31 Jan '18, 4pm
via @VelvetEscape Matera: An Extraordinary Step Back in Time:
The most-visited section of the city is the Sassi (literally, “the stones”), the historic neighbourhoods that are composed of cave dwellings hewn from the rocky slopes of the La Gravina ravine. Inhabitants lived in these dwellings in abject poverty – the grottoes had no electricity, running water and ventilation, and families of up to twelve shared the cramped space with their livestock – until the 1960’s when the Italian government moved the inhabitants to a modern part of the city, and through the years, began to redevelop the Sassi as a tourist destination. The cave dwellings were renovated (this regeneration continues) to house hotels, restaurants, cafés, boutiques and galleries, whilst historic monuments such as the Duomo (Cathedral) and other ancient churches were lovingly restored.