A shopkeeper in Alberobello, upon learning of our intention to visit Matera, jotted down the name of this B&B on a piece of paper. Matera, one of the most unusual towns in all of Italy, is in the Basilicata region, southern Italy. Once an area of extreme poverty where peasants made their homes in cave dwellings known as “I Sassi,” Matera has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is now enjoying a revitalization that is bringing tourists to its doors. Doors that still lead into the interiors of the ancient t cave dwellings carved out of the tufa rock along the side of a ravine. La Casa di Lucio is in the heart of Matera and Anna, the owner of this fascinating structure, now B&B, is justifiably proud of her town and her decision to bring this building back to life.
Constructed on top of two authentic cave dwellings, the house has two more stories built in the 16th century. Accommodations are available in the grottoes, or above, in small holiday apartments, and there is even an elegant suite with a terrace overlooking the maze of Sassi below. It was here that Jim Caviezel (the actor who played the role of Christ in Mel Gibson’s movie the Passion) stayed for three months during the filming. In the center of town, Anna has opened up a restaurant in the Sasso that once belonged to her grandmother. “La Cantina di Lucio” serves up traditional Matera dishes. Casa di Lucio is a fascinating and historically significant place to stay if one is visiting the Sassi of Matera, but Anna’s warm hospitality is what makes it so special.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
Hotel La Casa di Lucio
Via S. Pietro Caveoso, 66, 75100 Matera ~ Basilicata, Italy
Hotel La Casa di Lucio ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson