Murgia Materana Park can be reached on foot from Montescaglioso. By following the footpaths in the protected area that stretches all the way to Apulia on the eastern edge of Basilicata, you will find yourself plunged deep into a magical Mediterranean landscape of scrubland peppered with rocks, ravines, and caves. It is here that Benedictine and Byzantine monks used to retreat from the 9th century onwards. More than 150 churches were hollowed out of the stone in the area now covered by the park, and they still display the frescoes depicting the origins of the various monastic communities. The stunning paintings of the 'Cripta del Peccato Originale' (Crypt of Original Sin) date back to the 9th century, when the church was part of a rupestrian Benedictine monastery.
The park holds 150 places of worship spanning from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century.© Easyvoyage.com
Many popular monuments of worship can still be found in the park today.© Easyvoyage.com
The churches, often decorated with frescoes of biblical images constitute an example of syncretism between Byzantine and Western art.© Easyvoyage.com