- 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.
- Cave-dwelling in style: a truly unique experience where the comforts of a luxury hotel are brought to the ancient grottos of old-town Matera.
- 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 and all offer fabulous views of the surrounding national park.
- The hotel serves romantic meals in the ancient 13th century Cave Church.
- The hotel can organise spa treatments in the haven of your own cave, the calming environment will take you away to a different world and leave you feeling peaceful and relaxed.
- During your stay at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, you can acquaint yourself with the history of this fascinating part of Italy, visiting the monuments and sights of the heritage site with a local expert. Matera was chosen as European Capital of Culture for 2019.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
The year of the European Capital of Culture in Matera begins with the opening ceremony on the 19th of January 2019.
A program of events scheduled for 48 weeks, with 50 productions and cultural co-productions, as well as five major exhibitions.
The slogan of the whole cultural program is “Open Future”, a mix of innovation, collaboration and millennial traditions.
Dining in this unique space – a deconsecrated church carved out of rock – is a once in a lifetime experience and particularly romantic. With Dozens of lit candles, an open fire and classical music; this once sacred space becomes an enchanting dining room where you can discover new flavors and enjoy the Chef’s passion and local cuisine.
Test your cooking know how using flour, eggs and a rolling pin! Our lessons with expert Chef in the rock hewn church dining area will satisfy your tastebuds and your soul. You will learn the ancient art of handmade pasta and discover authentic traditional Lucanian recipes to accompany your creations. Cavatelli, Orecchiette and Calzoni are just some of the typical dishes you will prepare and taste during your time with with a very local ‘cuoca’, an experienced ‘mamma’ from Matera.
Enjoy a nice bike tour of the Sassi area, the city center and the Murgia National Park. Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita makes mountain bikes and city bikes for men, women and children available to its guests.
Visiting the Sassi of Matera means having an out-of-time journey through the traces of the uninterrupted presence of the man in this area, from the Paleolithic to the present days. Through the many extraordinary sceneries of Sassi you will spot the main stages of the evolution of human history: from the dark caves of Murgia that takes us back to our oldest ancestors to the rock churches of religious communities always looking for soul’s purification; from the elegant streets of the Piano rich of seventeenth-century monasteries and palaces to the descent, almost unreal, in large voids of deep cisterns and canals used for the parsimonious water collection.
Visiting the Sassi of Matera and the Archaeological Park of Natural Rock Hewn Churches means getting lost in the paths of an ancient and rocky landscape of huge charm. Man has lived in this area for hundreds of thousands years by setting up in the steep walls of Gravine (canyons). From Piazza di Porta Postergola, in the districts of Sassi, you can go towards the most fascinating hill of the Park where, set in the rock, you can visit the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli where you can still see rock frescos and architectures.
The historian Leantro Alberti who visited Matera in 1550 wrote that the Sassi at night had “a good likeness of the clear serene sky embellished with clear and shining stars”. The visit of Sassi in a night scene still has a unique charm. During the visit you will walk along the paths that best represent the birth of Matera, its evolution, and its most suggestive sights: the dim lights of narrow streets which get in between the slopes of the Sasso Caveoso and Civita; the darkness that makes the deep Gravina canyon almost invisible; the dark caves that merge with the shadows of Murgia’s hills; the squares and the sides of the floor illuminated by light.
Departure at 7.00 am and visit of a typical bakery and tasting of some local products (the Matera’s bread, the focaccia, biscuits). 8.00 am: transfer to the “caseificio” and view the making of mozzarella by hand and the “caciocavallo” cheese workshop.
A guided cycling tour departing from the Sassi, the Baroque town and some of the new Matera districts (where the Sassi inhabitants transferred in the fifties).
Visit to Montescaglioso, home to the region’s most important Benedictine monastery, and Miglionico, a small medieval town home to Castello del Malconsiglio, setting for the “Barons’ Conspiracy” to assassinate the King of Naples, Ferdinand I of Aragon in 1485, a conspiracy which ended with the slaughter of the barons in the Sala del Malconsiglio (Hall of Ill-Advice). The polyptych by Cima da Conegliano in the parish church is worthy of note. The visit at the Crypt of Original Sin is not to be missed. This is a 9th century church called the “Sistina Chapel” of Rock Churches.
