4290 - Marina Grotto, Italy

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Marina Klemente first came to the island of Filicudi as a carefree tourist enjoying a holiday. Whilst there, she met a remarkable man who had made himself a home in a grotto, and Marina decided that she wanted to do the same. She managed to buy an old cave high up on a hill overlooking the main port and a promontory called Capo Graziano, and with the help of a few friends, began to dig herself a home. She never went back to her native Naples. Over a dozen years later, she is still firmly settled here, making decorative lamps from painted driftwood which she sells. Her remarkably comfortable grotto, roughly hewn from the bare rock and limewashed, consists of a bedroom, lounge with skylight, kitchen and bathroom, and is surrounded by outdoor terraces on various levels boasting outstanding views, especially from a from the hammock tied between two olive trees trunk. A mattress and cushions form a seating area, opposite a copper fireplace with a millstone as hearth, and the low wooden table is used for reading as well as eating on. The grotto is wired for electricity, but water has to be collected from rainfall in the winter and stored in a cistern. A stunningly unique yet amazingly cosy home! Writer Adam Butler

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