Emerald Grotto: between Amalfi and Conca dei Marini for a Magnificent Spectacle

The bay of Conca dei Marini is a very characteristic area because it is home to a series of small white houses and a very particular and suggestive port.

While the area was once the economic hub, thanks to the rich fishing activity and the presence of a tuna fishery, today the place attracts many tourists and sea lovers.

It is precisely in this area, for example, that the famous Emerald Grotto (Grotta dello Smeraldo) is found, stormed every year by the many tourists visiting Amalfi and its surroundings.

There are several ancient texts speculating the presence of a cave with these features in the area, but no more precise information circulated in the early 20th century and every rumour took on the connotations of hearsay or legend.

The discovery of the Emerald Grotto

Emerald Grotto: between Amalfi and Conca dei Marini for a Magnificent Spectacle

The existence of the cave was unknown until 1932, when a fisherman discovered it by chance.

The life of the fisherman, named Luigi Buonocore, changed completely, to such an extent that from the moment of discovery until his death, the man was labelled the ‘discoverer of the cave’ (legend has it that Mr Luigi was recognised in the street, to the point of becoming a ‘living myth’).

The merit of this fisherman is truly enormous, since he brought a marvellous space to everyone’s attention for tourist purposes, but also for scientific ones. The cave is in fact a magical realm, in which light takes on wonderful, fairytale-like connotations. When the sea is calm and the sun is high, the cave appears truly magical thanks to the reflections that the light is able to generate.

Grotta dello Smeraldo: a spectacle between Amalfi and Conca dei Marini

Has curiosity grown in you?

Has it occurred to you that you have already seen a cave with these features in the TV drama Capri and want to admire it with your own eyes?

It is possible to visit the cave by accessing it from a state road, the 163, equipped with a lift and staircase, the entrance is located about 3 kilometres from the town of Praiano. The alternative is to pass directly by the sea. Certainly more suggestive, the second option is the favourite of many. In this case, it is a raft that allows entry into the cave. There are numerous tour operators offering excursion services to this cave and other areas in the area.

Apart from the crystal-clear water, one cannot fail to be impressed by the cave walls. In fact, the rock has been ‘worked’ by the passing of time, the sea, and the air, and the result is a kind of low relief, but also stalagmites and stalactites that cannot fail to amaze.

The cave’s conformation suggests that in the past the cave was located in a dry area, and therefore it is possible that the water level in this area over time has been strongly influenced by the tides and the relative tides.

Today it is possible to describe the cave as a dome about 30 metres wide, 60 metres long and 24 metres high.

Attention around this cave is high, so much so that in 1956 an underwater nativity scene was set up inside the cave, and even in the years that followed, a group of divers not infrequently placed votive symbols inside the cave itself.

One last curiosity. If you are wondering why the cave has this name, you should know that it derives from the emerald colour that the water reflects throughout the area, also thanks to an underwater fissure from which sunlight escapes.

How to get to the Emerald Grotto

It is not difficult to reach the Emerald Grotto: just proceed along State Road 163 in the direction of Positano. At 3 km from Praiano, the lift to access the cave is visible from the road.

The biggest problem, in fact, is the difficulty of finding parking along the road.

Near the lift there is a small forecourt, enough for four or five cars at most: you will have already understood that venturing out in high season seriously risks compromising the success of the visit.

For this reason, we advise you to reach the Grotto with the Sita Sud services from Amalfi: just take the bus to Sorrento that stops right in front of the lift that descends into the grotto.

Alternatively, you can turn to the many companies that offer service by sea from Amalfi to the Emerald Grotto. In this case, you can also take advantage of the ferry to Conca dei Marini, another charming village on the coast.

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