Imagine living in a city that is almost as old as the last ice age. It doesn’t seem possible right? There can’t be anything that old that still inhabited right? Well that would be where you are wrong. There is a city in Italy that is approximately 9,000 years old. Walking through it is like stepping into a time machine and being taken back to time when humans were just starting to form what we now know as the birth of a society. The most incredible thing about this place though? There are actually still people living there! These pictures are absolutely stunning and have definitely made this Italian city one of my new bucket list items!
The city’s name is Sassi di Matera. It’s located in the southwest portion of Italy, and it is legitimately the oldest inhabited city still in existence.
The whole city sits on the edge of a steep ravine, and the whole city is a UNESCO protected site.
This place looks like something out of the Flintstones cartoon. The houses are cut into the rock that form the cliffs.
Probably the most amazing part about all of this is that people still actually live in this city!
Living in the city came with its share of struggles though. Up until the late 20th century, running water, electricity and proper sewage facilities were nonexistent in this place.
The homes are carved seamlessly into the rock. They create an intricate maze of back alleys and stair cases that slowly ascend the cliff.
As the population of the city grew, new holes were carved into the rock. Disease was rampant however, with malaria being a constant threat.
Basic supplies became more scarce throughout the city. Some families were forced to live with their animals, and diets were extremely simple.
After WWII, residents were reluctantly forced to move. They were moved to more modern homes located in the Matera town on the cliff.
The residents were overjoyed when it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
The city has gotten a good amount of screen time as well. It has been used as a backdrop for multiple biblical movies, including Passion Of The Christ in 2004.
Several caves were allowed to be turned back into cozy little homes. With many modern updates however.
Some of the caves have also been turned into small little restaurants and hotels.
This may be one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.
Living in a place like this would have to make you appreciative of all the history contained in these walls. I would be in awe everyday that I had the privilege of living in a place like this. Some of the earliest humans lived in these caves, that is absolutely mind-boggling. This place has definitely taken a new place on my bucket list. I’d move here if I could!
More Info: Atlas Obscura
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