Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita

A stay at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a truly special experience. Located in the UNESCO world heritage listed town of Matera, the rooms and public areas of the hotel are found in the caves and grottoes of the fascinating ancient troglodyte city.

Basilicata, Italy
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
  • Step back in history with a stay in this authentic medieval town

  • 'Le Grotte' means the caves: the hotel is entirely composed of ancient troglodyte dwellings

  • Delicious breakfast made from local produce is served daily in an ancient church

  • Matera is a fascinating and beautifully preserved part of the history of Southern Italy

The Sassi di Matera (meaning stones of Matera) are ancient cave dwellings in the city of Matera, Basilicata. The city has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times, and is believed to have first been settled around 9000 years ago, making it one of the first human settlements in Italy.

In the 1950s, the Italian government forcefully relocated most of the population in the Sassi to areas of the developing modern city. Since then many of the cave churches and subterranean dwellings in the Sassi have been preserved and restored. The hotel 'Le Grotte della Civita' is located in the oldest part of the Sassi, and each of its 18 rooms is located in one of the original cave dwellings.

The hotel calls itself an 'Albergo Diffuso', which means that the rooms and suites are spread out on several levels around the central common area and dining room, which is housed in a lovingly restored 'rock church', used as a place of worship in the middle ages.

Bedrooms and bathrooms, and even washbasins, are hewn from the rock itself, giving the hotel an eerie yet romantic feel. In order to provide its guests with proper standards of luxury, the listed historic site was meticulously taken apart, entirely wired and piped and finally reassembled with each stone replaced in its original location, so although guests sleep in caves on bed bases of rock in candlelight, standards of comfort are not compromised.

Le Grotte della Civita has no televisions or minibars in the rooms, and you won't find armies of uniformed waiters and porters at your beck and call. A stay here, does, however, promise a truly unique experience in a very special historic place.

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Top tip:

Matera is said to resemble ancient Jerusalem, so much so that many famous biblical epics have been shot here, including Pasolini's 'Gospel according to St.Matthew' and Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'.

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Basilicata, Italy

Matera is in the south of Italy and it is renowned for its Sassi quarters. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993 and consists of a preserved village where hundreds of caves have been restored into dwellings.

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