Capri Grotta Azzurra
Tiberius' water-filled nymphaeum, Capri's Blue Grotto.
A magic no word or image could ever describe. It is a 60-metre-long, 25-metre-wide cavity; to get into it, you need to take one of the small rowing boats moored outside the cave; since the opening is very narrow, you will have to lie on the bottom of the boat to get into the grotto (in case the sea grows rough, boat service is suspended).
There is actually a bigger but completely submerged opening; this very underwater entrance allows the blue coloration of the water inside the grotto, due to a phenomenon of sunlight reflection. There is an almost surreal view in the inside, the transparency and the blue colour of the water give us the impression of navigating through a clear sky, and the boats seem to float on a fantastic universe.
The Blue Grotto has been known since the Roman times, and Emperor Tiberius chose it as his own personal nymphaeum (Roman monumental fountain, translator's note) (the statues of pagan gods found on the bottom of the cave date back to the Roman times), later on almost nothing was known of the grotto, also because the fishermen of the island believed it to be haunted by evil spirits.
It was rediscovered and made popular as late as April 18th 1826 by the German painter August Kopisch and his friend Ernst Fries with the help of Angelo Ferraro, a fisherman; since then, the grotto has been visited by millions of tourists from anywhere in the world.
Tours of the cave are always possible due to the special light conditions, but under optimum conditions such as special water transparency, a clear sky and a diffused sunlight you get a particularly intense blue. If the boatman will not sing for you, do sing a melodious song yourself and you will be surprised at the marvellous acoustics of the grotto.
Unfortunately, bathing is forbidden, but you will not find it hard to imagine a unique experience such as a bath in these waters as those of Emperor Tiberius, you will just have to lean out of the boat and dip your hand into the sea to feel its enchantment take your hand and your mind. There are many tales and legends about this cave, when you see it, you will believe the unbelievable and become part of the legend yourself.
How to arrive:
- 10 minute motorboat ride from Marina Grande.
- 15 minute bus ride to terminus in Viale T. de Tommaso 50 m. from Piazza Vittoria.
- 50 minute walk along Viale T. de Tommaso, Via Pagliaro and Via G. Azzurra (3.5 km.).
- 35 minute walk through the centre of Anacapri, Via Vigna, Via Veterino and up a quite steep path.
Sites of interest
- Marina Piccola
- Marina Grande
- Historic center of Anacapri
- Villa Jovis
- Augustus Gardens - Via Krupp
- Charterhouse of St. Giacomo
- Tour of the island
- Grotta Azzurra
- Mount Solaro
- Villa San Michele
- Towers and Forts
- Punta Carena
- Villa Damecuta
- Beyond the Island of Capri