Sometimes when you see pictures of far off places, you find it hard to believe such beautiful places exist. One image that comes to mind is the Italian restaurant built into the cliffside. The views look stunning, and it gives the site an adventurous flavor. However, I was skeptical about if this place truly existed. Thankfully, it does.
Located off the Adriatic Sea in Polignano a Mare, The Grotta Palazzese Restaurant sits 74 feet above sea level. This stunning cliffside space has been used for parties and dinners since the 1700s. There is even a watercolor painting from 1783 depicting the Grotta di Palazzo, as it was once called, during a massive social gathering. The restaurant has been named the most romantic in the world and one of the ten most exclusive outdoor restaurants.
When describing the restaurant’s appeal, the website states, “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.”
The menu itself focuses on classic Italian pasta dishes as well as fresh seafood. The food is artfully arranged on the plate to create a visual dining experience. I wouldn’t find it hard to believe they need to make the food eye-catching to drag people’s attention away from the view.
If you are looking to enjoy this dining experience, be prepared to book a reservation months in advance. Keep in mind the restaurant is only open from May through September. You should also expect to spend about €180 per person for a three-course dinner or €220 per person for a four-course dinner. The lunch menu is a tad bit cheaper, a 1-2 course option costs €150 per person.
If you’re looking for a fully immersive experience, then make sure you book a room at the Palazzese Cave Hotel. They have 15 rooms available overlooking the stunning blue water of the Adriatic Sea. You will also have the opportunity to hang out at the hotel’s private beach or spend the day exploring the historic streets of Polignano a Mare.
The hotel and restaurant open back up on June 25th, 2020, so prepare to make those reservations immediately.