Matera, the town of the unique Sassi, is one of the most intriguing places in southern Italy. The so-called "New Town," full of elegant Baroque churches, palazzi, and broad piazzas—filled to bursting during the evening passeggiata, is perched on the verge of a steep gully crowded with the cave dwellings of the past, now converted into hotels, restaurants and private homes. Many of the ancient rock churches can be visited. This is a particularly good time to visit as Matera has been elected European Cultural Capital for 2019 and already preparations are underway, with all kinds of initiatives and programs being launched.


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