Daniela Soto-Innes’ Favorite Place to Take a Dip

The chef on her packing essentials, an Italian cave hotel, and the best swimming spot in the world.



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Highly subjective takes on life’s most interesting experiences.

What do you always take with you on an adventure?

When I go on adventures around the world I always take a wine key with me. I am always in search of amazing wines and picnic areas. I can never forget my sunblock, EltaMD UV, to keep me young, along with my La Prairie cream travel set. Hiking boots are also a must on every adventure I go; you never know what the next mountain you will hike is. My mother always told me that no matter which country or part of the world you are in, always bring a swimsuit. I always end up using it.

What’s the best swimming spot you’ve ever been to?

I took a one-month road trip all over Italy, and ended up going to the coolest spots. But what really took my breath away were the thermal baths in Saturnia, the Terme di Saturnia. Everyone there was so happy, and the water was so warm, and the weather was so cold that it was just the perfect combination. I felt extremely relaxed for the rest of my trip after going there.

What hotel was your ultimate escape?

In my profession, we are very lucky to be traveling year-round to incredible places, but one hotel in particular was a really cool experience this year. About two weeks after visiting the Terme di Saturnia, I arrived in Matera, Italy, and stayed at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, located in Matera’s Sassi quarters, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rooms are so beautiful — inside caves — and the antique furniture makes it even more special. The panoramic terrace overlooks Alta Murgia National Park.

Header image: Illustration by Lisa Lok, Source Photography by Andrea Comi / Moment via Getty Images



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Daniela Soto-Innes Writer

Daniela Soto-Innes has always been surrounded by strong women who love cooking. She previously helmed Cosme and Atla in New York City, where she garnered praise and accolades such as Best Female Chef from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Since leaving New York, Soto-Innes has continued to be an internationally acclaimed industry leader, focusing on independent projects that showcase her culture and heritage through food.


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