(Title borrowed from Bernard Rudofsky’s book on non-pedigreed architecture.)
The Sassi district is the ancient heart of the city of Matera.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993, the district is made up of dwellings carved out of the steep slopes of a deep valley, the Gravina, with surprising and unusual features.
Over the centuries, the two quarters making up the Sassi have changed shape over and over again in an ongoing dialogue between rock and architecture, canyon and bell-tower, unfolding into a cityscape of incomparable beauty.
After being the ‘shame of Italy’ for decades the city has awoken to new life with the nomination of 2019 European Capital of Culture. Today the city is a hive of activity with building and reconversion of the age old dwelling into boutique hotels, art galleries, restaurants and creative exhibition spaces.
Let our resident architect guide you through the winding alleys to discover the elegant multi-faceted buildings that alternate the landscape with piazzas, panoramic terraces, courtyards, deconsecrated rock churches, gigantic cisterns. Get insight into the restoration process of one of the true Wonders of Italy exploring together a luxury hotel conversion, museum of contemporary art and a unique underground theatre dug out of an abandoned tufa quarry.