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.
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