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Virtual Italy Tour of Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto – Grotto Azzure in Italian – is a must see for any visitor to the island of Capri. This natural wonder is only accessible by boat.

It has a long history of beauty and mystery documented as far back to when Capri was ruled by the Emperor Tiberius in 26 AD and the Blue Grotto was used as a marine shrine to nymphs (nymphaeum).

For centuries after Tiberius’ time, island inhabitants feared the grotto, believing it inhabited by Nereidi (sea nymphs) and bewitched by sirens and demons.

This all changed in the mid 1800’s, when guided by a local fisherman, Angelo Ferraro, a German scholar, August Kopisch and a German painter, Ernst Fries went swimming in the then feared Blue Grotto. They spread the word about the otherworldly blue water inside the sea cave. Describing it in a book, The Discovery of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri, to look “like the light of a blue flame” and swimming as feeling like floating in an “unfathomable blue sky”, and the visitors soon flocked to see the natural spectacle.

The cave has a very low entrance, but then the rock structure opens to roughly 25 meters wide. Sunlight passes through an underwater cavity and shines through the seawater, the light is filtered by the water which absorbs the red tones, leaving only the blue ones, to create an extraordinary blue reflection that illuminates the entire cave.
There is a second phenomenon that creates a silver appearance to objects immersed in the water.

The best time to visit the Blue Grotto is between 12.00 and 14.00 on a calm, sunny day, when the interiors of the cave are the bluest.


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