What is it?
One of Amalfi Coast’s most popular tourist destinations is the Emerald Grotto. It was named “Emerald” for the incredible colors that filter from an underground opening and fill the cave with intense nuances of green. The inside of the cavern is filled with stalagmites, stalactites created by time and nature. The Emerald Grotto is the jewel of the Amalfi Coast, a high honour granted to a region already famous for its spectacular beauty.
The Emerald Grotto (also called Grotta di Smeraldo) is located in Concai dei Marini, a lovely bay about five kilometres (or 3 miles) west of Amalfi. It was once a dry grotto, but earthquakes (both on land and on the ocean floor) and the shifting of the currents led to its invasion by sea. It was hidden for centuries until its discovery in 1932, and has since become one of the most famous caves of Italy.
The cavern itself has an area of about 30 x 60 metres. At its highest point its ceiling riches as high as 24 metres. From these heights hang numerous stalactites but the most unusual rock formations are the stalagmites, which seem to emerge from the sea, twisting upwards towards the ceiling. Some are over 10 metres high, and are so wide that it is impossible to encircle them with your arms. Beneath the water, covered by about four metres of water, is the original ceramic bed.
One of the difficulties of travelling to the Emerald Grotto is the need to secure additional transportation. You will also need to pray for good weather as on a stormy day it almost impossible for the small boats to approach the mouth of the caverns without the risk of being slammed against the rocks. But on a clear and calm day, the boat ride itself is an experience, especially when you look back and see the view of the Amalfi coastline from the unique perspective from the sea.
Location: Conca dei Marini, near Amalfi
Nearby sights: Lido Capo di Conca, La Conca Azzurra, Emerald Grotto (Grotta di Smeraldo)
Nearby hotels: Hotel Belvedere, Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Hotel La Conca Azzurra