The casa-grotta and The Museo Laboratorio della Civiltà Contadina

The casa-grotta is the traditional cave-house of the Sassi of Matera where peasants’ families used to live at least up the post-war period. Today, some of them can be visited.  Carved out of the tuff, these ancient cave-dwellings were made up of one room, with a wide opening at the entrance. They served as a shelter for both men and animals. Under the floor, a cistern was generally found.

The Museo Laboratorio della Civiltà Contadina (Museum Workshop of the Peasant Culture) is housed in one of these 8th-century cave-houses, which has gone through extensive restoration. You can visit the kitchen, the cistern to collect rainwater, the stable and the manger, where ancient tools and furniture are displayed.