The Emerald Grotto, a hidden gem of Amalfi Coast

There is a place, not far from Amalfi, where the water has the colour of turquoise and emerald.

It’s the Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto), less known than the famous Blue Grotto of Capri, a gem of nature located in Conca dei Marini, in the Amalfi Coast. The cave was discovered only in 1932 by a fisherman, and ages ago it was above sea level and then it was submerged only in recent times due to the bradyseism. Contrary to the Blue Grotto of Capri, the Emerald Grotto has its opening below the water level, which makes it extremely difficult to identify such an entrance, that only local expert boatmen can access. Since its discovery in fact the cave began to attract thousands of visitors, which can reach it only by boat.

After passing the featureless entrance, the cave becomes suddenly a fantastic green temple, about 25 meters high, full of stalagmites and stalactites that due to the effect of time and the dripping water have joined together forming columns more than 10 meters high, and with suggestive shapes. In 1956 an underwater nativity scene in ceramics of Vietri sul Mare has been set up inside the cave, and every year, on December 24 and January 6, groups of divers lay wreaths under the statue of Jesus. In the last decade a series of events, entitled "The Magic of the Emerald Grotto", take place on the square in front of the elevator from which the boat tours start, and that includes food tastings and music and theater performances.

The visit to the cave takes about 10 minutes, a time still good enough to be enchanted by the beauty of one of the hidden treasures of the Sorrento peninsula.


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