Sleep like a caveman on this exclusive 2-night vacation package that provides a glimpse of what life would have been like 9,000-years ago (if prehistoric people had had Wi-Fi and air conditioning, of course!). Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita (The Caves of Civita) in Matera is an extraordinary 4-star boutique hotel where tufa rock mixes with hospitality to create an atmosphere that’s far from the traditional concept of luxury. Call it “minimalist eco-luxury” that coddles its guests in spacious but sparsely furnished caves spread over three levels that are all connected by a staircase and a system of private terraces, accessible through the individual rooms.
The hotel is located in the oldest part of the Sassi di Matera, facing the dramatic backdrop of the Park of the Murgia and its gorgeous rock-hewn churches. After check-in, you will venture out to explore the Sassi on a 3-hour privately guided walking tour of the intricate labyrinth of alleys and stairways, of caves and small elegant buildings, arches, galleries, gardens and terraces that make up this remarkable city of stone. Streets in some parts of the Sassi are located on the rooftops of other houses in a tight-knit community that has evolved over the millennia in complete harmony with its natural environment.
Highlights of the walking tour are a visit to the evocative spaces of the Museum of Modern Sculpture (MUSMA) and to the immense underground cisterns in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, as well as a stop to sample local gastronomic products. That evening you’ll be introduced to Basilicata’s traditional cuisine as you savor a multi-course meal at a restaurant in the main piazza of the Sasso Barisano.
An organic breakfast gets Day 2 off to a healthy start, and then you’ll board an air-conditioned luxury vehicle for a full day enogastronomic excursion to the charming small towns of Venosa and Melfi in search of Basilicata’s most characteristic wines. Learn all about Primitivo, Negromaro, Sussumaniello and Aglianico in the vineyards where these grapes are grown; you’ll also visit the cellars and pause for two guided wine tastings. Lunch in a farmhouse and a tour of the 11th-century Norman-Swabian Castle built at the foot of the Vulture Mountains in Melfi are included too.
The package includes:
- Two nights at the 4-star Hotel Le Grotte della Civita with daily organic breakfast [Note: for those seeking a more traditional hotel experience, either a standard or deluxe room at the 3-star Hotel In Pietra can be substituted]
- 3-hour privately guided walking tour of Matera’s Sassi
- Multi-course dinner of traditional Basilicata specialties at the
Ristorante Le Botteghe
- Full day enogastronomic excursion to Venosa and Melfi including lunch and two winery visits with guided wine tastings