The Sassi represent the ancient part of the city of Matera.
Developed around the Civita, they constitute an entire city carved out of the calcarenitic rock, locally called “tuff”, an articulated housing system, perched along the slopes of a deep valley with singular and surprising natural characteristics: the Gravina. Built, elegant and articulated structures alternate with underground labyrinths and cavernous meanders, creating a unique landscape effect.
The overlapping of different phases of urban transformations on the original rough murgic morphology, the refined dialogue between rocks and architecture, canyons and bell towers, has created over the centuries an urban scenario of incomparable beauty and quality.
Once the heart of the peasant civilization, today, restored and rehabilitated, the Sassi revive and leave you breathless especially in the evening when the small lights of residences, artisan shops and restaurateurs make them like a papier-mâché nativity scene.
The Sassi are made up of two large districts: Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, divided in the center by the Civita hill, the oldest settlement in the Matera area, the heart of medieval urbanization.
The Rione Sasso Caveoso is characterized today by an ancient aspect especially in the final area that flows into Via Casalnuovo. It is a part that develops mainly with houses almost competently carved out of the rock and mostly remained intact compared to the past.
The large square of the same name, with the church of San Pietro Caveoso, recently renovated, allows you to admire the panorama of the Gravina and the row of houses and caves, perched on top of each other and crossed by the main road, Via B. Buozzi.
The square, especially in the summer season, comes to life, animated by the coming and going of groups of tourists and Matera and by many musical or theatrical events and bars with outdoor tables. Traveling along Via Madonna delle Virtù and skirting the Gravina di Matera you arrive at the Rione Sasso Barisano which is currently almost completely renovated and houses numerous restaurants and hotels as well as various tourist attractions such as the reconstruction of the Sassi in miniature and the Museum of peasant civilization. With our guided tours you can discover all the charm of this fantastic site declared in 1993 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and named European Capital of Culture for 2019.
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