The DNA: Once considered a slum, the cave dwellings of Matera’s ‘Sassi’ is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most unique attractions of Italy. And you can even stay in them, like the Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita – the original. The starkly romantic are distributed over the twisting paved paths and stepped alleys and overlook the dramatic Gravina canyon. The design is as faithful as possible to the elemental nature of these caves, leaving their sinuous lines and eroded golden tufa walls to speak for themselves. A monastic simplicity pervades: no televisions, no minibars, no upholstery, rugs or curtains, and – best of all – no plastic. Instead, candles and lanterns, the occasional weathered cupboard, rustic wooden tables and benches retain the original spirit of the place. A purist’s paradise.
“The kind of clients who understand what I’m doing are deeply educated in anthropology themselves. They consider authenticity to be a very real value in today’s world.”Daniele Kihlgren, owner
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 18 rooms & suites (30-120m2) (323-1,292 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2009 • parking possible nearby (charged) • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk