Date: Tuesday, August 5, 1958
Place: Isle of Capri – Sorrento
Weather: No change
Left at 10:10 for our all day trip to Capri. The boat-crossing to the Island made me awfully glad I’m flying home August 18th. I really felt sick but the worst was yet to come! When we got off the big boat we joined the throng of pushy tourists for the mad scramble to cris-craft sized boats. The waves were really huge and we rocked around so much I was sure I was going to be sick. Almost everyone in our boat was sacked out! When we got to the Blue Grotto we tossed up and down in these boats for an hour and a half just waiting for row-boats to take us into the Grotto. The water in there looked like it was illuminated! The only thing I enjoyed about the whole deal was the scenery and the water which was almost a navy blue shade. For lunch, first course we had huge bowls of spaghetti and I’m really getting to be an expert at eating it. (Had it again for supper)
Nine of us decided to skip the tour and go swimming. John just about had a bird and said I shouldn’t go! The beach was really stony, the water salty, and I got sun-burned. I was kind of disappointed in Capri though it certainly is a tourist trap! After supper, Sue, Judy S., and I went into town. The shops just looked junky so for a change I didn’t buy anything.
The Blue Grotto, known as the Grotta Azzurra in Italian, is a sea cave located on the coast of the Isle of Capri. Area residents avoided it because legend had it that it was inhabited by demons and monsters. The cave has an entrance that is less than a meter high and visitors must lay down in rowboats in order to fit through the opening.
The water within the cave has a spectacular illuminated quality. Sunlight enters through an underwater opening located directly below the cave’s entrance and when shining through the water, it creates a bright blue glow. Light entering the cave through the above-water entrance adds to the effect.
The grotto was used as a swimming hole by Emperor Tiberius during Roman times. He decorated the cave with statues of sea gods, a few of which were recovered in 1964. The grotto was rediscovered in 1826 by poet August Kopisch and he described its beauty in his book Entdeckung der blauen Grotte auf der Insel Capri. Soon after, the cave became a popular tourist destination.