STUNNING views over the Adriatic, a warm summer night’s breeze and world class dining - the only thing the Grotta Palazzese is missing is four walls.
The enchanting restaurant in Polignano a Mare in Southern Italy was built inside a cave centuries ago, allowing for one of the world’s most unique dining experiences. Carved from the cliff face’s limestone, the restaurant juts out 74 feet above sea level, allowing diners to watch the waves lap the shores just beneath them. The dramatic view over the sea is best viewed from one of the dimly-lit tables for two that sweep along the cave’s edge.As they take in the sea view, they can enjoy dishes such as Thai squid and grilled garlic prawns with glasses of Fiano di Avellino - at more than $100 a head. And if diners want to work up an appetite before the meal, they can meander through the narrow streets of the medieval town, built on sheer cliffs with scattered white buildings and natural caves. The setting also provided a feast for the eyes for local nobility during grand banquets at the restaurant as far back as the 1700s.
The grotta - Italian for ‘cave’ - is part of the Grotta Palazzese hotel, which is located above and built from local stone. The restaurant is open from May to October. –DM