Matera City of the Sassi

Matera is a very ancient city, whose territory holds evidence of human settlements from the Paleolithic to the Ordierna era. The particular conformation of the site is characterized by valleys and rocky ledges shaped by the river called Gravina, forming a veritable canyon where on one of the sides rises the oldest urban layout: the Sassi districts.

The city is world-renowned for these historic districts, the Sassi, recognized in 1993 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the first site in southern Italy to receive such recognition, along with the Murgia Materana Park, which is located on the other side from the Gravina River.
  • Matera: alba vista da S. Agostino nel Sasso Barisano
  • Matera: il paesaggio dei Sassi dal Complesso di S. Agostino
  • Matera: veduta del Sasso Barisano
  • Sassi di Matera: La Cattedrale vista dal campanile di S. Pietro Barisano
  • Sassi di Matera: La rupe del Monterrone e la Chiesa rupestre di S. Maria de Idris
  • Matera: i dipinti murali nella chiesa rupestre di San Giovanni in Monterrone
  • Sassi di Matera: dipinto di Madonna con bambino nella Chiesa rupestre di S. Lucia alle Malve
  • Sassi di Matera: la croce gigliata nel Convicinio di S. Antonio nel Sasso Caveoso
  • Matera: il paesaggio dei Sassi dalla Gravina di Matera
  • Matera: il paesaggio dei Sassi dal Parco della Murgia Materana
  • Matera: il paesaggio dei Sassi dal Parco della Murgia Materana
  • Sassi di Matera: il tramonto dal Parco della Murgia Materana
Matera seduces and engages the human soul, with its rupestrian and hypogean churches, grottoes and stately palaces, arches, balconies unique in style and distinctiveness and breathtaking views. A historical artistic condensate of spaces carved out of the tuff.

The feeling is that of being inside a nativity scene and living in another era, so much so that some great Masters of Cinema, have chosen to set their films in this evocative natural setting. Matera is at the center of an incredible rocky landscape that preserves a great heritage of culture and traditions, and is home to exhibition events of great national and international prestige.

It is a city with a fascinating and complex history: a city of borders, of contrasts, of competition and fusion between different landscapes, civilizations, and cultures.

From the rock civilization developed from prehistory to the early Middle Ages with the advent of Byzantine and Oriental matrix culture, to the advent of the Normans, the systematic attempt to reduce the rock city to the rules of the culture of the European city: from the Romanesque, to the Renaissance, to the Baroque, the last eight centuries of construction and refinement of the city have attempted to shape, overcome the natural resistance of the pre-existing rock habitat, determining architectures and urban arrangements of particular quality and originality.

Based on this particular historical event, Matera today offers its visitors the fascinating feeling of discovering, on the original thread of its own culture, its own emotions, the traces, sometimes apparently humble, sometimes cultured, of the competition that has long characterized the city.