This journey starts in one of the most amazing and mysterious places that Italy hosts or perhaps I should say hides: Matera is known as the city of the Stones, because of the peculiar and unique nature of its historical centre. Dug and built next to the Gravina di Matera, there is a deep gorge that divides the country into two. The Sassi di Matera, the areas that make up the old part of the city, are spread in two valleys that are east-facing and are slightly lower that the surrounding areas, and they are separated from each other by the rocky spur of Civita. This enviable position has made it the invisible city to the eyes of its enemies for thousands of years, allowing it to pass almost unscathed through centuries of history.
The Sasso Barisano, north-west facing on the edge of a cliff, if we take the Civita as our reference point, the centre of the old city, is the richest in friezes and carved portals that hide its underground heart. The Sasso Caveoso, which is south facing, is laid out like a Roman amphitheatre, with cave-housesthat go down in steps. Perhaps it takes its name from the caves and classical theatres. Together they form the urban core of ancient Matera, declared by UNESCO to be a cultural landscape.