Among one of the oldest cities in the world, Matera’s earliest human settlements date back to the Paleolithic era. As soon as you arrive you’ll understand why it’s known as the “Città dei Sassi”, the “City of Stone”, as the urban center is commonly called today. It’s literally carved into the natural rock caverns inside two gigantic stone amphitheaters known as Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano.
More than just a unique landscape however, Matera offers visitors a one of a kind journey back in time, with the history of the ages – from Medieval to Renaissance, Baroque to the modern era, literally stratified within its rugged walls. Prepare to be delighted as you explore the abundant grottoes, tombs, gardens, palaces, and windy stone stairways that transport you to another time and place. It’s little surprise that Mel Gibson chose to film “The Passion of the Christ” here, or that Matera was voted the European Capital of Culture 2019.