Matera is a city in the province of Matera in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera and was the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806. The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as la Città Sotterranea ("the Underground City"), Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its historical centre "Sassi", along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO since 1993. On 17 October 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019 together with the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv.