The legend of the Blue Grotto in Capri

The legend of the Blue Grotto in Capri The legend of the Blue Grotto in Capri

Tourist information

17 Mar 2023

If you are visiting Capri there are many beauties that you will be able to observe.

Certainly you cannot miss the view of the enchanting Blue Grotto in Capri and learn about its fascinating legend.

Capri and its beauties

Capri is an Italian island located in the Gulf of Naples and famous for its natural beauty: its beaches, its breathtaking views and its thousand-year history. Some of the most important places of interest not to be missed during a visit to Capri are:

  • The famous Piazzetta: the fashionable heart of Capri, the ideal place to take a walk and admire the panoramic views of the island. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars where you can often meet actors, footballers, singers and other VIPs.
  • Monte Solaro: with its 589 meters above sea level it is the highest peak of Capri from which you can admire the whole island of Capri, Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrento Peninsula and in the distance the mountains of Calabria, the Apennines and the Amalfi Coast.
  • The Gardens of Augustus: these gardens, also known as Krupp's gardens, offer a spectacular view of the bay of Marina Piccola and are a real botanical garden with various specimens of the island's flora.
  • The Blue Grotto: it is one of the most iconic places on Capri and offers a unique experience thanks to its crystalline blue sea.
  • Villa San Michele: the villa was built by Axel Munthe, a Swedish doctor who lived on the island. The villa enjoys a panoramic view of the Marina Grande bay and also includes a botanical garden.
  • The Certosa di San Giacomo: this is a 17th century monastery located on top of a hill. It now houses the Capri Museum and contains works of art and ancient manuscripts.
  • The Faraglioni: one of the symbols of Capri, they are three large rocks that emerge from the sea. They can be admired from the coast or by boat. The closest to the mainland is known as Saetta, the one in the middle Stella and the outermost Scopolo
  • Marina Piccola beach: This beach is located on the southern coast of Capri and is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming.
  • Anacapri: This is a town on the top of the island and is famous for the Church of San Michele, which has a majolica floor with a design depicting the last judgement.

The Blue Grotto of Capri and its legend

The Blue Grotto of Capri is a natural cavity approximately 60 meters long and 25 meters wide.

The entrance is two meters wide and only one meter high.

To access it you will need to get on a small rowing boat. The sailor will make you lie down to enter the cave and will enter by giving yourself the impetus with a chain attached to the rock. At first it will be dark, then suddenly transparent blue reflections will appear while the echo of Neapolitan songs will reverberate between the stone walls.

The excursion to the Blue Grotto is ideal especially in the summer and is an experience to try at least once in a lifetime.

The legend of the Blue Grotto

The legend of the Blue Grotto of Capri tells of an ancient spell that would have created a place of great beauty and mystery. According to legend, the cave was once known by the name of "Gradola" and was abandoned and feared by sailors because it was said to be haunted by spirits and demons.

In Roman times, the emperor Tiberius fell in love with it and used it as a marine nymphaeum. Legend has it that he had built a secret passage in order to reach the cave directly from an adjacent villa. Inside the cave there were numerous Roman statues representing marine creatures including that of Neptune and Triton.

The cave remained inaccessible for many centuries, until it was rediscovered in the 19th century by two adventurers: the writer August Kopisch and the painter Ernst Fries. The two were so fascinated by it that they praised its beauty everywhere. Since then, the cave has become a popular tourist attraction and is known worldwide for its magnificent blue color, which is created when sunlight reflects off the crystal clear water inside the cave.

How to get to the Blue Grotto

There are several options to reach the Blue Grotto of Capri:

  • By boat: the Blue Grotto is located on the northwest coast of the island and can be reached by boat. There are several options for boat excursions, including organized boat tours or private boat rentals. Organized boats usually depart from Capri's Marina Grande and include a stop at the grotto.
  • By bus: it is possible to take a bus from Capri or Anacapri which takes you to the Blue Grotto. The bus goes up to the road that leads to the cave and from there it is possible to walk or take a boat to access the cave itself.
  • On foot: it is possible to reach the Blue Grotto on foot from Anacapri. The route is approximately 3.5 kilometers long and is quite steep. However, the trail offers panoramic views of the coast and the island and can be a pleasant experience for those who enjoy walking.

When is the Blue Grotto open?

The Blue Grotto of Capri is not always open. Access to the Blue Grotto depends on weather and sea conditions. In the event of rough seas or strong winds, access to the cave may be restricted or prohibited for safety reasons.

In general, the Blue Grotto is open to the public from April to October, but the opening and closing dates may vary depending on sea conditions and the season.

If you intend to visit the Blue Grotto, I recommend that you contact the Capri tourist information service to check the opening hours and access conditions. Alternatively, you can ask your accommodation or tour operator for information on guided tours of the cave and sea conditions.