This city was once dubbed as a national shame when it was publicly discovered, and yet now is considered a valuable part of human heritage.
After World War II, around the 50s, the then Italian minister Alcide de Gasperi proposed the “Revitalisation of the Sassi” law, which was meant to evacuate the citizens from the historical areas to the new districts that had been newly built especially for them.
De Gasperi simply couldn’t allow a life at the limits of human dignity to continue on in those caves after so many centuries.
Thus, for nearly thirty years, the Sassi remained abandoned and its inhabitants thrived comfortably in the new areas, with newspapers across the country praising De Gasperi for cleansing Italy’s shame from the country.
Things remained unchanged until 1993 when, thanks to the architect Pietro laureano, the city was proposed and accepted to become a humanitarian heritage from the UNESCO.
Life among the streets suddenly had a new meaning, with the Sassi slowly but surely flooding again with life, except this time with running water, a sewage system, electricity, gas and heating to allow a more comfortable lifestyle.
Today, Matera welcomes visitors from all over the world. It’s become the center of appreciation from famous directors, artists, and more to shoot movies, expose their art, or simply surrender to the sheer beauty of the city.