The Emerald Grotto, also known as the ‘temple of the sea’, is a cave located along the charming stretch of the Amalfi Coast and more precisely in the bay of Conca dei Marini just a few kilometers from the town of Amalfi.
The well-known natural beauty of the Grotto, was discovered by a native fisherman called Luigi Buonocore – also known as ‘ the discoverer of the grotto’ by local people – dating back to 1932. The Grotto owes its name to the peculiar color of the sea water which reflects an extraordinary play of light filtered by the rocky walls of the coast… reaching the open sea and creating chromatic effects with amazing shades: from cobalt, crystalline blue to emerald green.
Originally, the Grotto did not collect the water of the sea, but solely limestone stalactites and stalagmites that with their particular shapes form columns about 10 meters high and real works of art. Some of the limestone formations found into the grotto recall strange similarities result of the popular imagination with extravagant names: ‘Garibaldi’s head’, ‘Venetian shawl’ or ‘organ reeds’.
There is a great number of ancient stories about the hypothetical presence of the Grotto and still many are the legends about this picturesque piece of land, just like the myth of the Janare. According to popular tradition, the Janare were witches who inhabited the area, dressed with long nightshirts, waiting for the fishermen’s boats to come back to charm them with the sound of their songs. Here, all this area and the Emerald Grotto looks like an enchanted place!
The popular beliefs of the ‘temple of the sea’ are also combined with the local religious tradition. In fact, its waters also hide a fascinating underwater nativity scene, with tiny figures made of Vietri ceramic and located at about 4 meters deep. Every year, during the Christmas season, some divers leave the figure of the Child Jesus on the bottom of the grotto.
If you want to admire with your own eyes the hidden jewel of our sea, you just have to set off to discover unknown horizons #alongthecoast with us!