The Blue Grotto is one of several sea caves, worldwide, that is flooded with a brilliant blue or emerald light. The quality and nature of the color in each cave is determined by the unique lighting conditions in that particular cave.
In the case of the Blue Grotto, the light comes from two sources. One is a small hole in the cave wall, precisely at the waterline, that is perhaps a meter and half in diameter. This hole is barely large enough to admit a tiny rowboat, and is used as the entranceway. In photographs taken from within the cave, the above-water half of this hole appears as a spot of brilliant white light. The second source of light is a second hole, with a surface area about ten times as large as the first, which lies directly below the entranceway, separated from it by a bar of rock between one and two meters thick. Much less light, per square meter, is able to enter through the lower opening, but its large size ensures that it is, in practice, the primary source of light.
In part because of the dazzling effect of the light from the above-water opening, it is impossible for a visitor who is in one of the row-boats to identify the shape of the larger hole, the outline of the bar that separates the two holes, or even the nature of the light-source, other than a general awareness that the light is coming up from underneath, and that the water in the cave is more light-filled than the air. A visitor who places a hand in the water can see it “glow” earily in this light.
Blue Grotto 51 Km from Maiori (only by boat)
Information office Capri: Piazza Umberto I – Tel. +39 081 8370686
Marina Grande: Banchina del Porto – Tel. +39 081 8370634
Anacapri: Via G. Orlandi, 59 – Tel. +39 081 8371524
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