Matera 2019, European Capital of Culture
Matera is one of the two provinces of Basilicata. Overlooking the Ionian sea to the east, it borders with the Apulia Region to the north (specifically, the Provinces of Bari and Taranto), the Province of Potenza to the west, and Calabria (Province of Cosenza) to the south.
Known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), its historical centre "Sassi", along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993. The Sassi and Rupestrian Churches are houses stacked one on top of the other and united by tortuous roads and wide staircases, they are literally built inside the rock and mountain tuff.
On 17 October 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Other cities: Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) in 2017, Leeuwarden (Netherlands) and Valetta (Malta) in 2018 and Matera (Italy) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria) in 2019.