Polignano a Mare, Italy: Picture-postcard drama in Puglia
When people tell you they've found the most beautiful, most romantic hotel on the water in Italy, it's hard to suppress an eye roll. No kidding, you think. Ocean + Italy = how can you go wrong?
But the Grotta Palazzese—in the tiny town of Polignano a Mare in Bari, just north of the heel of the boot—might very well be just that.
The hotel is carved out of a grotto that opens onto the sweeping emerald-green Adriatic, and perhaps the best spot from which to experience this end-of-the-world vista is at one of the restaurant's tables for two. They're perched on a bridge between the jagged outcroppings at the cliff's edge.
The view is especially dramatic at night, when the cave and the water below are lit. Whatever vertigo you might feel dining in this spot is easily quashed by sucking down another garlicky grilled prawn or a couple more glasses of Fiano di Avellino.
The Grotta Palazzese's cliffside restaurant is open from May to September.