Matter – known as the underground city and its historical centre “Sassi” contains ancient cave dwellings which were occupied until 1950s.  The area of what is now Matera has been settled since the Palaeolithic (10th millennium BC). This makes it potentially one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. It has also been suggested that while the site has been “occupied continuously for at least three millennia the area of Matera has been occupied sporadically for 150-700 millennia prior to this.  The city is full of narrow streets, lots of churches and a number of massive water cisterns which used to supply water to the city.  Some of these water cisterns are as much as 15m and are hidden under the city buildings.


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