Visit to archaeological digs in Metaponto, an ancient colony of Magna Grecia. The sacred area, theatre and potters’ district are still clearly visible. Tavole Palatine, a splendid temple from the 6th century BC dedicated to Hera is not too far away. Visit to the Museum of Magna Grecia, with an interesting collection of funeral items and archaeological finds from the ancient polis. Length: max 4 hours. Transfer included, entrance fees excluded.
A trip to the enchanting moonscape in the more undiscovered Basilicata, the “Calanchi” valley, and up to Craco, also known as “the ghost town”. The old settlement was completely abandoned in the ‘60s due to quick landslide. Since then the place has kept a mysterious atmosphere. Transfer to the Crypt of the Original Sin, a 9th century church named the “Sistine Chapel” of Rock Churches. On the walls of a deep cave we can still admire the oldest frescoes among the ones in rock churches in the area.
Transfer to Venosa (60 min.), Birthplace of the Latin poet Horatio (Carpe Diem). Visit the Archaeological Park, the “Abbey of the Trinity” and the “Unfinished”. Visit a typical vineyard with tasting of local wine, olives and typical cheese of the Vulture area.
Light walking in the town of Alberobello, a World Heritage site and home to thousands of curious round stone “trulli”.
A unique piece of medieval military architecture, Castel del Monte is a successful blend of elements from classical antiquity, the Islamic Orient and north European Cistercian Gothic. This was completed by Friederick II in the 13th century and was elected UNESCO Heritage Site in 1996.
Journey to Pietrapertosa (90 min.), in the Park of Gallipoli Cognato and the Lucanian Dolomites. Head towards the Saracen fortress, almost entirely carved out of rock, which offers a marvelous panoramic view of the Basento valley. At the foot of the castle follow a path and enter the forest. Go down to the Della Rossa River until you come back up along the Costa La Rossa ridge (1026 metres) from where you can enjoy a scenic view of the Park. Back to Pietrapertosa following the crest. Return to Matera at 3 p.m.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Uneven floors and rough-hewn walls are par for the course in a cave, but high ceilings lend these quiet, cool rooms a stately grandeur. When you add Philippe Starck bathtubs, powerful drenching showers, huge comfy beds, heavy dark-wood furniture and a constellation of flickering candles, your primal and sybaritic sides collide. They are perhaps the most sensuous rooms you’ll ever stay in.
This cosy 35 m2 cave with a bathtub in the night area ensures a pleasant and genuinely romantic experience.
A comfortable 35 m2 cave with a shower housed in a recess only accessible through a small flight of steps. It allows for a pleasant and genuinely romantic experience.
A comfortable and romantic 30 m2 cave equipped with a shower. The large window opposite the bed lets you enjoy a breath taking view over Parco Naturale della Murgia.
A charming 70 m2 cave with big vaults, a cosy living area lit by a skilfully hand-wrought glass window, an original stone sink and a bathtub located in the relaxation area.
A 45 m2 cave inside an ancient “neighbourhood” cot, with a well-lit living area and whitewashed walls. The bathtub and the lavatory are located in a beguiling and strongly genuine environment that still features the original uneven flooring and two ancient cisterns.
A romantic 45 m2 cave equipped with a bathtub next to the king size bed. A front door made with centuries-old woods marks the lavatory area, which spots a gorgeous small window above the sink.
A cosy 70 m2 cave featuring a third bed, a wide and bright living area and a bathtub next to the king size bed. A tuff stone arch introduces the lavatory, which includes toilet services and a sink mounted on a protruding stone.
An evocative 140 m2 cave. A wide “grottone” (big cave) houses the king size bed and the living area, while an adjacent recess features a writing desk and a small window. A century-old wooden front door lets you access the lavatory, the stone-floored shower and an old trough turned into a sink. A bathtub is positioned in the middle of another wide and beguiling cave.
