A restaurant set in an unexpected location

Cave, Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Puglia, Italy

A magical and enchanted place, a restaurant with a terrace created inside a natural cave. The Grotta Palazzese restaurant takes its name from the homonymous cave and from the place that was once also called “Grotta di Palazzo”. It is an exclusive and atmospheric place, used for parties and banquets since 1700, as evidenced by a watercolor of 1783 by Jean Louis Desprez. The blue of the sea and the sky contrasts with the mysterious atmospheres of the natural cavities. The colors of the day make the beauty of the coastal landscape shine, while those of the evening, at sunset, create unforgettable nuances, in the charm and elegance of the restaurant lights.

A restaurant set in an unexpected location.It’s the Grotta Palazzese Summer Restaurant and it’s located in a hotel by the same name in Polignano a Mare in the Puglia region of Southern Italy.There’s no debating that the location is fantastic. The restaurant was carved out of the cliff’s limestone centuries ago by the sea and has hosted elegant dinners at the request of Italian nobility since the 18th century.Dinnertime in the south of Italy isn’t until after dark, even when the sun doesn’t set until 8:30pm, so you wouldn’t be able to see much beyond the interior of the restaurant.

Today the natural sea cave, which is the largest of all the sea caves under the town of Polignano a Mare, serves as a summer restaurant (it’s only open from May until October) is sort of suspended between the town above and the Adriatic Sea 74 feet below.The cavern extends back beyond the restaurant, which has just a handful of tables to keep the atmosphere intimate.

There’s a fixed menu which is can plan to spend around $100 per person or you can also order a la carte. If you’re set on dining at Grotta Palazzese’s cave restaurant, another great reason to opt for lunch is that you choose a la carte and eat lighter. The menu is the same for both lunch and dinner and the average price per item, including appetizers, is around 33.