Cave Heritage was created when six young people, all from Matera, decided to combine their individual talents and work experiences, in order to promote art, culture and tourism.

This post is also available in: Italian

This post is also available in: Italian

The members of Cave Heritage all have ties to the “Circolo Culturale La Scaletta” (the “La Scaletta Cultural Association”) of Matera.
This association, with a great knowledge and love of the area, has been of service to the city since the year of its foundation in 1959.

Since its birth, the Circolo La Scaletta has been a major player in the Lucanian territory, organizing various cultural activities that promote Baslicata and in particular, the city of Matera.
Among these events, the most important has been the “Grande Mostra nei Sassi” (the “Great Exhibit in the Sassi”), which has included exhibits of work by some of the greatest contemporary sculptors in the world within the Rupestrian Complex of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci.
It is here that the young people of the Cave Heritage association have matured and consolidated their cultural work experience since 2005, collaborating with the Circolo La Scaletta in the management of this event.

By combining their common work experiences with their individual talents, the Cave Heritage association is able to offer a variety of services from the management and organization of cultural events, to guided tours within Basilicata, in addition to art consulting.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for any needs or requests you might have. Our love of this territory and art is at your service.

This post is also available in: Italian

This post is also available in: Italian


Matera has a heritage rich in history, traditions and culture. We decided to call our cooperative Cave Heritage due to the nature of the area’s rocky landscape.
The rupestrian heritage that Matera and its surrounding territory safeguards, is what identifies and distinguishes it.
The approximately 160 rupestrian churches that have been officially recorded are a clear testimony to the human settlement that dates its origins back to prehistoric times.
It is within one of the most evocative of these rupestrian complexes that of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci, located in the heart of the Sassi and discovered in 1967 by the Circolo La Scaletta, that the story of the Cave Heritage cooperative began.

Our experience springs from a close relationship with Matera’s origins and continues to grow daily, thanks to the spirit of good-will, sharing and dedication that the Circolo La Scaletta has passed down and continues to give us today.
Thus, we find ourselves immersed in the history of our town, with its signs written on, and carved in stone – all collected and protected within the sort of “mother’s womb” that these rupestrian spaces provide.
All of this has made us more united and has made our group stronger over the years.

Our aim is to continue to work together in this wonderful place and to be able to share our passion and love of art, our local culture and its history with others.

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European Capital of Culture for 2019

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In the unique context of Matera,


offers the following services:
– the management of cultural heritage and exhibition areas
– cultural tourism (guided tours)
– management and organization of cultural events (exhibits, concerts and conferences)
– didactic services

This post is also available in: Italian


This post is also available in: Italian

Claudia Lenoci

President & Co-founder
A Matera native since 1981, Claudia is the President and co-founder of the Cave Heritage cooperative. She is a passionate graphics expert with training in website design and worked for some time for a well-known marketing and communications agency in her hometown. Despite her vocation for art and design, her training was of a more technical and business nature. In 2005 she became a member of the Circolo Culturale la Scaletta and today manages the exhibits and events held in these rupestrian spaces. She now has the opportunity to cultivate her passion for the town’s historic and artistic heritage. Since 2005 she has helped organize 11 editions of “Le Grande Mostre nei Sassi”, as well as numerous cultural events, each year acquiring new skills and determination, all which she intends to channel into this new venture.

Maria Teresa Barbaro

Vice President
The Vice President of Cave Heritage was born in Matera in 1981 and comes from a multi-generational line of Materan families. Having graduated with a degree in foreign languages and literature, she is responsible for Cave Heritage’s tourism sector. Today Maria Teresa is a tour-guide and excursion-leader for the Basilicata region, with specialization as a guide for the “Parco della Murgia Materana” (Matera Moors Park) and tour-guide. She thanks the Circolo La Scaletta for having given her direction and guidance on her path in 2005. In fact, it was in 2005 that she began working on the management of “Le Grandi Mostre nei Sassi”, having various responsibilities, among which were the welcoming of foreign guests in English, French and Spanish. It is her belief that the promotion of this territory should be pursued in a complete way, offering itineraries that highlight the artistic heritage, scenic beauty, wide selection of food and wine and Lucanian hospitality that is still a hallmark for the region of Basilicata today.

Valeria Mantarano

Valeria Mantarano, from the class of 1983, was born in Pisticci (MT), but has lived in Matera most of her life. Her artistic and professional training are perfectly coupled with her passions, skills and talents. She received her Bachelor’s degree as a Cultural Assets Operator (with a focus on Art & History) from the University of Basilicata and then a Masters degree in History of Art (with a focus on Modern & Contemporary art) from the University of Salento, with high marks. She is all about art. Rather than manually creating art, it is more an intellectual pursuit. She has written critical essays and curated some contemporary art exhibits among which, an exhibit of the Salento engraver Angelo Rizzelli, from the Sette Dolori Graphic Arts School. She is currently curating a collective of young artists, promoted by the Gai Provincia di Matera, of which she has been a member since 2012. Since 2007 she has managed Matera’s anthology of contemporary sculpture exhibits “Le Grandi Mostre nei Sassi”, held within the rupestrian complex of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci, in collaboration with the Circolo La Scaletta, of which she has been a member for 6 years. Her other great passion is for music. She listens to it daily and regularly reads reviews and attends concerts and musical events. To complete and widen her knowledge in the music sector, she did a specialization course in “Managing entertainment events”, followed by a training course at Matera’s Duni Conservatory in organizing concerts and musical events. She has chosen this path and invested in this dream together with the other members of the Cave Heritage Cooperative, because she believes that art, history and culture, united and shared, are the most important impetus for social growth of the city in which she lives.

Nicola Ricciardi

Nicola Ricciardi, a Matera native, graduated in “The Conservation and Transmission of Historical Memories” and has been an official Tour Guide for the Region of Basilicata since 2011. He has also recently become qualified as a Trekking and Environmental Guide for the Region of Basilicata and has continued to collaborate in managing the “Grande Mostre nei Sassi” since 2007. He is currently also pursuing a degree in European History and Civilization.

Maria Emanuella Di Cuia

Maria Emanuella was born in Matera in 1986. She attended the “Università degli studi di Bari - Aldo Moro”, where she received a first and second level degree in Art History (Contemporary) with honors. Thanks to an internship she did after graduating, she worked as a museum guide at the “Corrado Giaquinto” Provincial Picture Gallery of Bari. She also received a certificate as an “Expert in the marketing of innovative cultural products” from the Pragma Group of Matera. In addition, she has collaborated with the sculptor Margherita Serra and for the past two years has dealt with the drafting of the catalogues for her exhibitions, as well as coordinating together with a working group “L’associazione GAi – Giovani Artisti Italiani – Provincia di Matera”. She has also worked as a volunteer and associate for the Circolo Culturale “La Scaletta” on the organization, management and public service for the contemporary sculpture anthologies at the Rupestrian Complex of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci and is ready to take on this new work experience within the Cave Heritage cooperative, with all the enthusiasm and professionalism she has acquired during her formative years.

Bruna Antonella Giacoia

Brunella Antonella Giacoia, a graduate of the School of Linguistics in Matera, was born in 1979 and has lived in Matera her whole life. She became a member of the Circolo Culturale “La Scaletta” in 2006 and began to actively participate in the creation and management of the “Grandi Mostre nei Sassi” event at the Rupestrian Complex of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci. In 2003 she participated in a European mobility project called “Leonardo” in Seville as an educator at the Children’s Hospital “Virgen del Rocio”. She attended an IFTS course, from which she obtained a certificate in Tourism Marketing. She has also been a delegate for GAi (Giovani Artisti Italiani) for the field of applied art in the Matera Province since 2012, as well as a member of Emergency. Her experience with the Circolo “La Scaletta” has inspired her in becoming dedicated to and passionate about her city’s history, with all its peculiarities.

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