Matera: a different Italy...

The EU Council of Ministers have selected Matera to be a European Capital of Culture for 2019.


Historic Apennine village, Matera is located in the south of Italy and is famous for its Sassi/quarters, a stunning and well preserved example of a village where hundreds of caves were turned into dwellings, churches and palaces. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the Sassi represent a unique hamlet throughout Italy: the earliest inhabitants date back to the stone and bronze age, in the middle ages it boasted several monastic communities and later became a vibrant farming center.


Today, the town of the Rocks, or Sassi, is a splendid cultural laboratory where new technologies can be tested. It stands as one of southern Italy’s best known tourist attractions and a culinary destination that enables to discover the typical products of Basilicata that can be tasted in the traditional regional recipes.


Something even more special can make a trip to Matera an incredible experience…. Sleeping in a luxury cave (Albergo diffuso).

“Saving Towns by filling Rooms in Italy” this was the title of a New York Times article about the Albergo Diffuso, literally “scattered hotel”. The concept of “albergo diffuso” was born in 1980: rooms scattered  through different buildings within the town, are overseen by the manager. Rooms are set within places and apartments which, being part of the historical center and appropriately restore according to the local culture, immediately provide the sensation of “being local” to their guests. The  Albergo Diffuso represents a unique development which doesn’t carry negative environmental impact:  nothing has to be newly constructed, it is just necessary to restore and recuperate exiting houses and apartments according to the local cultural and historical backgrounds. There are more than 40 official Alberghi Diffusi in Italy and The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is one of them located in Matera, Basilicata.  


The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita project is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi, the CIVITA, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. It comprises 18 rooms (some of them more than 160 mq) and an ancient church, the “Cripta della Civita”, now used as a common area, all renovated to retain their original features.


This is an amazing setting for staying, organize meetings and workshops out of the time and surrounded by a magical atmosphere where the past is still well preserved.