Weekend

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, Matera

22. März 2020

This Project – and similar ones planned for other abandoned historic villages in Italy – is part of a radical and far sighted plan to preserve a local heritage

A stunning and well preserved example of a village where hundreds of caves were turned into dwellings, churches and palaces

Historic Apennine village, Matera can be found in the south of Italy and is world famous because of its Sassi quarters, a stunning and well preserved example of a village where hundreds of caves were turned into dwellings, churches and palaces. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the Sassi represent a unique hamlet throughout Italy: the earliest inhabitants date back to the stone and bronze age, in the middle ages it boasted several monastic communities and later became a vibrant farming centre.

Le Grotte della Civita is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi, the CIVITA, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. It comprises 18 rooms and an ancient church, the “Cripta della Civita”, now used as a common area, all renovated to retain their original features.

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the Sassi represent a unique hamlet throughout Italy: the earliest inhabitants date back to the stone and bronze age, in the middle ages it boasted several monastic communities and later became a vibrant farming centre, owing to the rich harvests from the surrounding hills and plains.

The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita project is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi quarters, the CIVITA, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. It comprises 18 rooms (some of them exceeding 160m²) and an ancient church, the “Cripta della Civita”, now used as a common area, all renovated to retain their original features. The human use of these caves has been extremely articulated during the past ages: from protohistoric Bronze Age civilization to the monastic communities, from agricultural and pastoral ways of life to metropolitan marginality. The judged value of these places and the life they experienced: a national shame became a human heritage needing to be passed on to the next generation.

These places, caves hewn for human habitation, with a strong ancestral call. Sextantio realized a unique project preserving the primeval stones and caves’ essence with extreme accuracy while conserving the original site.

Le Grotte della Civita includes 18 Cave rooms, reception and the Rock church “Cripta della Civita” (breakfast room), located in the most ancient Sassi area facing the Murgia National Park. The project aimed at preserving the integral conservation of the original site and its promiscuous use, from religious rituals to the daily agricultural and pastoral subsistence.

Images: Courtesy of Sextantio

© 2020 Robert’s