Italy is famous for its tourism, history, art, and cultural heritage. Located in the Basilicata region of Italy, Matera is the oldest city in Italy and in Europe. Ancient neighborhoods, and stunning landscapes this tiny town is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Famous for its Sassi (stones) Matera is a city built entirely on natural cave systems, with restaurants, houses, churches and hotels.
Sassi literally means stones in Italian. The Sassi are two districts of Matera, Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. Both Sassi and Civita districts are located in the historic center of the city of Matera. In 1993 they were chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to their history and beauty.
History of Matera
The Lucanian city has experienced two significant historical events in the 20thcentury. The first one was in the 50s and 60s during the Italian economic boom where Matera was tragically afflicted by widespread poverty that led the population to live in terrible conditions in Sassi.
In 1952 a national law established the evacuation of the population living there, and the reconstruction of new residential districts that developed into a new wonderful city.
As a result, Matera is now one of the most precious jewels of Italy, with diverse landscapes, rich culture and heritage.
Since 2010 Matera’s economy has seen strong economic growth and every year attracts thousands of tourists. Matera reached the top cities in Italy for tourism and in 2019 was chosen as the European Capital of Culture.
The most famous sightseeing the Sassi district, defined 50 years ago by the Former Vice President of the Council of Ministries of the Italian Republic as; “Matera national shame”, now it is considered the symbol of the city’s rebirth.
How to reach Sassi?
As we stated before, Matera is in the heart of the South, which is sadly known for its lack of infrastructure. However, the closest airport is Bari, and once there are two separate options, by train or car. If you need more information click here.
Health Care in Italy
Are you traveling to Italy? If you need more information about health care click here.