Ever stayed in a cave hotel before? Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a boutique hotel in Matera in southern Italy. Often known as the Subterranean City, Matera’s historical centre, Sassi, is now a UNESCO heritage site.
Next to Matera’s cathedral, this four-star hotel was carved out of the rock thousands of years ago. While the structure is ancient, the 18-room hotel took a decade to create and is now a vision of hewn rock and candles - proper cave chic.
Sassi is a network of tiny streets and cave dwellings often built one on top of another up the hillside that has only recently begun to get the admiration it deserves. It will be European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Some caves are rooms, some are suites, some have balconies, but in each you’ll find alcoves filled with candles and no matter which room you’re in, you can order a massage.
Breakfast is a huge spread of local produce, including homemade bread and cakes, local yoghurt and an abundance of fresh fruit.
The hotel’s restaurant was once a church carved out of the hillside, it’s a totally spectacular location. Décor has remained simple, as is the food, but it’s still full of flavour, focusing on local ingredients like Parma ham and bruschetta.
Matera is protected by a deep ravine called the Gravina of Matera. You can book a guided tour of Sassi through the hotel or wander around to find tiny cafes and ancient squares.
Via Civita, 28
Matera - Italy
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