In 2007, businessman Angelo Mastropietro was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and had a bad lapse. During that time, he thought deeply about what he wanted out of life, and realized he was not living the healthiest lifestyle mentally nor physically.
“I wanted to be in a place where I had a happier and healthier life,” Mastropietro said.
One such happy memory was all the back in 1999, when Mastropietro was riding a bike through his native Worcestershire. The rain was coming down heavily, and he took refuge in a nearby cave.
The 700-year-old cave had at some point, about 300 years in, been turned into a sort of home, with four “rooms” hollowed out and could be used for various purposes.
In 2010, Mastropietro decided to buy this property, and renovate it into his dream home.
After 1,000 hours of labor, Mastropietro had excavated nearly 80 tons of rock, built in ventilation and plumbing. Now he’s the proud owner of what he’s named the “Rockhouse Retreat.”
The difference is like night and day, and from the inside, you could hardly guess you were inside a cave. In fact, the bedroom here is lit largely by natural light, because Mastropietro took tools to the exterior of the structure, carving out lots of doors and windows, and creating a large porch.
He proudly calls it a cave, and though he built it as somewhat of a vacation home, has dreams of living there one day.
Mastropietro went all out to make it feel both rustic and luxurious, by respecting the structure of the original caves, and adding homey finishes like lighting that mimics natural light where there is none, a big shower, and even a fireplace.
It even has Wi-Fi and heated floors.
“Coincidentally my surname actually means Master of the Stones, so you know maybe it’s in my blood,” Mastropietro said.
He currently rents out the space as a romantic getaway, and it’s even available on Airbnb. In addition to the cozy and unique interiors, the location is covered in lush green and has wonderful views of the nearby forest.
““I think when you’re actually here and you see it in person, you get a feel for the place. You know people have literally been in tears. So I feel incredibly happy,” he said.
The cave is located 50 feet up high into some sandstone cliffs that were said to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
“It’s been a very inspiring chapter, I think,” he said.