Wednesday, June 12, 2024


 Matera is a very old city inland from Bari.  People have lived in Matera since the Palaeolithic period, a time when woolly mammoths roamed the earth and the last Ice Age was winding down, about 15,000 B.C.

People originally lived in caves.  Eventually one room stone houses were built above the caves,  The structures looked like houses on the outside, but many were still caves inside.

The houses have no heat, the alleyways are narrow, steps are slippery and steep.
Life has always been very difficult in Matera. 

In the 19th and early 20th century, there was much poverty and disease in Matera.  People lived in one-room stone homes—or caves—without heat or plumbing, often with donkeys or other animals sharing the same space.   in 1952, Italy passed a law forcing Matera’s dwellers out of their old quarters.

But in 1993, the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. As Matera has become more popular, people have started moving back into the stone homes and even opening them as luxury hotels.


Stefan Jansson said...

Amazing place. Would be great to stay in the stone homes for a night or two.

Taken For Granted said...

Amazing long habitation. This brings home how hazardous life was in the past. I am enjoying your photos and adventures. Hope you are enjoying them also.