Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) is a noted sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri, Italy.

The grotto has a partially submerged opening into the sea, as do other grottoes around the island. Roman emperors with villas on Capri reportedly used the Blue Grotto as a private bath. Legend has it that the grotto was popularized by the Polish-German poet August Kopisch after a local fisherman showed him the site in 1826. In modern times, it has become a tourist attraction, with visitors rowed inside to see it.

Depending upon the tide and the size of the swells pounding the entrance to the grotto, the guides will ask passengers to lie down while they pull the boat into the grotto with a chain permanently attached to the cave entrance. The guides are also known for demonstrating the grotto's natural echo with energetic bits of song throughout the tour.

Inside the grotto the sea seems to be lit from underwater. It is a magnificent blue colour, hence its name. This is due to another opening to the grotto, completely submerged, and the limestone bottom. It allows in sunlight to light the water from below. The underground passages leading to the grotto are partially sealed and supposedly once were connected to catacombs of Roman tombs.


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