Matera is one of the oldest towns in the world and the surrounding area is bears signs of human settlements from Paleolithic times to modern day. The Sassi of Matera are famous throughout the world. This original urban settlement, originally a series of natural caves hewn out of the rock, developed into a more complex structure located within two large natural amphitheatres: the Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano.
The town is in the centre of an incredible rock setting that preserves an enormous cultural and traditional heritages and that is the location of several prestigious national and international exhibitions. In 1993, UNESCO included the Sassi of Matera and the Murgia National Park in World Heritage Sites