Sassi di Matera, the ancient settlements which show how human history evolved

Matera has been designated today as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. The decision has been made among six Italian cities: Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia, Ravenna, Siena, and Matera indeed. 

The small city is located in Basilicata region and it’s well known for the so-called Sassi (stones). The word refers to stone houses which were carved out of caves and cliffs. The town looks like a mix of stone huts but each place stores history as well as traditions. 

If you want to visit Matera, forget your car: you can walk through the towns streets and you’ll run into the most famous sassi districts, the Sasso Barisano and the Sasso Caveoso. They are full of water cisterns as well as rock churches. 

UNESCO calls the Sassi "the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem. The first inhabited zone dates from the Palaeolithic, while later settlements illustrate a number of significant stages in human history."

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