An authentic travel experience on an unearthly level, the resuscitation of decaying caves into Le Grotte Della Civita is the product of Daniele Kihlgren, a Swedish-Italian entrepreneur, hotelier and philanthropist. Masterminding the restoration of peasant cave-dwellings carved from stone from the Stone Ages, Kihlgren’s philosophy of preserving each cave's soul and honoring the warmth and simplicity of past lifestyles is reached with unparalleled sensitivity.
Le Grotte Della Civita is located in an isolated region and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site called Matera in the arch of Italy’s boot. Eighteen guestrooms are spread across different buildings and Kihlgren took painstaking efforts to outfit rooms with modern amenities of electricity and running water by meticulously disassembling each stone with traditional tools, adding pipes and wires, and then reassembling the interior by putting back every stone in its original spot.
These restoration “before” images stand firmly on their own as pillars of photographic beauty, bathed in ever-illuminating slivers of light capturing a mystic decay. The integrity of the arches and hearths demonstrate the quality of craftsmanship of civilizations long ago and stand as lasting marks of peasants who farmed the hillsides of Matera.
These “after” images of Le Grotte Della Civita are the shining accomplishment of Kihlgren and his team, a proper leading example to the world’s hotel developers and to humankind, for that matter, of the preservation of ancient treasures into a boutique hotel with a meaningful, genuine experience for its guests in a way that treads lightly on this earth.
Discover lots more about this project by visiting Le Grotte Della Civita's website and if possible, support Kihlgren’s work by staying at Le Grotte Della Civita. Pass this information along to others. We need more hoteliers like Daniele Kihlgren to preserve what’s been gifted to us through history.