Certificate of Excellence Trip Advisor
Standalone bathtubs and candlelit rooms in an albergo diffuso reclaimed from an abandoned ancient stone village carved into a cliff
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.