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Sassi di Matera
"Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago."
About Sassi di Matera
The unique historic center of Matera made directly in the rocks was the reason this beautiful city to become famous.
The Sassi of Matera made the city to be known also as the The Rock City. Its churches excavated in the rock are unique to see and you should not miss this.
The Sassi of Matera are a settlement resulting from various forms of civilization and human activity that have occurred over the time. From the prehistoric Neolithic village of entrenched, the habitat of an oriental rock civilization (IX-XI century) which is the substratum of urban Sassi with its walkways, piping, tanks from a western-Norman Swabian (XI-XIII century) with its fortifications, the subsequent expansion of the Renaissance (XV-XVI century) and the urban projects Baroque (XVII-XVIII century) and finally by hygienic and social degradation of the nineteenth and early twentieth century displaced in conjunction with national law in the fifties until the current recovery began from the 1986 law.
The Sasso Barisano is turned north-west edge of the cliff if you take as reference the Civita, the center of the old city - it is the richest and friezes carved portals that hide the core dungeon.
The Caveoso is looking to the south and it is placed like a Roman amphitheater, the cave dwellings that stepped down, and perhaps takes its name from the quarries and classical theater.
At the center of the Civita a rocky outcrop is separating the two stones on the top of which you can find the Cathedral and the palaces. Together they form the old historical town center of Matera that is under the protection of UNESCO.
Location of the city on the rocky hill called Gravina of Matera at about 150 feet above the river fated the city to have difficulties to have a water. So way the early dwellers invested tremendous energy in building cisterns and systems of water channels.
For this reason Matera is one of the oldest and best preserved examples of bio-architecture in the world. It is the only one place on the world where people still are living in the old house built at about 9000 years ago.
The troglodytes who dig canals and tanks built hanging gardens around the public areas, called neighborhoods now share their resources, they appear suddenly gifted beings. But the beauty is that all this is still present and alive before our eyes in the city magic Matera.
As it is always said here the better way to go and see South Italy is by car. This region of Italy is a picturesque and interesting to see and only driving by car you could appreciate it. So, don't hesitate to go there by car or to hire one on the nearest airports.
Note that in the historical parts of the city you should go only by walking.
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Map of Sassi di Matera