This spectacular and evocative 70 m2 cave is an impressive example of how a typical dwelling of the Sassi neighbourhood can be restored. The bathtub is positioned next to the king size bed, while an adjacent cave (a former stable) houses the lavatories and a stone sink.
An ancient 80 m2 vaulted “lamione” equipped with a bathtub inside the bedroom and a panoramic window overlooking the Murgia valley. A massive wooden door lets you access the lavatories and an evocative shower inside an excavated tuff stone recess. The entrance and a private balcony are located in the hotel’s vegetable garden.
A 150 m2 family suite with a king size bed and two single beds. The interplay of its arches and vaults testifies the crusaders once visited this town. The suite also features a relaxing area with a writing desk and a window. A bathtub is positioned in the middle of a wide and romantic cave, through which you access a recess housing the shower and the lavatories. It also features a standalone entrance and a balcony overlooking the Murgia valley.
A spectacular 130 m2 cave with a linear depth layout. Past the wide living area equipped with a king size bed, a large lavatory area extends, featuring an exclusive shower, a stone sink and other traces of the different uses of the cave along the centuries. In a cosy recess a bathtub and a relaxation area are available.
An imposing and spectacular 160 m2 cave with a wide layout. It features 7 m high walls and two large adjoining “Groton” (big caves): one is fully furnished as a night area; the other houses a wide genuine stone sink, the lavatories, an exclusive shower and a bathtub located inside the recess.
Better known as the Bridal Suite, this is the only multi-level cave: its 80 m2 surface is split into a lodged night zone with a big window and a balcony allowing a panoramic view over Parco della Murgia, a living area and a bathtub housed inside a romantic exclusive cave with a fireplace.
Breakfast under the high vaults of the cave church is another unique experience. Like a decadent, irreverent troglodyte communion, classical music echoes through the nave as you collect the rich Italian buffet from what used to be the altar. Private evening meals can be booked in here (€200/£168 a head) with a cooking lesson beforehand (an extra €50/£42 a head), but you’re more likely to want to explore the many restaurants of the Sassi.
Exclusive dinner with Basilicata Traditional Food
At Sextantio Albergo Diffuso Le Grotte della Civita it’s possible book in advance the whole XIII Century Church of the hotel for an exclusive dinner or event. The evocative scenario of the location is unique: a deconsecrated church, lit solely by candles, with background classical music and a lit fireplace. The exclusive location therefore transforms into a fantastical place where guests can enjoy the Chef’s passion and local cuisine.
Local wines, or tisanes, teas, taralli crackers and snacks are instead the key ingredients for a typical aperitivo, or a time to relax in the mystical setting of the church or the terrace with sweeping views of the dramatic Murgia Materana.
Test your cooking know how using flour, eggs and a rolling pin! Our lessons with expert Chef in the rock hewn church dining area will satisfy your tastebuds and your soul. You will learn the ancient art of handmade pasta and discover authentic traditional Lucanian recipes to accompany your creations. Cavatelli, Orecchiette and Calzoni are just some of the typical dishes you will prepare and taste during your time with a very local ‘cuoca’, an experienced ‘mamma’ from Matera and the following exclusive dinner.
The helpful staff at reception can book an Ayurvedic massage (€90/£76 per hour) in your room, plan a private candlelit dinner in the church, or simply help with the hardest task: finding your way around the vertiginous old town. They will mark up a map for you and book you a restaurant in advance, or a guided tour of the Sassi (€100/£84 for two hours for a group of up to four).
Nothing better that finding peace of mind and body and totally relaxing with a massage treatment within your own cave dwelling. In an environment rich in history and atmosphere, with a soft new age musical background, perfumed oils, herbal teas and many flickering candles, mind and body will be surely regenerated. Expert masseurs will advise on the most suitable treatment among reiki, deep connective tissue, emolymphatic, draining, couple, antistress or relaxant.