Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its territory bears testimony to the uninterrupted presence of human settlements from the Paleolithic Age to the present day.
It represents an extraordinary page, written by mankind through its millennial history.
Matera is world famous for its historic quarters, “i Sassi”, which received the prestigious recognition as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, in 1993. It is the first site in Southern Italy to have achieved this. Matera seduces the soul with its unique rupestrian churches and hypogea, cave dwellings, noble townhouses, arches, balconies and the breath-taking views.
It is an historic and artistic ‘compendium’ of spaces carved out of the limestone.
Its history is complex and fascinating; a border city, a city of contrasts where diverse landscapes, civilizations and cultures have clashed and competed. It is a history that moves through the centuries, from the Rupestrian Civilization of Byzantine origin, to the advent of the Normans. The attempts to subdue its rocky nature to the rules of the culture of the European towns have been never ending; the Romanesque style first, then the Renaissance, followed by the Baroque Style and so forth. The building activity of the last eight centuries has attempted to shape, but not quite tamed, the natural resistance of the indigenous rupestrian habitat. In doing so it has produced original architectures and urban accommodation styles of singular quality.