The amazing Matera, in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy, is going to have a blog post all of its own because it is quite simply, one the most incredible places we visited recently. This blog however, is all about Hotel Basiliani – a real modern jaw dropper, built into the rocks of the Sassi

I’ve been intrigued by Matera for a long time – as a child I was fascinated by these dwellings in the rocks that were abandoned in the 1950s. Then Mel Gibson came along with his film “The Passion of The Christ” – and all I was interested in was ethereal scenery as much of it was filmed in & around Matera. We’d planned on a one day/night stop-over on the way from Tarsia in Calabria to Alberobello, and so wanted somewhere a bit different, but that again wasn’t silly money. The old default search of “boutique hotel in …” brought up Hotel Basiliani – but a quick glance at the gallery of images made me think that this particular boutique hotel would be waaaaay out of our budget. As with a lot of things in Italy, sometimes the perception of something is much more expensive than the reality – and a quick search on booking.com threw up the most incredible apartment. For just over 80 euros. We booked there & then…

The hotel is a series of apartments, built into the rocks. Although it was early October, it was still very warm in Matera, but once inside, the natural air conditioning kicked in. The hotel is described as a “design hotel” and oh my word, it is. Attention to comtemporary detail is incredible – once inside the “cave”, we discovered our apartment to be spacious, light, cool and so wonderfully tastefully and understatedly furnished. Bare whitewashed walls contrasted with chocolate brown floor tiles and well thought out lighting accentuated the space beautifully. After a few days on the road, a deep sumptuous bath was most welcome too! And, as if to put the icing on the cake, a monumental thunder & lightning storm – but no rain – illuminating the re-inhabited rock dwellings…

2013-12-12_0002 2013-12-12_0003 2013-12-12_0004 2013-12-12_0005 2013-12-12_0006…next up, the astonishing town of Matera.