Blue Grotto Facts
- The Blue Grotto constitutes an incredibly picturesque naturally occurring sea cave. The cave formed on the island of Capri, in southern Italy, in Europe.
- It remains famous for the unique, naturally occurring blue lighting within the cave. The grotto stays lit by a unique combination of lighting from two separate sources.
- The Blue Grotto also extends a distance of roughly 177 ft (54 m) into the cliff. The depth of the cavern measures about 492 ft (150 m).
- The gorgeous cavern has a small entrance, measuring around 5 ft (1.5 m) in width, at the waterline. Yet despite this, the Blue Grotto forms one of the leading tourist attractions on the island.
Blue Grotto Lighting Effects
The Blue Grotto has an illumination consisting of an ethereal brilliant blue lighting. This startling effect occurs due to dual sources. The first comes from the small entrance at the waterline, yet the primary source of lighting actually consists of the second source.
This is the second hole, directly below the first, and the two remain separated by a bar of rock, around 6 ft (2 m) thick. The second hole also measures nearly 10 times the size of the upper entrance.
Thus the cave actually receives its primary lighting from below the waterline. Another quirk of geology also exists in the cavern involving the lighting effects.
It is impossible for a visitor to discern the shape of the underwater hole, the outline of the stone bar, or even the nature of the lighting source.
Blue Grotto Historical Relevance
The Blue Grotto became a popular tourist spot in modern times, especially since the 1830s. However, evidence indicates that men knew of it as far back as the Roman Age.
Before their removal, sculptures from the pantheon of Roman deities originally existed in the grotto. Experts also believe that more such statues remain at the bottom of the cave.
The Roman Emperor Tiberius also (according to legend) frequented the site after he retired to Capri. Research uncovered the remains of an ancient man-made landing from that era.
Local inhabitants knew of the grotto but largely avoided it after the end of the Roman Era. In ancient times, this was primarily due to the belief that the Blue Grotto was inhabited by witches and various supernatural creatures.