UNESCO site and European Capital of Culture 2019, Matera is one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable tourist destinations in Italy. The origins of the town are very ancient and the first evidence dates back to the Paleolithic age. During the Middle Ages Matera was inhabited by numerous ecclesiastical communities who, in the natural caves surrounding the town, founded various rural sanctuaries. Until the mid-twentieth century, the living conditions of its citizens were very precarious, as they still lived in the Sassi, that is, in caves dug into the rock without toilets and water. It was only in 1952 that the Italian state allocated funds to build new houses in which to house the inhabitants of the dilapidated cave houses. In 1993 Matera became part of UNESCO, to be "the most exceptional (intact) example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, which is perfectly suited to its terrain and ecosystem".
The Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano, the alleys carved into the rock and the numerous rock churches are certainly worth a visit.