched door.