Matera is one of southern Italy’s most intriguing places. Recently designated as the European Capital of Culture, the community is buzzing with excitement. The unique Unesco World Heritage Site is located in the region of Basilicata. The city of Sassi, literally means “rocks”. The gully is steep. Matera has 1,500 cave dwellings carved into the mountainside. Inhabitants date back to the Paleolithic period. Many of the structures are also ancient rock churches. The town became Italy’s national shame when multiple families and their animals were living in these caves. Mortalities were surging due to terrible poverty, unsanitary living conditions and disease. Finally, in the 1950’s, the government intervened. Today, well appointed hotels, restaurants and modern day homes are the heart of the ancient city.
The Small List
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita – The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita hotel is located in the oldest part of the Sassi quarters. There are 18 romantic boutique bedrooms. The features are authentic. Minimalistic furnishings allow the beautiful caves and suites to speak for themselves. The amenities are modern. Delight in a romantic dinner in the deconsecrated church, lit only by candles, and enjoy the local cuisine. Relive the history of the 007 film, “No Time To Die”. Walk through the streets of Matera with a private tour retracing the film’s dramatic locations. Sextantio is one of the most extraordinary destinations in the world.
Trattoria del Caveoso – Caveoso Restaurant is a kitchen carved into the rocks serving traditional dishes using typical ingredients of the area. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cosy. In addition, Aglianico wines from the region are prevalent on the wine list.
Radino Wine Bar – The unique wine bar, restaurant, cigar room and museum is found in the heart of Matera, all under one cave. The history is ancient and deep. Objects and tools used to produce wines over the centuries decorate the rare space. The atmosphere is unique and full of passion and inspiration from the beauty of Matera and the region of Basilicata. History, authenticity, and a warm smile are there to greet you.