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Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Sassi di Matera do not identify with a monument, but, instead, with a way of life and a model of development lasted for millennia.
The Sassi represent a unique urban settlement in the harsh territorial area of Murge (Apulia region).
Matera rises on a limestone plateau, showing a magnificent abnormality: a central fissure, as a real 70-80 metres high canyon, crossed by the Gravina torrent.
The area of Matera was continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The specific districts of the Sassi were built in the late 5th century. The alternation of populations over time has left an intricate urban system, where the buildings overlap the natural cavities.
In the19th and 20th centuries, the districts of the Sassi have served as home to the poorest of the city. Later on, a real "relocation plan" has been implemented into a new neighbourhood and a redevelopment and requalification process of the area has been undertaken. Therefore, it is possible today to admire the original unit of the Sassi and the dwellings carved into the rock and the tophus, experiencing a unique sensation: like being within a crib.
The stunning scenario of Matera has been the set for many famous and less famous films, both national and international, including the spectacular "The Passion" by Mel Gibson.