Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Centuries-old accommodations where each guestroom is quite literally a cave, but with wifi, go figure!

I have to admit, I was skeptical. To the uninitiated, sleeping in a cave sounds a bit like something has gone horribly wrong for you, but this place is beyond extraordinary.

Mostly illuminated by candlelight, the Sextantio Le Grotta della Civita is the very definition of old world charm. It was once a former monastery and the town of Matera is believed to be the oldest consistently-inhabited town in the world. The structure, as it were, is carved into the side of a cliff and only once did I wake from a nightmare about being trapped in a cave. Despite its rugged look, the accommodations are pure luxury, where the ancient stone floors have radiant heating and the wifi signal is sure and strong. Some electric ambient lighting exists, but the effect of the candlelight against the rough stone (and the in-room tub!) is pure romance. Each room has a private bathroom, but ours did not have a shower, just the tub that practically begged you to climb in.

This is a magical place and despite the fact that the doors look like they lead to a dungeon, you will never want to leave.

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Via Civita, 28, 75100 Matera MT, Italy


Phone Number

0835 332744


The one and only sign for this hotel is quite small by signage standards and very high up the wall on the staircase. If you make the hard left at the end of the street, you have gone too far and the streets beyond than turn are not friendly to u-turns. Also, parking is approximately 100 meters away from the hotel, down a flight of stairs, in a public lot. There is a bellman who will help with your bags, but if you are staying for a night or two, I recommend bringing the smallest bag possible and leaving the rest of your stuff in the trunk.

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