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Staying in one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world that has been preserved from the past is a magical experience, but staying in a cave hotel is undoubtedly one of those images and senses that are engraved inside you, no matter how many years pass.
From the very first moment I beheld Matera (a city in Basilicata of Southern Italy) on my computer screen, I thought that I want to experience this city as it should. In a place that has taken its name from the limestone cave dwellings, staying in a real cave hotel was a must! And Giardini di Pietra hotel was exactly what I was asking for.
Matera has gained an international reputation with the ancient city “Sassi di Matera” meaning “the stones-caves of Matera”.
By the time I arrived at Giardini di Pietra, I took some time to admire the view. Standing up high, Sassi spread out in front of me and a historically fairy breeze overwhelmed me. Opening the hotel’s huge wooden old door, I found myself in a charming inner courtyard with a sense of tranquility that made me feel this privacy that is not a given in many hotels.
Giardini di Pietra is a historic building close to the cathedral. It was previously renovated and inhabited by Pietro Laureano, an UNESCO architect and consultant for arid areas, Islamic civilization and endangered ecosystems. Laureano promoted the recovery of Sassi di Matera, which was abandoned altogether in the 1960s and is the editor of the reports that led to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. When this house was renovated so as to become a hotel, the owners retained it for the most part, as Laureano had formed it. Besides, he was an architect, he knew how to do his job!
The rooms-vaulted caves, the limestone that dominates everywhere, the ancient tanks, the breakfast area located in an irregular cave and the majestic view of Sasso Barisano from the third level of the hotel, offert us a unique opportunity to experience Matera in all its greatness and in perfect harmony with the environment.
Special thanks to our host Federico for the wonderful hospitality at Giardini di Pietra and the precious information he gave us about Matera.
If you want to live the experience of a cave hotel, you can make a reservation here.
If you follow me on Instagram (@lavienblog) you might also noticed some of these photos that are always on my happy dreams…
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