Matera is the City of the Sassi with a thousand-year history, unique architecture and landscapes
As the capital of the province, its original settlement lies in two canyons carved by the Gravina River. This area, the Sassi di Matera, is a complex of cave dwellings carved into the ancient river canyon, often cited as "one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Over the course of its history, Matera has been occupied by Greeks, Romans, Longobards, Byzantines, Saracens, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, and Bourbons.
Known as la città sotterranea ("the underground city"), the Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. In 2019, was declared a European Capital of Culture.