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 hotel, or should I say experience, is well worth every single penny. The caves in which you stay are amazing and words do not do them justice. Pictures paint a thousand words and the ones on their website do not exaggerate the uniqueness of this place. The location is ideal for exploring the old town of Matera. I can't believe I had not heard of it before researching this trip. It's history is fascinating. The staff at Sextantio are well versed in this and are happy to share. Breakfast is eaten in a deconsecrated cave church. The produce is local, fresh, well presented and plentiful. The caves are well equipped, beds are comfy and the WiFi excellent. I word of warning, bath tubs are not in bathrooms as such, therefore thought is needed about who you are traveling with and how this can be sorted. Parking is an issue but one that has been well solved by the hotel. Your car is whisked away to a secure garage in town and they are happy to pick you up and take you there, should you wish to explore the area around Matera. There is a cost to this but not an exorbitant one. I know I sound gushy and very upbeat about this stay, but I don't care. I loved it!
mmu40 - Clitheroe, United Kingdom
We stayed in one of the "caves" for two nights. Very cool even though the outside temperature was high, also the air con works well. Very comfortable bed. Whilst this was an interesting experience and was very "quaint" the accomodation does not suit people our age (60's). The floor is stone which is not even at all and is very slippery particularly in the shower toilet area. The crochery in the room was chipped. No refrigerator. Breakfast was served in a main dining room a little way away, again the crochery was chipped although the breakfast was first rate.
We stayed here during the first part of our honeymoon and what a unique and memorable hotel and location this is! The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and made us feel right at home, straight away. A special call-out for Marco and especially, Aman, who couldn't do enough to help. Service was always prompt, friendly and caring, e.g. offering us chilled water on arrival back after a hot and dusty walk in the hills, or volunteering the history of the caves and how they were converted. Fresh fruit and water in the rooms, replenished daily. Lit candles in each cave. Sprigs of local lavender and rosemary on the tables for the evening aperitifs... The list goes on - just lovely. This is a real one-off and I can't recommend it highly enough for those who wish to have an unique experience in an amazing city. Please note that there isn't a swimming pool, which may be missed in the heat of the summer.
CambridgeJ - Cambridge
This hotel is interesting because the rooms are in caves lit by candles. It can be a bit scary to wake in the night and be in total darkness and makes for very long afternoon naps. There is some electric light but it is very... ahem, romantic, which can make shaving or putting on makeup tricky, but for a night or two it's an interesting experience as it helps you to understand what it must have been like for the original inhabitants.The breakfast is very good and views from the terraces heavenly. I have one criticism which is that the hotel can only be reached by quite a few steps and the poor bag handlers do not have any type of cart or device to help them. Other hotels have put small blobs of cement in crucial places to turn the steps into rudimentary ramps and for not much money it is possible to buy the sort of box moving carts that removalists use that have three wheels each side to cope with steps. At this price level most guests arrive with a few suitcases. The boys are all migrants of various sorts and so it breaks my heart to see them breaking their backs when its not necessary. I'm sure no local person would take the job.
becRome - London, United Kingdom
I found this hotel on trip advisor and I'm so glad we stayed here. It's located in the area of the old cave dwellings and they have converted multiple caves into a hotel with very unique accommodations . The breakfast was amazing with a wide assortment of local cheeses and other foods including a large variety of homemade baked goods . The staff was extremely helpful , friendly and welcoming . Rooms have outdoor balconies with amazing views of the valley and opposite old caves . Our room was on the third level which for us was no problem, however the old stone walkways are very uneven and it was a bit of a climb to our room . If you have difficulty walking this may not be the place for you. Ask whether there are any rooms on the ground level if you have any difficulty with ambulation They have done a wonderful job to make these rooms comfortable while not disturbing the original ancient cave structures . Matera was a fascinating place to visit and I would definitely recommend this property and stay here again .
Jessica C - Palm Beach Gardens