For our anniversary, we decided to dine at Grotta Palazzese restaurant.  It frequently shows up in my Facebook feed and is listed as one of World’s Most Beautiful places.  The restaurant is located six driving hours away from Sicily in a town called Polignano a Mare, so we decided to spend the night there.

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The restaurant has a hotel in the upper floor and we reserved a room.  It was August and the Italian humidity was at full force.  The hotel met Italian standards and the window in our room had a wonderful view of the ocean.  It was scenic, just like the restaurant itself.  The only downfall was that the a/c was controlled by the front desk and they seemed to turn it off at night.  Did I mention it was August?

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The restaurant is in a cave and its stunning views do not disappoint.  It has been the most romantic restaurant we’ve dined in.  Ever.  The dramatic view of the Adriatic sea is something I’m glad I experienced in my lifetime.  I had stuffed zucchini flowers and grilled lamb.  Although the price tag on the food is on the high side, it is worth every euro.  The food is delicious and you are also paying for the experience.  None of the pictures we took gave the restaurant any justice.  Simply elegant.

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Polignano a Mare is a town in the province of Bari.  It is the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, the original singer of “Nel blu dipinto di blu” (also known as Volare).  There is a nice statue of him in front of the beach and all I kept singing the song all weekend long.

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Another town in Bari is called Alberobello.  This is an interesting town.  It is known for the unique Trulli buildings that are spread all around.  They are pinecone shaped huts and they were built by farmers.  Some say the roofs are pinecone shaped because they were easy to dismantle to avoid paying high taxes on them.

 

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After shopping and sightseeing in Alberobello, we headed back home.  But we had one more stop ahead of us.  About an hour away, we stopped at Matera.  It is an ancient town and wonderfully crafted out of stones.  Hence the name of the center, Sassi, which means “stones.”  Some scenes from the movie “The Passion of the Christ” were filmed here since it resembles biblical times.  The town itself deserves an entire day to walk, explore, eat and shop.

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