Matera is an Italian city in the Basilicata region. Known for its ancient cave-dwellings called Sassi (Stones), it was probably founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC. During the Aragonese domain, the population rebelled against the crown and killed the count Giovanni Carlo Tramontano. From 1663 to 1806, it was the capital of Basilicata, until Joseph Bonaparte reassigned it to Potenza. In 1943, Matera was the first Italian city to react against the Nazi-fascism domination.
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- Anyone who sees Matera cannot help but be awe-struck, so expressive and touching is its sorrowful beauty.
- Carlo Levi, as quoted in Le mille patrie, Donzelli, 2000, p. 193.
- Archaeologically the most interesting town in Italy.
- Thomas Eric Peet, as quoted in The stone and bronze ages in Italy and Sicily, Clarendon Press, 1909, p. 4.
- Houses 10, one above another like seats in a theatre, built down the sides of an oval hole; more men cannot stand on a mountain than on the under plain. Dined in a garden, offered by a farrier of the town as we were looking for a tree in the suburbs ; the man very civil and well behaved, which is the general character.
- George Berkeley, as quoted in Life and letters of George Berkeley by Alexander Campbell Fraser, Clarendon Press, 1871, p. 559.
- Some parts of the city are two thousand years old and it looks very much like what ancient Judea must have looked like. The architecture of the city, its rocks and the surrounding landscape are all excellent backdrops. The first time I saw Matera, I went crazy, because it was simply perfect.