According to tradition, since 1389, every year on the 2nd July, Matera celebrates the Madonna della Bruna, the city’s Patron saint. Steeped in religious traditions, full of vibrant pagan rites, this spectacular festival is magical to be a part of. The Madonna della Bruna festival is the longest day of the year for Materans: the entire city pays homage to the Virgin, with celebrations long-awaited by the faithful.

The festival celebrates the Virgin Mary apparition to a peasant, in a neighbourhood known today as Piccianello.

The Carro Trionfale, a giant float, carries the Madonna around the streets of the town centre, up to the Cathedral.

At night, the float continues its journey across the town’s central square, where it is grabbed and destroyed by the citizens, according to tradition.