Matera is a city on a rocky outcrop in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. It includes the Sassi area, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside. Evacuated in 1952 due to poor living conditions, the Sassi now houses museums like the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, with period furniture and artisan tools. Nearby rock churches include St. Lucia alle Malve. Although Matera is situated in the region of Basilicata, just across the Puglian border, it is an easy, and greatly rewarding day trip from many of our villas, especially those in the Valle d'Itria or on the northern Ionian coast.