The "Cave house C'era una volta" is a rock dwelling located in the Sasso Barisano neighborhood of Matera, where Mr. Eustachio Rizzi and his sons created an environment that witnesses domestic life in the Materan civilization until the end of the 1960s.
The artworks are tuff sculptures representing the life, arts, and crafts of Matera's Sassi.
The "Cave house C'era una volta" is carved into calcareous rock with only the entrance being built with a door and window to allow air circulation and light penetration inside.
It consists of three rooms: a kitchen area with a small table in the center, a stable with a donkey used for transportation to surrounding fields, pigs and chickens housed indoors due to limited outdoor space; finally, a loft area containing a double bed, crib with baby and an improvised sanitation area.
Artists expressed their emotions through symbolized faces that depict struggles encountered during past lives.
Due to high infant mortality rates at this time period families still had around six-eight children despite it.
Only after many years of abandonment did people return thanks to new conservation laws resulting from evacuating Caveoso and Barisano areas entirely by 1952 sanitary measures.
The Rizzi family invites everyone to appreciate this unique historical place reflecting on how people lived their daily lives once upon a time in this city.
Mr. Rizzi is also an author, in addition to the works present in the Cave house C'era una volta, he has Sassi in miniature that can be visited for free a few meters from the house.