To create the Le Grotte della Civita ‘albergo diffuso’ (“extended hotel”), the Sextantio group has restored part of the Sassi di Matera (“Stones of Matera”) by using only original materials and preserving the caves’ original structures.
After all, the Sassi themselves, at the heart of Matera’s ancient town, are an extraordinary example of preservation: an amazing stratification of urban settlements that hold the memories of the history of Basilicata, dating all the way to the Neolithic Age and its entrenched villages. The ‘tufo’ ravines encase underground wells dedicated to the cult of Mithras, Byzantine churches, first millennium water cisterns, houses built during the Renaissance, Baroque squares.
Starting in the mid-1950s, the government forcefully relocated the Sassi’s inhabitants because of the poor health and social conditions in the area. But in 1986 an Italian law gave way to a new phase of redevelopment. Le Grotte della Civita, integral part of a wider project that aims at the redevelopment and preservation of the Sassi, includes almost exclusively underground structures and caves. The hotel branches out into 18 rooms, created inside the caves that open onto the ravine eroded by the Gravina river, facing the Alta Murgia National Park and its rock churches.
Viewing these splendid architectures one cannot but hold forever – in eyes and heart alike – their millenary memories alive.