Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world whose territory contains evidence of human habitation since the Paleolithic and without interruption to the present day.
It is the city of Sassi, the original urban core, developed from natural caves carved into the rock and then molded into increasingly complex structures within two large natural amphitheaters named Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso.
In 1993 UNESCO declares “Sassi di Matera” a world heritage site.
“Sassi di Matera” is the sixth world heritage site in Italy in chronological order and the first in the South.
For the traveler who visits for the first time, it is difficult to think that the history of Matera includes a tremendous period that led the city to be dubbed: “shame of Italy”, a symbol of poverty and retrograde of the South. In just over 50 years, Matera managed to become a livable city, modern, with the lowest crime rate among the provincial capitals and now it has been consecrated at European level. On 17 October 2014 infact, Matera was designated European capital of culture for 2019.
It is a deserved recognition.
In the sixties the Sassi were completely uninhabited and the strong sense of decay used to show the Southern backwardness. Today the Sassi, restored and populated, offer to Matera the opportunity to tell the history, and the tales, of this beautiful city.