This Breathtaking Italian Hotel Is Carved Out of a Massive Cave

A one-of-a-kind Mediterranean oasis that’s as good as it gets.


Treating her to dinner or flowers for a special occasion is always nice — but booking a trip to a crazy Italian cave hotel puts those puny romantic gestures to shame.

The beyond-majestic Grotta Palazzese Hotel‘s restaurant is carved out of a stunning limestone cavern at Polignano a Mare, a tiny town built on cliffs overlooking the blue-green Adriatic Sea. 

The spectacular cave housing the Grotta Palazzesse has hosted lavish banquets for the Italian aristocracy dating back to the 1700s and was dubbed “one of the most romantic settings in all of Italy” by travel site Fodor’s. 

Lucky guests can retire to one of the hotel’s seven cave-carved suites with balconies overlooking jaw-dropping views after feasting on lobster, squid, bouillabaisse, and sea bass ravioli. And yes, there’s an impressive assortment of Italian wines to wash it all down with. 

Sadly, this one-of-kind eatery is only open from May to October, but that doesn’t mean you can’t book a reservation now, right?

Just in case the spellbinding scenery and waves lapping hypnotically against the rocks below turn your brain into a contented mush, remember that men are forbidden from wearing shorts or sandals inside the restaurant. While offenders likely won’t be hurled to their watery doom, it’s best not to risk it. Besides, nobody wants to see your toes anyway.