Dine in a fabulous grotto by the Adriatic

Imagine dining inside a soaring limestone cave that's open to the air. Outside, the waters of the Adriatic are sparkling blue, and waves crash on the rocks below as you savor delectable seafood and a fine white wine.

Italian nobility have been dining here for centuries, and now you can, too.

From outside, the grotto restaurant looks like a fairytale The restaurant is inside a marvelous grotto, perched over the sea

The setting

The town of Polignano a Mare lies in southeastern Italy, high on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The rocky shoreline has been beaten by the sea for millions of years, carving out myriad caves and grottoes.

Atop the cliffs, narrow streets wind through the ancient town, twisting between whitewashed buildings. In the rocks below, the largest of the caves has been transformed into the Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, a unique restaurant and hotel.

Restaurant inside a limestone grotto in Italy Dine at this fabulous restaurant, inside a limestone grotto over the Adriatic

The restaurant

Imagine how many romantic moments have happened here, since high ranking nobles held banquets here in the 1700s. Lords and ladies, foreign dignitaries and important visitors, all enjoyed elaborate dinners in this very cave.

The restaurant is in a large, vaulted cavern that's open to the sea air, with waves breaking on the rocks 100 feet below. Outside, moonlight reflects off the sea, and fishing boats ride the swells, plying their trade. As you enjoy the magical scene, waiters bring lobster and shellfish, fresh from the sea.

Travel tip - This restaurant is only open May to October. If you visit in the winter, you can still enjoy a lovely stay, but it won't include dining in the grotto.

A room at the Hotel Grotta Palazzese After such a nice dinner, why not stay for the night?

The hotel

Polignano a Mare is on the Italian coast between Bari and Brindisi, and the town has a long history to go with its lovely setting. If you'd like to stick around for a while, you can check out one of the rooms at this 4-star hotel, where luxurious suites and rooms are carved out of the rock. Modern amenities and antique furnishings add to the unique atmosphere.

You'll be staying in the middle of the picturesque old town, with its winding streets and sea views. And in the evening, I know a great place for dinner. 🙂

For more information, see
Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese

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PHOTO CREDITS:  Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese


  1. Brian

    Very Cool, a spectacular location!

    • Thanks, Brian! It really is gorgeous, isn't it? That's a place where I'd want to linger over dinner... 🙂

    • I certainly agree - breathtaking! What an incredible place to dine... Thanks for your comment!

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