Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera was recommended to us by one of our team at work. Lois has already given us great advice when we visited Barcelona last year. It seemed like a great idea to visit Matera.
Italy has, in its mountains, about 2000 semi-abandoned historic towns. People were occupying the caves in Matera until the 1950’s with no sanitary conditions, sharing caves with their animals. It’s really hard to believe. The Italian Government said it was the National embarrassment, as they eventually moved the locals to more appropriate living quarters.
Sextantio has made it their mission to renovate what are basically caves; attempting to maintain both the history and architecture of parts of southern Italy.
We had it tuned into the Satnav. Very good. Finding it was another story. Luckily, a member of the local tourism team spotted us going round in circles (must have been my magnificent stall in the main square that gave us away!) Stopping suddenly behind Ed and then attempting to move off in second gear? Stall. Simples. Twat.
Anyway, Ed was obviously as worried as I was, when a local jumped on his scooter to lead us to our accommodation. As it transpires, he was safe and after parking up in the square, walked us down through the historical town to our digs for the night. ‘Digs’ is such an understatement. When we parked up our bikes in the ‘wrong’ place, this was the very strange view.
We then had to negotiate the correct place to park our bikes. We climbed back up the hill. Gawd. That was an effort in bike gear!
We had a lovely welcome. We dropped our bags off at the side of the property and rode lopsided to the parking. Nearly dropped Smoggy, but it’s ok, I had Ed’s bike to fall on. Amazing how heavy one side of the bike becomes!
After a wee tour, we were shown our room.
If you prefer privacy to go to the loo, you won’t get it here. As much as there’s a big wall, you are in a cave; a great big echo chamber. Playing music helps, or just going in shifts whilst the other admires the scenery outside!
Our breakfast was every bit as unusual as our accommodation:
We left in the morning with a bit of rain. Luckily the route planned involved leaving it behind. It did make it very interesting riding through old town centres. That’s for the next blog!