Turn right out of the hotel and you’re only a few minutes from the start of the trail that leads down the side of the canyon and across the river to the other side, where the famous rupestrian churches are located. If the path from the town is closed, don’t despair: ask at reception and they will tell you how to reach the other side of the canyon by car.
The Gattini family settled in Matera in the 15th century and it was their 17th-century family home that was destined to become Palazzo Gattini. The hotel was restored by the architect Ettore Mocchetti, whose use of local stone and bespoke pieces sympathetically updated a historic building.
A narrow road dotted with bars and ice-cream shops climbs gently towards the Piazza Duomo, the site of the 13th-century cathedral and the location of Palazzo Gattini. As you drive up you get glimpses of the spectacular views on offer, but the Piazza Duomo offers a major public viewing point for tourists to admire the town below. Palazzo Gattini, however, provides a private platform for those wishing to soak up the historic town and its surroundings. Make sure that you take a chance to relax on the roof terrace and indulge in the sublime views. The hotel itself echoes the rupestrian churches on the opposite side of the canyon: local stone has been fashioned into dramatic vaulted ceilings. The spacious rooms have a restrained elegance, mixing modern amenities with classic design and bespoke furniture. The old and the new live in perfect harmony at Palazzo Gattini: a wide staircase encircles a glass lift, while the cavernous spaces on the lower floor have been converted into a spa that is reminiscent of Roman baths. Breakfast is served on the lower level in a series of intimate rooms, but dinner in the restaurant is a grander affair. A striking chandelier hangs from the high arch of the ceiling, its light bathing the stone walls in a warm glow. As always at Palazzo Gattini, the decoration is understated and tasteful: a series of small sculptures are displayed in niches along one wall, a clever nod to the decorative language of the cathedral. Here is a hotel that oozes sophistication and perfectly complements its world-renowned setting.