Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita
What We Love
- Daily breakfast, served in the nooks of a 13th-century church, and a basket of fruit on arrival are included in the rate
- Gorgeous location on the edge of Sassi di Matera, overlooking hills and valleys
- An easy five- to 10-minute walk to great restaurants and bargain wine bars
- Stand-alone bathtubs in the candlelit rooms
What To Know
- Matera is a 75-minute drive from Bari airport, so you’ll need to organize transfers with the hotel or rent a car
- The nearest beach is 25 miles away at Metaponto, and it’s not very inspiring
- Staff can organize candlelit dinners, cooking lessons, and wine and tea tastings in the breakfast room
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Candlelit rooms with stand-alone bathtubs and an eatery in a 13th-century church make up this romantic cave hotel
Eighteen uniquely converted caves make up Sextantio le Grotte della Civita, arranged over three levels of a rock face in Sassi di Matera — a cluster of prehistoric cave dwellings. Each room is different; one has a carved stone staircase leading to a bathtub with a fireplace beside it, while another has a gap in the wall that leads to a surprise extra bedroom. Peek at a few of them and you’ll get steadily more giddy. Outside, the hotel’s natural terraces have sweeping views of a vast, cave-filled archaeological park with a soundtrack provided by a trickling stream.
Bed and Bath
In each of the 18 rooms there are rickety dark brown chests and benches topped with candles (though there are discreet lamps, too, that emit a cozy, warm light), and a chunky dining table that holds a bowl of organic fruit and a jug of water. Simplicity is key, because the setting does all the wooing. But sleeping in a cave needn’t mean forgoing your favorite mod cons. There are power showers in naturally occurring “cubicles,” tucked-away stand-alone baths, underfloor heating, hair dryers — even free WiFi.
Breakfast in the 13th-century church is an event. There are plenty of these rock-chiseled churches in Matera, but not all of them offer breakfast. The tables around the outside are brilliantly secluded, so you can linger over the handsome organic spread of ricotta, mozzarella, freshly made focaccia, fruit and yogurt without even having to look at another guest. Staff can organize candlelit dinners, cooking lessons and wine and tea tastings in this atmospheric room.
How to Get There
Location is right inside historic Sassi. However, it is not worth staying for more than one night. We were a group of 6 couples and the quality of the rooms varied. Most were comfortable and clean but our was very humid and musty. Please be aware that if you are need luggage to be transported to the hotel, the cost of a van to move people and luggage will be euro 40 for a very short trip.
My husband and I have traveled extensively throughout Europe. I do not say this to be pretentious, instead to say we love to experience different and unusual locations. Not only was Sextantio an other-worldly location and totally different from any other place we have stayed, but the staff was utterly amazing. They treated us as friends rather than customers. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening wine and appetizers, reasonably priced, and the breakfast was excellent. This was an expense beyond our normal hotel, but worth each and every euro.....I will never forget our wonderful stay in this place.
A truly magical experience in the heart of the historic Sassi. A great balance between experiencing the uniqueness of staying in a cave and being able to reflect on what it must have been like for the Sassi families, but with home comforts. Each cave is beautifully decorated with the right mixture of candlelight and electric lights. I loved the outside individual seating areas with each cave. Gives you chance to be private and enjoy the view, with the amazing choice of local wines as part of the aperitifs each evening. The team are exceptional - a special thanks to Antonio who made us feel so welcome and spoke with enthusiasm and knowledge about the history of the caves. The breakfasts are AMAZING and if you can, as a once in a lifetime treat, experience dining in the church all by yourself while the wonderful Brunella cooks up a banquet again accompanied by interesting and local wines. I have to save up to come back. Matera was one of my favourite holidays!
My adult son and I came to stay here in Matera- this was the best hotel we stayed at in all of Italy! The beds were comfortable, the staff was amazing and always accommodating, our room was so lovely, and the breakfast was absolutely incredible! Probably some of the best breakfast food ever! Definitely do NOT skip the breakfast here! Wonderful location- easy to walk to everything. We took the cooking class- which was so much fun- SO MUCH food! We hired a private driver (online) to take us from the airport in Bari, which made the transition much easier. We hired the same company to pick us up and take us to our next stop as well.
Highly recommended. A once in a lifetime experience. Total immersion into the history of Matera Sassi. The breakfast was incredible. Total comfort while experiencing the uniqueness of living in a cave.