If you told your significant other that you were going to take him/her on a date in a dank cave, it probably wouldn’t go over very well. When we think of caverns, we automatically picture swarms of bats, drippy ceilings, and blind stumbling through the dark. People who have been to the movies recently might also picture a British butler and a brooding super hero, but that’s beside the point.
I’m willing to be that some of the last things you’d ever picture include expensive Italian wine, lobster ravioli, and a romantic ambiance. Somehow, a few architects have managed to do just that by transforming an oversized hole into one of the most beautiful restaurants on Earth.
Say “buongiorno” to the Summer Cave, an Italian restaurant nestled in a cave that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Unlike just about every other restaurant that you go to, this one was built entirely by mother nature. Over millions of years, rain water and sea mist ate away at the limestone in the rock to leave a small but cozy cavern big enough to host a house party.
In fact, that’s exactly what it’s been used it for. For centuries, Italian nobility haS been hosting parties, shin-digs, and bacchanalias in this dimly lit Victorian Era night club. Luckily for you, you don’t have to have a fancy title and an Italian coat of arms in order to hang out in this cave, because the whole area has been transformed into a seaside restaurant that will make the fanciest New York hotels green with envy.
The crisp, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea offer the perfect atmosphere for you and your significant other. If you want to reserve a table, you’d better act fast. This ultra-exclusive restaurant is only open during the summer months. The hoops you have to jump through to gain access to this gorgeous seaside restaurant should be well worth the reward.
When you’re not chowing down on what would invariably be ludicrously overpriced meals, you can catch some R&R in the adjoining hotel, the Grotta Palazzese (which, according to Google Translate, means “Palazzese Cave”).
You know, I once visited Luray Caverns in Virginia and saw a wedding ceremony taking place amidst the soft glow of the stalagmites. I thought it was a bit odd to get hitched in a cave, but after checking out this place I can definitely see the appeal. I can’t think of a more beautiful environment to have a natural wedding.
Everything about the hotel, from the white buildings to the unique brickwork architecture, invokes the classic Mediterranean style that’s so adored the world over. All you’d have to do is turn your bed sheet into a toga, and you’d be living like Augustus Caesar, himself.
I can definitely understand why the owners wanted to transform this location into a five-star hotel and restaurant, but I almost wish that they’d gone down a slightly more accessible route. Don’t get me wrong — the Summer Cave is certainly beautiful and all, I just think that it would be greatly improved by a diving board and a swinging rope. I’ll take a high-speed, adrenaline-filled dive into the Mediterranean Sea over $50 crab cake appetizers any day of the week.