Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita is one of the most unique boutique hotels in Italy. Its extravagant location in ancient caves of a UNESCO World Heritage Site sets the tone for a one of the kind experience.
The town of Matera in the South of Italy represents a spectacular and well-preserved example of a place where thousands of caves, or sassi, have been used for centuries as dwellings, churches and even palaces.
The magic of sassi
Restored from abandoned and decaying caves by architects Margaret Berg & Laura Einaudi, Sextantio The Civita Caves transports guests to the medieval times… and beyond!
The whole hotel complex has been developed in the oldest part of the sassi, “La Civita”. Some of the bedrooms are so old they have been inhabited for as long as the past 2,500 years.
The hotel oozes history—thanks to the careful preservation of the original architecture of caves and their restoration that paid respect to the local cultural heritage. The sassi were renovated using traditional, local tools and construction materials.
The chic monastic
Facing the dramatic backdrop of the Park of the Murgia and its Byzantine church domes and rooftops, the eighteen rooms of the hotel are full of rustic character.
Furniture is kept to a bare minimum. Cobblestone floors, candles, wrought iron beds draped in antique linens that seem to be pulled straight from an ancient trousseau are contrasted and complemented by minimalist contemporary amenities—such as designer showers and egg-shaped baths.
Breakfast is served in the former 13th-century church beside the hotel, on a long refectory table, laden with freshly made focaccia, mozzarella, yogurt, local honey and fruits piled into ancient ceramic bowls.
Nine millennia of history
Staying at the Albergo Diffuso in Matera is like a journey back in time—and no doubt a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Yet the hotel is simply consistent with its location in the town of Matera.
One of the best-preserved towns in Europe, its history span at least 9000 years. Its streets were made famous as the backdrop to Mel Gibsons’ controversial “Passion of Christ”.
Located in the anklebone of Italy’s “boot”, it provides a wonderful contrast to the white sandy beaches and boutique hotels that dot the Puglian coastline just a short drive away.
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