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.