The Matera's Murgia Park covers an area of about 8000 hectares, between the towns of Matera and Montescaglioso. The environment is characterized by sedimentary rocks: the compact limestone of Cretaceous age (made by sedimentation of carbonate mud), and in the upper layer the ravine limestone, formed in the Pleistocene.
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A particularly attractive environment, marked by deep ravines that hide cavities natural karst caves and numerous artifacts. The ravines, full of caves and coves, hidden prehistoric sites, cave villages with cisterns, rock churches and fortified farms.
In the park there are caves inhabited in the Palaeolithic Era, Neolithic villages, tombs of the age of metals and many spontaneous settlements in the cave. A long relationship of love and respect between man and environment. A heritage surrounded sometimes by impenetrable vegetation, a place for walking and discovering flora and fauna, trees, plants, rare plants and animals threatened with extinction.
The vegetation consists of a considerable variety of plants typical of the Mediterranean area, in particular oaks, holm oaks, wild pear, carob, juniper, mastic. Among the flowers, the widow of meadows, iris Siciliano, the Apulian bellflower, the Neapolitan cyclamen and Ofris matheolana, a small and rare orchid. Very popular is the thymus shrub, the Mediterranean Asphodel, the ionic rock rose and Tommasini's flax.
Among the fauna: fox, marten, badger, porcupine and wild cats. Among the birds, the raven, the buzzard and the "capovaccaio", an endangered vulture. Special mention deserves the "naumanni" or "grillaio" hawk, building nests under the tiles of the roofs of the houses of the Sassi. This hawk, arrives in the spring from the arid African savannas and after having played in the autumn, heads south-west of the Sahara Desert to winter; it eats insects, butterflies and crickets.