Palombaro Lungo

Useful Information

Location: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Matera.
(40.666871, 16.606484)
Open: Summer daily 9-13, 15-19.
Winter after appointment.
Fee: Adults EUR 3.
Classification: SubterraneaCistern
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=30 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Palombaro Lungo, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 34, 75100 Matera MT, Tel: +39-339-363-8332.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1993 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The Palombaro Lungo is the biggest cistern of Matera which holds 5 Million liters of water. It is located under Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the main square of the city. The water is mostly rain water but some of it comes from a natural spring located on the hill of the Tramontano castle. The cistern is still water-filled and tours are made by boat.

The cisterns were refilled with rain water. For this purpose rain gutters were connected with holes in the rock which lead to the cisterns. They were fixed using animal bones, which worked because the bones did not rot. Actually they became harder by calcification. The bones were also used to construct ventilation holes for the cisterns which are marked by limestone rosettes.