Sassi, Matera Italy February 2016

Sassi, Matera Italy February 2016

Sassi is one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth. People have been living I the area since 7000 BC. Mostly people lived in caves there and this tradition continued until the 1950’s when the Italian government required the population to relocate.  Apparently the government felt the cave dwelling people reflected poorly on Italy since they were by and large quite impoverished.

Of course you can imagine caves don’t have plumbing or running water. From what I could tell mostly there were three or four “rooms”.  A main room for dwelling and sleeping, a kitchen area, an animal habitation area for mules and chickens, and a storage area. No doubt this was a difficult way to live.

The entire town seems to have been redesigned by an architect who created a cave like feel to the habitable areas which are now modern apartments and housing plus shops and restaurants. The whole area is quite remarkable and very lovely.

We walked much of Sassi in a couple of days and it was absolutely one of the best travel experiences I have had. I think the benefit of being there in February really enhanced our experience as well. Much of the time we were very alone walking through narrow alleys, hiking up steep hills, and enjoying the views. It was raining a lot when we were there so we didn’t hike across the river to visit the caves across the way. I regret not having that experience. Some of our planning has been a bit off in terms of the amount of time we have decided to spend in each location. We needed more in Sassi it was such a great place to visit!

 

Sassi, Matera Italy

 

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