The Caves of Civita, a Hotel into Limestone Caves in Italy
Le Grotte della Civita, translated in English as the Caves of Civita, is a unique, rustic luxury hotel set in the troglodytic, Unesco-listed town of Matera, Italy. Its old quarters (sassi) are built into and over limestone caves, and interwoven by narrow cobbled streets. Inhabited since prehistoric times, these remarkable underground spaces include rock-hewn churches and many half-carved, half-built dwellings looking out onto the arresting Gravina gorge.
The construction process started in 2006 and the project was completed three years later, in 2009. As the name suggests, the structure and the interior resembles a series of caves. The hotel consists of 18 such cave rooms and a restaurant, all renovated over 10 years with obsessive attention to detail and utter respect for the past. Recycled wooden furniture, carved crosses and cosy nooks are the only visible decoration; but closer examination reveals concealed spotlights in the walls, underfloor heating beneath the time-worn cobblestones, and an oversize egg-shaped Starck bathtub in the depths. History and style combined in one. This hotel is so special!