10Matera, Italy – The Ancient Cave City

Tucked away in the southern region of Basilicata, Matera is a city that transports you back in time. Known as the “City of Stones,” Matera’s ancient cave dwellings, known as Sassi di Matera, have been continuously inhabited for over 9,000 years.

These honeycomb-like structures carved into the rocky landscape create a mesmerizing labyrinth of narrow alleys and staircases. Matera’s unique charm earned it a UNESCO World Heritage status and a spot in the famous Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ.”