Le Cisterne ed il Palombaro dell’Hotel Il Belvedere

Useful Information

Location: Via Casalnuovo, 133, 75100 Matera MT.
(40.66091010476902, 16.613088782409946)
Open: Reception: All year daily 7-23.
Check-in: All year daily 15-22.
Check-out: All year daily 7-11.
Breakfast: All year daily 7:30-10:30.
Fee: Rooms EUR 69 to EUR 159.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House SubterraneaCistern
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Le Cisterne ed il Palombaro dell’Hotel Il Belvedere, Via Casalnuovo, 133, 75100 Matera MT, Tel: +39-083-5311702. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1993 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
2011 houses and caves renovated and hotel opened.


The Hotel Il Belvedere is rater new and offers actually two different kinds of subterranea. First it has nine underground room which makes it a cave hotel. There are single, double and quadruple rooms. The only single room is quite unique and is named Camera del Monaco. We guess its because the room is so small, similar to a typical Hotel room in Munich (Monaco). The double rooms are more spacious with about 20 m², and the Superior Rooms for four are 35 m². All rooms have wardrobe, heating, air conditioning, mosquito net, antique terracotta floor, desk, private bathroom with complimentary toiletries, hairdryer, shower, slippers, toilet, flat screen TV, telephone, electric kettle, mini bar, semi-independent entrance, and free WIFI internet. Quite astonishing was for us that the owners emphasize on the fact that rooms do not have direct panoramic views on the sassi di matera. Those are cave rooms, they most likely do not have windows at all. But we guess its still necessary to state the obvious.

In addition to the cave rooms, the hotel also has classic non-cave rooms, most of which feature a wooden roof and resin floor. Some of those rooms have quite nice views. All guests of Hotel Il Belvedere share the homonymous view of the Sassi and the gorge from the terrace which is used for breakfast and for the restaurant.

During the conservation works of the buildings in 2011, nine tanks for private use and a small well for public water collection were discovered. The cisterns are located just below the courtyard of the Hotel. Two cisterns are located in one of the Superior Rooms. The cistern located right in the center of the courtyard was completely restored and put back into operation. It collects rain water which is used for watering the plants.

Several cisterns formed a cascade tank system in Via Casalnuovo. Rain water was slowly flowing from one tank to the next thus getting cleaner. The cisterns were waterproofed to prevent the tuff from absorbing water. For this they were plastered by coccio pesto (earthenware), a material made up of crushed terracotta and clay. The wells are simply vertical shafts from the surface to the cistern. A huge bucket was lowered on a rope or chain, filled with water and then pulled out with a winch.