“Beautiful boutique 12th-century church conversion, overlooking Matera’s warren-like, ravine-edged Sassi Barisano quarter”
Down in the town centre, there's also a beautiful apartment, complete with exposed stonework and lofty windows. In both locations, a mix of French, Italian and Brazilian furniture decorates, lovely solid pieces arranged with a pared-down simplicity. Walls are pale exposed stone, a warm gold. Modernist touches marry well with the antiquity, such as large low, wood-edged double beds and thick glass partitions.
- A remarkable place to stay in a remarkable city, there's a sense of having discovered a real gem
- Beautiful, pared-down design, with antiques and carved-wood furniture set against sandstone arches, cave interiors and thick glass
- A laid-back relaxed atmosphere and the self-catering Loft 79 apartment is ideal for more independent travellers
- Utter tranquillity - the sassi are interconnected via tiny lanes unsuitable for traffic
- Owners are proud of their hotel and eager to please
- The Standard Single (1001) is extremely tiny and snug - but the room has a good view
- Not for the athletically challenged - most rooms have steep or uneven stairs and some have ladders, plus there are steps to reach the entrance of the hotel
- Parking is 300m away. Arranging to have your luggage transferred in advance may seem a hassle, but is the nature of staying in the sassi
- Loft 79's setting doesn't share the hotel's wow-factor sassi setting, but it does offer space, comfort and convenience
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 9 + 1 apartment
- Breakfast (+ walk to off-site restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Suites are fabulous: 1004 has a triplex layout, with a beige sofabed on the lowest level, a kingsize double on the next, and a Brazilian chaise longue and sassi views from the third. The bathroom is in a real cave, with a huge round bath, separate rainfall shower and twin sinks. The other suite, 1003, has a kingsize four-poster and original bell-tower staircase, which allows access first to a lounge area with sofabed, then to a small walled terrace with sweeping sassi panorama.
1007 is a Junior Suite, with high ceilings and a Jacuzzi. The Deluxe Classic, 1005, has a kingsize bed, sofabed, an alcove desk and walls that dissolve into a cave. The lower, cavelike Standard Classic 1006 has a stone shower; Standard Classic 1002 is a romantic double on 2 levels, with views over the sassi from the bed, and has a ladder-like staircase that leads down to the bathroom - though this is set to change to something easier to negotiate in the dead of night. Standard Single 1001 has a beautiful stone bed, and Standard Small 1008 is split-level; both are smaller, but still unique and characterful. We're yet to see the Deluxe Small 1009, which is located on a parallel street (40m from reception), but it boasts exceptional views of the Cathedral and across the sassi so looks like a great romantic bolthole.
Since our visit, 1-bedroom Loft 79 has joined the ranks. Granted it's 400 metres away from the hotel, but for the more independent traveller it offers added privacy and the autonomy of being able to cook for oneself. We can't wait to see it for ourselves.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
The hotel offers a small but good-quality breakfast buffet, with light-as-air cream-filled cornetti (croissants), crostate (jam tarts), croissants filled with ham and cheese, fruit and fruit juice. You're served with your preference of coffee: espresso, cappuccino etc, or can order tea from the reception bar. In summer you can eat breakfast outside, on the terrace-like area (with views) in front of the hotel. Loft 79 guests have their own kitchen, so self-catering is easy as pie.
Room-service drinks are available all day - coffee, liqueurs and wine by the bottle or glass. The owners plan to offer antipasti-style snacks of local products in the future; salamis and local cheeses.
The hotel is less than a minute’s walk from Via Fiorentini, which has a good choice of restaurants, and about 5 minutes' walk from the centre of town and more eateries. The following restaurants are recommended by the hotel: Lucanerie, Don Matteo, Le Botteghe, Trattoria Lucana and Baccanti. Roberto has struck a deal with a couple of local places in the sassi; you'll get a discount if you say you're staying at L'Hotel in Pietra.
- Coffee tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Explore the winding alleys and frescoed cave-churches of the sassi. A Unesco World Heritage site, the fabulous ancient scenery was used as the setting for Jerusalem in The Passion of Christ, starring Mel Gibson
- Visit MUSMA, the contemporary sculpture museum, then stroll around the lovely cathedral
- Go for a passeggiata (evening stroll) in Piazza Vittorio Veneto - the whole town seems to turn out for an amble at dusk
- Go hiking, riding or mountain biking in the surrounding countryside; the hotel can arrange guides and bike hire
- Visit the antiquities and paintings of author Carlo Levi at Museo Nazionale Ridola and Museo di Arte Medievale e Moderna
- Explore the nearby ghost town of Craco, and Aliano, where Carlo Levi was imprisoned during the Fascist era
- There are some beautiful beaches about an hour from Matera, in particular the coast south of Taranto (try Pulsano or Torretta)
- Taste the local specialities such as salami, cheese and velvety red wines
- There's a tennis court in Matera, should you fancy a game, or the hotel can arrange in-room massages
- Take Italian lessons, try your hand at Italian cooking or learn how to paint; Roberto will recommend excellent teachers
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Cooking classes
- Creative writing
- Historical sites
- Language courses
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
They do accept families but this may not be an ideal place for children as you might feel that they were disturbing the peace. The antiques and thick glass in many of the rooms would not suit young children clambering around.
Family friendly accommodation:
The Deluxe Classic and Suites have 2 double beds or a double bed and a double sofabed, and space for a baby cot. Loft 79 is an open-plan self-catering apartment 400 metres away in the city centre. It has a double bed, a sofabed, a kitchen and a semi-open plan ensuite bathroom.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking