The old part of the city of Matera, in the Basilicata region, includes a unique settlement, the so-called Sassi (stone dwellings), built of tufa or excavated on the edge of a ravine. These ancient dwellings form a labyrinthine cluster interspersed with alleys and staircases. Their building style is that of the 17th century, and they are for the most part abandoned. This unique urban structure is awaiting restoration and refurbishment, ensuring its otherwise doubtful survival.