Matera has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. In 2019 the title “European Capital of Culture”will be awarded to Matera. This city is famous for its cave dwellings, the so-called sassi. Once upon a time up to 15000 inhabitants of Matera lived in about 3000 cave rooms. This city is situated on a ridge with deep canyons to either side. We recommend that you go for a walk from the Sasso Caveoso to the Sasso Barisano (the two main cave districts of the city) in order to be able to fully enjoy Matera’s beauty. You should know that there are many narrow roads and lots of steps up and down. There are beautiful small courtyards and some churches worth visiting: the churches San Giovanni Battista and San Domenico in the Apulian-Romanesque style and the baroque church San Francesco d’Assisi.
Matera has also been discovered by location scouts recently. Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ was shot here as well as the remake of the movie ‘Ben Hur’ with Morgan Freeman.