The ancient cave city in Italy's Basilicata region looks — no, is! — paleolithic. But the UNESCO site has a thriving music community and nascent contemporary art and design scene, too. It has been named Cultural Capital for 2019.
Stay: Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a stunning collection of cave dwellings with candle light, a freestanding Starck egg tub, and pristine linens. Local bread, honey, and cheese are served for breakfast in the deconsecrated cave church next door.
Sextantio, Via Civita 28 (near Via Madonna delle Virtu); 0385 332744.
Shop: Pop into thoughtful storefronts like Libreria dell'arco (maps, books) and Shibuya (CDs, coffees) during an evening stroll.
Libreria Dell’Arco, Via Ridola Domenico 37 (near Via Allesandro Volta); 0385 311111.
Eat: Laboratorio di Gelateria Artigianale i Verzi degli Angeli uses only the finest, purest ingredients in its incredibly addictive gelato — quite possibly the best in the land.
See: MUSMA (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture) displays huge works within a labyrinth of stone caves.
MUSMA, Palazzo Pomarici (near Via San Giacomo); 39 366 9357768.
Photographed by Jeralyn Gerba