Madeira, Portugal – Out of all the stops I made while in Portugal, Madeira was the one I was surprised by the most. I knew it was an island, but had no idea how much it would feel more like a tropical island somewhere in the Caribbean than southern Europe. Its capital Funchal is quite cosmopolitan for island standards yet take a drive about 30 minutes to the north and you will find yourself in the middle of a UNESCO-protected laurel forest.
<p>In the town of Polignano a Mare in southern Italy (province of Bari, Apulia), lies a most unique dining experience at the Grotta Palazzese. Open only during the summer months, a restaurant is created inside a vaulted limestone cave, looking outwards toward the sea. The restaurant is part of the Grotta Palazzese hotel located above. […]</p>