Over the years the city continues to arouse amazement and to emerge for its landscape, according to many, enchanted. Matera, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, has been defined as unique in the world for its configuration and its contrasting landscapes. The Sasso Barisano, turned north-west on the edge of the cliff, the fulcrum of the old city, is the richest in sculpted portals and friezes that hide its underground heart. The Sasso Caveoso, which instead faces south, is arranged like a Roman amphitheater, with cave-houses that descend in steps, and perhaps takes its name from the quarries and classical theaters. In the center, the Civita, a rocky spur that separates the two Sassi, on the top of which is the Cathedral Basilica.
It is the city of caves, entrenched villages, peasant houses carved into the rock, over 120 Rock Churches with Byzantine frescoes and the great Romanesque-Apulian and Baroque churches, among which to mention the Rock Church of the Holy Spirit, the Church of San Domenico and the church of San Giovanni Battista and the important noble palaces. It is the city that geologically recalls ancient Jerusalem and Cappadocia. It was the destination of many peoples and their masterpieces, but continues to be the destination of great actors and directors who find in Matera a suitable place to shoot their films. A place that has always been inhabited, where it is easy to retrace the history of Man from the Palaeolithic to today, from the Neolithic villages to the vast urban fabric of Civilization and the Sassi, where man has been able to use the scarce resources of the territory without destroying it, but integrating with it.