Restricted round-trip airfare from $1,295, together with taxes and charges. Today, about 400,000 tourists visit Matera each year, drawn by the historical past, the views and the novelty. On our first journey we stopped in the center of the Sassi on the Vico Solitario museum, which depicts a sample cave dwelling. At about 540 sq. feet (about a quarter of the dimensions of today’s common new house in the U.S.), it housed 12 folks. A bed sat by a wall underneath a small loft, and an iron pot used as a rest room was underneath the mattress. There was no working water, no drainage and, after all, no electrical energy.