If you are in Sorrento, it is a must to take the hydrofoil over to the island of Capri, which is pronounced with the stress on the Ca, NOT on the “pri”: hence pronunciation CAH’ pree not cah-PREE’ which many people mistaken.
There are hydrofoils which make the excursion every day and you can buy a round-trip ticket for 17 euros from the Marina Grande port.
It is a rather long boat ride to the Grotta Azzurra which is at least halfway around the isle of Capri, but it is a beautiful ride where you can sit outdoors, get a nice tan and a great view of the island.
Capri is a large sandstone and limestone rock. The origins of the name Capri are unclear. There are at least two possibilities. One might be traced to the Ancient Greek word Kapros meaning “wild boar”. The Greeks were the first people recorded to populate the island and fossils of wild boars have been discovered. However, the name may also derive from the Latin capreae (goats), as the Romans called it “goat island”.
On your way to the Blue Grotto you will also pass and come close to what the Italians call Faraglioni or sea stacks which are rock formations formed by erosion from ocean waves. There are a series of three of them. You can see them in these two photos, and it is said that if you pass through the archway of the second one with someone you love, you must exchange a kiss!
As your tour boat approaches the Blue Grotto, the crew will assist those who wish to pay extra euro to see it, to transfer into smaller boats with canvas tops. These are the waiting boats. From there they will take you two at a time into the rowboats which will ultimately wait in line, sometimes in summer up to 1 ½ hours to get in the entrance.
It had been many years since I had seen the Blue Grotto (in Italian Grotta Azzurra), a sea cave on the coast of Capri.
The sunlight which passes through a cavity beneath the water shines through the seawater and creates a bright blue refection which lights up the cave. You have never seen such a blue!! The color blue is most intense between the hours of 12 noon and 2PM. The small hole where the light comes from is hardly large enough to allow a tiny rowboat to go through it, so since there are only two people at a time in the rowboat, the rower will tell you to lay down so your head won’t get bumped at the entrance while he gives a strong push with his arms from the top of the hole which hoists the boat inside.
Then you can sit up an enjoy the rowers who will usually sing a Neopolitan song. If you put your hand in the water there, you can see it “glow”. You will never see bluer water in your life, so enjoy it because they keep you inside only about 5 minutes due to the masses of people lined up. No one is allowed to swim in the Grotto although I must admit years ago I saw people who were good swimmers take a dip.
I hope you have enjoyed our last two trips down the Sorrentine peninsula. I appreciate any comments especially if you have been to either the Amalfi Coast or Capri and the Blue Grotto. Many of these views remind me of the beauty of the works of the Thasc artists to which we will return next week.
Have a wonderful Tuesday and Happy Birthday, Joe!
See you Thursday.