A short trip in the ancient city of Matera, Italy, across its millenary cave-houses districts called “Sassi”.
Somehow, Matera is its material. The first traces of human presence in Matera date back to the Paleolithic age. The stone with which it was made is the same stone on which it rests, so houses, streets, squares and even people, create an almost monochromatic cityscape.
It is a impressive example of how spontaneous architecture created, over the centuries, a unique place.
The Sassi were inhabited until the 50’s of the 20th century, when people lived in the cave-houses together with animals. So the Sassi were qualified as a “national shame” and they were abandoned.
In the following decades they were restored and Matera was rediscovered as a city unique in the world. In 1983 Matera was chosen as Unesco World Heritage and it will be the European Capital for Culture in 2019.