Room With a View: Matera

Unlikely Matera — a city in Basilicata that is still mostly ignored by tourists — turned out to be our favorite stop on an epic road trip we took last summer through Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria with our then 15 month old son. Originally, I had reserved a room for us at the atmospheric Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita.

matera sextantio le grotte della civita 252536 Room With a View: Matera

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita

Excited to share the news with my husband, I pulled up the website.

He skimmed for a second and then with a definitive, “Absolutely not,” began to rattle off excerpts from the description that illustrated my obvious lapse in Mommy-judgement: “Uneven cobblestone floors…dozens of candles…impossible to find…no lights.”

Definitely the sort of hotel we’d stay at before our son was born (no walls-awesome!) but perhaps not so toddler friendly after all — especially for a fairly new walker.

Luckily, the new search turned up an even better option – and possibly the best hotel room we have ever stayed in throughout our many years of travel – Room 210 at Palazzo Gattini (aka, their Pool Suite.)

 Room With a View: Matera

Palazzo Gattini, Room 210

 Room With a View: Matera Room With a View: Matera

The suite comes with a private swimming pool overlooking the ancient Sassi and a terrace large enough to host a cocktail party for 25 of your closest friends. With just twenty rooms, the hotel is stylish, elegant and comfortable. Best of all, its location in the new town meant we didn’t have to navigate the sassi with our stroller – a definite plus.

Our room only added to our already glowing impression of the city of Matera. In the mornings, we’d wake up and dip into our pool before breakfast. At night we’d put the baby to bed, open a bottle of local Aglianico and stargaze out on the terrace. By the end of 3 days, it was clear that we’d made the right choice. But just to make sure I knew it, my husband leaned over to remind me, “And you wanted to stay in a cave…”

 Room With a View: Matera Room With a View: Matera

Getting there: Flight to Bari, 2 hour drive to Matera

Palazzo Gattini

Address: 14 Piazza Duomo, Matera, Italy 75100
Phone: 39 0835 33 4358


  • Kate says:

    I love this story & it sounds so similar to the interactions between me and my husband…I have grand plans, and then he is the realistic one remembering all the little details about why things need to be just so. What a beautiful place! Love the first shot of you & your little guy–my son is 18-months now & always one step ahead!

  • Tracy Burns says:

    That sounds like conversations we usually have only reversed! What an amazing view and place to stay. I think I would be close to moving in there forever. Give me a chair, a book and some bread with cheese … I might never leave that poolside view. I’m glad you guys found the place and got to enjoy it.

    • 3onthego says:

      It really was a treat — I definitely recommend a stop in Matera if you ever head over that way. I’m enjoying reading your latest posts — we just got back from Japan in Feb! If you ever do go back and bring the kids, take them during the Sapporo Snow Festival.

  • citizensofbeauty says:

    gorgeous view! But I agree with your husband…the cobblestone would have been tricky with a toddler. But it looked pretty amazing I must say!

  • I’m going to write down this address because this place looks wonderful. I’m Italian and I’ve never been in Matera but your post is lovely and for sure, in case I will be in matera I will stay in this place. Beautiful pictures!!

    • 3onthego says:

      Thank you! We’ve traveled all around Italy and Matera is one of my favorite places. The food is especially good too — if you do stay here, check out La Botteghe and Il Cantuccio for dinner 🙂

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