Matera

Matera

Matera is a city and province in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. Matera is well known for its historical centre called "Sassi", considered a UNSECO World Heritage Site since 1993. The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are habitations dug into the calcareous rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia.  In the 1950s, the government of Italy used force to relocate most of the population of the Sassi to areas of the developing modern city. Matera also preserves a large and diverse collection of buildings related to the Christian faith, including a large number of rupestrian churches carved from the soft volcanic rock of the region. Filmmakers have used the Sassi as the setting for ancient Jerusalem because of the ancient primeval-looking scenery.

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Matera