The Conca dei Marini Bay houses one of the most spectacular sights of Amalfi, loved by all tourists: La Grotta dello Smeraldo, or the Emerald Grotto. This marine grotto, reachable by small boat from the water, was discovered in 1932 by a fisherman, and its name derives from the beautiful color of the water that reflects the light that enters the grotto through the opening in the rocks. The cavity of the cave, or grotto, is about 30 meters by 60 meters and its highest points are about 24 meters. Experts have shown that this ancient geological structure was actually once completely dry and only due to seismic movements did water get the chance to invade it.
Tourists can visit the grotto by renting a small boat conducted by a fisherman; the “tour” lasts about 30 minutes, though you will be able to view some fantastic geologic splendors. The stalactites and stalagmites within the cave are quite beautiful and many have actually been named, due to their resemblance to common items or even to people; you’ll find Garibaldi, a famous Italian general (which American tourists have dubbed George Washington and the French, Napoleon), mermaids and other fantastic creatures. Particularly interesting is the ceramic “Underwater Nativity”, placed in the grotto in 1956.
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