February 12, 2018 for 3 nights for 2 adults.
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Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera, Italy
The sassi of Matera – ancient cave dwellings carved into the soft volcanic rock – are believed to be some of the first human settlements in Italy, and are what constitutes Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. Inhabited until the 1950s, when Carlo Levi’s Christ stopped at Eboli created a national scandal and the inhabitants were relocated to more modern dwellings, they are now the location of one of Italy's alberghi diffusi. The alberghi diffusi are hotels distributed over existing buildings in the centers of Italian towns. They have a central reception area and café and are part of a community so that guests may be integrated into local life.
Warm your toes as you walk across a stone floor paved with rock from the nearby Murgia River Gorge. (Masons lifted the stone piece by piece to install radiant heating.) Break your fast with zucchini and honey scones before navigating the ancient passageways of the town on a historical walking tour of Matera's centuries of civilization, or hike the Lucanian Dolomites to a Saracen fortress. For dinner, wander to a deconsecrated, candlelit church to feast on pasta fatta a mano from organic, local ingredients. End your day with a rose-scented dip in a stand-alone tub filled with water piped from ancient cisterns.
Location of Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
Nearest Airport: BRI
Amenities for Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
- General Information
- 18 Guest Rooms
- Organic Cuisine
- Healthy Cuisine
- On-Site Amenities
- Spa Services
- In-Room Spa Services
- Nature Walks
- Cultural Tours
- Nature Hikes
- Business Center/Services
- Meeting Rooms
- Conference Facilities
- Historic Sites
Reviews for Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
This place is phenomenal. When I got there, the lovely representative took me around to show me the breakfast area and my Room 6, explaining the history of this beautiful place and the restoration efforts that had taken place to make it what it is today. The restoration efforts were meticulous and preserved as much of the original cave structure as possibleâ€”most. My room retained the original uneven flooring, for example. There is no television, very little lighting (along with candles, itâ€™s fine)... an experience. I will be back, hopefully many times, to experience this paradise. And as if that was not enough, you step out you door to a breathtaking view of the park and gorge to the north of the city, and itâ€™s a five-minute walk to the the cityâ€™s highest point (the Duomo). I donâ€™t know how anyone could even consider staying anywhere else!
yellabella - Bend, Oregon
I had searched for a special way to celebrate my husband's birthday and stumbling across Le Grotte della Civita meant we celebrated in truly unique style. The history of Matera is very interesting - from the original caves 5000BC, to wonderful 12th & 13th century frescoes, to the incredible cave dwellings that were inhabited by families up until the 1950's when everyone was moved to more modern homes. The area became a UNESCO site of special interest in 1993, and rightly so in our opinion! The Sextantio philosophy of preserving the history and structure of the caves, and then adding creature comforts such as the wonderful (and huge) bath, the shower and comfortable bed is to be applauded. We loved the fact that most light was provided by candles, so the atmosphere was incredible. There is only one cave with absolutely no natural light, which some people will love. Our caves (we stayed in 2 during the week) both had small windows with wooden shutters. We stayed for 7 days, and were very spoilt as we were given executive suites rather than the classic cave we had booked. It was off peak and the hotel and the town were very quiet, and we were very lucky as apparently this time last year there was a metre of snow - we had fantastic weather! We did have a car and could travel out to see the Trulli houses at Alberobello, the Roman ruins at Metaponto and the castle at Tranni and staying for a week you would need to find other places to visit - and nothing is close by. If you are just wanting to see Matera we would suggest 3 days would give enough time, excluding travel time. The hotel offers valet parking, however we were able to find free parking outside of the Sassi area with no trouble at all. We took advantage of the guided tour of Sassi, lead by Alessio - well worth doing early in your visit to get your bearings and highlight areas you want to visit again. One word of caution, this is not a place for people with difficulty walking as there are cobble stones, steep steps to negotiate and definitely not wheelchair or pushchair friendly. It certainly helped to keep us fit during our stay. Also take great care walking on the pavement or road in the wet as the stones are very slippery. If you are lucky enough to visit, you will find the staff wonderful- every single one of them were knowledgeable and couldn't do enough to help, right down to dashing out to tell us wild boar were careering down the hillside opposite, a great sight to see! The breakfast was delicious and served in the big communal cave which is a deconsecrated church lit by candlelight, a fire blazing and soft classical music in the background. We arranged to have a dinner by candlelight one evening, with Brunella as our chef. She created a memorable menu of dishes that were typical to the region and she had learnt them from her mother & grandmother. I don't think we will ever forget this experience, a wonderful way to celebrate my husbands 60th birthday. Only breakfast, coffee or snacks are served so we were able to experience a different restaurant each night during our stay - the typical cuisine is delicious and Matera bread amazing both in size and taste! If you are tempted to visit, I think you should go as soon as you can as Matera is the City of Culture 2019 and more people will discover this wonderful jewel. We would want to stress again how wonderful the staff were - thank you all for making our visit nothing short of perfect. We would love to visit again in the future.
Y5287BPkarenp - London, United Kingdom
This was definitely the coolest place I've ever stayed. My husband and I stopped through Matera for one night during our honeymoon. Our parking options were parking for free outside of the old city in a public lot, or valet parking for 25 Euros where the car would be put in a private lot (we opted for the private lot in the end). Check in was pretty quick, and someone from the front desk gave us a quick tour around the premises, which was a nice touch. Our room was candlelit and cozy--there was a semi-walled off area in the back of the room for the bathroom, though the bath tub was placed outside of this area and sort of next to the bed. The hotel left fresh water and fruit on the table in the room. The floors were warm, and we had a window above our door for air ventilation. It got almost uncomfortably warm in the room at night, so we left the window open since it was chilly outside. The breakfast was pretty great too--you could order coffee and eggs, and pick out various cold cuts, fruits, and pastries from the buffet. Aside from the unique concept of the hotel, the greatest thing about it was the view once you stepped outside the rooms. You were faced with a shallow gorge and sweeping countryside views of the plateau around the city. It was beautiful!
Emily Y - New York City, New York
There is nothing like it. Its a great experience to potray how the people used to live in the past. Place is dark without windows (the one i stayed). It make u feel like being in a cave. No television, no shower, and floor is uneven so be careful when going to the toilet at night. First day is fun, after second day you will be happy to go back to normal luxury hotel.
If you were really looking to appreciate ancient history, its the best place to stay. Everything here is almost 80% originale ancient history. To be able to Live inside a cave the exact home to people at 800BC is amazing and once in a life time experience. I came far away from indonesia, so this is really really special.