"Matera is a town and a province in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera.
Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning "stones of Matera"). The Sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy.
The Sassi are houses dug into the tuff rock itself, which is characteristic of Basilicata and Puglia. Many of these "houses" are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. The ancient town grew in height on one slope of the ravine created by a river that is now a small stream. The ravine is known locally as "la Gravina".
Until the late 1980s this was considered an area of poverty, since these houses were, and in most areas still are, mostly unlivable. Current local administration, however, has become more tourism-oriented, and has promoted the re-generation of the Sassi with the aid of the European Union, the government, UNESCO, and Hollywood.
One of the benefits of the ancient city, is that there is a great similarity in the look of the Sassi with that of ancient sites in and around Jerusalem. This has caught the eye of film directors and movie studios." - in: wikipedia
Alberobello is a small town and comune in the province of Bari, in Puglia, Italy. It has about 11,000 inhabitants and is famous for its unique trulli constructions. The Trulli of Alberobello are part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996.
The trulli, limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia, are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs.