|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
The Sassi of Matera
|Location||Province of Matera, Basilicata, Italy|
|Part of||The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera|
|Criteria||Cultural: (iii), (iv), (v)|
|Inscription||1993 (17th session)|
|Area||1,016 ha (2,510 acres)|
|Buffer zone||4,365 ha (10,790 acres)|
The Sassi di Matera are two districts (Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano) of the Italian city of Matera, Basilicata, well-known for their ancient cave dwellings inhabited since the Paleolithic period.
The "Sassi" have been described by Fodor's as "one of the most unique landscapes in Europe".Along with the park of the Rupestrian Churches, it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
The Sassi originate from a prehistoric troglodyte settlement and are suspected to be among the first human settlements in Italy. There is evidence that people were living here as early as the year 7000 BC.
The Sassi are houses dug into the calcarenitic rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia, locally called "tufo" although it is not volcanic tuff or tufa. The streets in some parts of the Sassi often run on top of other houses. The ancient town grew up on one slope of the ravine created by a river that is now a small stream. The ravine is known locally as "la Gravina".
The term sasso derives from Latin saxum, meaning a hill, rock or great stone.
In the 1950s, the government of Italy forcefully relocated most of the population of the Sassi to areas of the developing modern city. Beset by extreme poverty and riddled with malaria, the unhealthy living conditions were considered inhuman and an affront to the modern new Italian Republic of Alcide De Gasperi. [ when? ]However, people continued to live in the Sassi, and according to the English Fodor's guide:
Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago.
Until the late 1980s this was considered an area of poverty, since many of these houses were, and in some cases still are, uninhabitable. The current local administration, however, has become more tourism-oriented, and it has promoted the regeneration of the Sassi with the aid of the European Union, the government, UNESCO. Today there are many thriving businesses, pubs, and hotels there, as described in an April 2015 article in The New Yorker .
The "Sassi" grew in the area of Murgia Plateau,extended between Apulia and Basilicata. Along with the "Civita" and the "Piano", the two Sassi form Matera's Old Town.
The Sassi are visually reminiscent of ancient sites in and around Jerusalem, and for this reason they have been used in many Christian-themed films, including The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964), The Passion of the Christ (Mel Gibson, 2004), The Nativity Story (Catherine Hardwicke, 2006) and Ben-Hur (Timur Bekmambetov, 2016).
They also appeared in Patty Jenkins's Wonder Woman (2017), serving as a location for the Amazons' city Themyscira.and Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time to Die (2020), where a scene with James Bond's Aston Martin racing through was shot.
Matera is a city in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy.
Basilicata, also known by its ancient name Lucania, is a region in Southern Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia (Puglia) to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. It also has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, and a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia. The region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". The region covers about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) and in 2010 had a population slightly under 600,000. The regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera.
The province of Matera is a province in the Basilicata region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Matera. It has an area of 3,447 square kilometres (1,331 sq mi) and a total population of 201,133; the city Matera has a population of 56,204. There are 31 comunes in the province. The province of Matera is bordered by the province of Potenza in the west and south, the region of Calabria also to the south, the region of Apulia to the east and north, and by the Ionian Sea to the southeast.
Underground living refers to living below the ground's surface, whether in natural or manmade caves or structures. Underground dwellings are an alternative to above-ground dwellings for some home seekers, including those who are looking to minimize impact on the environment. Factories and office buildings can benefit from underground facilities for many of the same reasons as underground dwellings such as noise abatement, energy use, and security.
Altamura is a town and comune of Apulia, in southern Italy. It is located on one of the hills of the Murge plateau in the Metropolitan City of Bari, 45 kilometres southwest of Bari, close to the border with Basilicata. As of 2017, its population amounts to 70,595 inhabitants.
The music of Basilicata is sparse at the moment. There is little theatrical or staged musical tradition, and the facilities have not yet fully recovered from the 1980 Irpinia earthquake. Yet, the area has some interesting things to offer musically.
Castellaneta is a city and comune in the province of Taranto, in the Apulia region of Southern Italy, about 40 km (25 mi) from Taranto. Located in a territory spanning from the Murgia to the Ionian Sea, characterized by numerous gravina (ravines), it is part of the Comunità Montana della Murgia Tarantina.
Gravina in Puglia is a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy.
The Parco Nazionale dell'Alta Murgia is a national park in Apulia, southern Italy, established in 2004. It lies in the Murgia geographical area, with its headquarters in the town of Gravina in Puglia, and has an area of 677.39 square kilometres.
The Altopiano delle Murge is a karst topographic plateau of rectangular shape in southern Italy. Most of it lies within Apulia and corresponds with the sub-region known as Murgia or Le Murge. The plateau lies mainly in the Metropolitan City of Bari and the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, but extends into the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto to the south; and into Matera in Basilicata to the west. The name is believed to originate from the Latin murex, meaning "sharp stone".
La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno is an Italian daily newspaper, founded in 1887 in Bari, Italy. It is one of the most important newspapers published in Southern Italy with most of its readers living in Apulia and Basilicata.
The Pallone di Gravina is a firm, cow's milk cheese from the regions of Basilicata and Apulia in south-east Italy. It is made in the pasta filata style weighing between 1.5 and 2.5 kg, in a pear-like shape, ball or balloon (pallone), and was traditionally produced in the area of the city of Gravina, in the Murgia area of the province of Bari. Today, however, production is centred on the province of Matera.
Matera Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Matera, Basilicata, Italy. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the designation of the Madonna della Bruna and to Saint Eustace. Formerly the seat of the Bishops, later Archbishops, of Matera, it is now the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Matera-Irsina.
Montursi is a frazione or section of the comune of Gioia del Colle, in the Province of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. It has approximately 700 inhabitants.
U.S.D. Irsinese Calcio Matera was an Italian association football club located in Irsina, Basilicata.
The Terra di Otranto, or Terra d’Otranto, is an historical and geographical region of Apulia, anciently part of the Kingdom of Sicily and later of the Kingdom of Naples, which became a province of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The Church of San Leonardo, Italian: Chiesa di San Leonardo, is a cave church in the rione of Sasso Caveoso of Matera, in Basilicata in southern Italy. It takes its name from a fresco of San Leonardo. The church is deconsecrated, and was until recently used as a bakery. The date of foundation of the church is unknown; it was first documented in 1543–44, when it was without a door and repairs were ordered.
The Metropolitan City of Bari is a metropolitan city in the Apulia region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Bari. It replaced the Province of Bari and includes the city of Bari and some forty other municipalities (comuni). It was first created by the reform of local authorities and then established by the Law 56/2014. It has been operative since January 1, 2015.
Il Conte di Matera is a 1958 Italian adventure film directed by Luigi Capuano and starring Virna Lisi and Otello Toso.
San Pietro Caveoso, also known as "Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church" is a Catholic worship place situated in the Sassi of Matera.
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