Cripta del Peccato Originale

Useful Information

Location: From Matera follow SS7 south for 8 km, take exit to the Strada Provincale Fondo Valle Badano. Turn off to the Azienda Dragono, where the ticket office is located. From the farm follow the single lane track to the parking lot at the end.
(40.620531, 16.563204)
Open: MAR Tue-Sun 9:30, 11, 12:30, 15:30, 17.
APR to SEP Tue-Sun 9:30, 11, 12:30, 15:30, 17, 18:30.
OCT Tue-Sun 9:30, 11, 12:30, 15:30, 17.
NOV to FEB Tue-Sun 9:30, 11, 12:30, 15:30.
Visitors must be at the ticket office at least 30 minutes earlier.
Online booking through official website mandatory.
Fee: Adults EUR 10, Children (6-18) EUR 8, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 8.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=20 min, audio-guide, Max=20.
Photography: forbidden, smartphones must be turned off
Accessibility: no, narrow staircase and uneven ground
Address: Cripta del Peccato Originale, Azienda Agricola F.lli Dragone, Contrada Petrapenta, Cell: +39-320-334-5323. E-mail:
Fondazione Zétema, Tel: +39-0835-330582. E-mail:
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.


9th painted by the Flower Painter of Matera.
01-MAY-1963 rediscovered by a group of young enthusiasts from Matera, members of the Circolo La Scaletta.
24-OCT-1998 Fondazione Zétema established.
2001 exemplary, scientifically-based full recovery project of the rock monument by the Fondazione Zétema.


The Cripta del Peccato Originale (Crypt of the Original Sin) is located in a rocky cavity overlooking a limestone cliff. The walls show the impressive frescoes of the Flower Painter of Matera, he is not known by name, but it is possible to identify the pictures he made. The frescoes here show multiple scenes from the old and new testament. The show God the Creator, Light and Darkness, Adam and Eve, the three Apostles John, Peter and Andrew, the Archangels and Mary. They were restored, commissioned by the Fondazione Zétema di Matera (Zétema Foundation of Matera) and carried out with the advice of the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (Central Institute for Restoration).

The cave chapel was built by extending a natural cave. The walls were sculpted to form vaults and then plastered. The cycle of paintings are dated to the second half of the 8th century, with Late-Romanesque style and formal elements of Oriental inspiration. Later the chapel was abandoned and used as a barn for sheep. That's the state it was in when it was rediscovered.

The restoration project was carried out in combination with an detailed scientific research. The crypt was subjected to one year of bioclimatic monitoring. Photometric measurements were taken in different seasons. Geological and geotechnical investigations were carried outin the surroundings, to identify capillary drainage. In order to eradicate the micro-bacterial fabric that covered the frescoes, a census of the articulated biological colonization was performed. The restauration was far more professional than the restauration of Lascaux cave in France.

Keep your ticket: in the next week you will get reduced fee visiting MUSMA Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera and La Casa di Ortega at Matera if you present the ticket.