AMALFI - Azienda di Soggiorno e Turismo
Blue route»
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: easy
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Piazza Flavio Gioia » Molo Pennello » Duoglio Beach » S. Croce Beach / natural rocks Arc » Spiaggia della Marinella » Capo di Vettica » rada di Conca dei Marini » Capo di Conca » Grotta dello Smeraldo

We make our way to the Pennello quay, where the boats that provide the service to the Emerald Grotto and to the beaches are waiting. To rent a private boat you can also head for the port in via lungomare dei Cavalieri, or ask for the telephone numbers of private boat rental at the Tourist Office….

Once aboard the boat , we leave the quay, and follow the coast line to enjoy the enchanting and rocky coast at its best…

It is easy to pick out via Maestra dei Villaggi with its many branches and then one after another the pretty villages: right above Amalfi is the village of Pogerola followed by the village of Pastena which is over-looked by the Church of St. Maria Assunta; then comes Lone, part of which is grouped around the Church “della Natività di Maria” and the other part that spills down the mountains to the magnificent Duoglio Beach; on the western side, the sparse houses of Vettica Minore, surrounded by a greenery that reaches down to the crystal waters of St. Croce, and behind Conca dei Marini, the bell-tower of St. Pancrazio, the houses that cascade down to the sea and the striking promontory of the Capo dei Conca… (Pale blue route)
The coast seems to be divided into longitudinal segments, nearly all the parishes along the coast have an area down by the sea and a higher part hidden amongst the terraces of lemons and grape vines, and precipitous groups of olive trees…We go ahead with our excursion…

Behind the port we see the pretty beach of the Sirens and the adjoining Grotto of St. Andrew, which tradition gives as a hiding place of a mysterious sea ox. The mythical creature was said to eat only onions that he robbed from the country people at night, but he has not been heard of since when on one of his raids he was frightened by the shots of a blunderbuss…

As we travel on we note the private bathing facilities of the exclusive Hotels of Amalfi and magnificent private villas: that pass in a rapid succession until we reach the promontory of the Pine, the “Old Ladies Paunch” as the local fishermen call this rocky protuberance under the Pine…..

We now come to the beautiful Duoglio Beach

Duoglio Beach

and separated from it by the rocks St. Croce Beach, named after the ancient church that was once situated in the large cavity on the western side of the “Grotto”…

S. Croce Beach

The beach of St. Croce is particularly famous for the transparency of its sea but even more so for the magnificent Natural Arch that we find as we head west.. This bizarre natural sculpture in the sixties was the scene of a publicity campaign for a famous brand of chocolates, which was the origin of the name “The Lovers Arch”, and the tradition that to kiss under the arch seals an unbreakable bond made by the couples who pass under it…

It is almost impossible to resist the temptation of a swim in this emerald water but we must carry on, the enchanting little beach of La Marinella Beach is waiting and also the Promontory of Vettica…

Riding the promontory we find another guard tower, the fifteenth century Tower of Vettica, and deep in a luxuriant park, Villa Ponti. The entire rocky spur at one time was property of Carlo Ponti, the famous film producer, and the annexed tower was his engagement present to his beautiful wife Sophia Loren…
The film “Whi?” by Roman Polansky was set in this house and it was also filmed there , but it would take to long to cite all the films and famous personalities especially as we round the promontory and arrive in the sea road of Conca dei Marini…

Borgo Marinaro

In an epoch not so long ago the best of the International jet-set loved to spend their Summer holiday on these beaches. Their private villas were here- but many have now passed into other hands- those of the Agnelli, the Moet et Chandon, the Ruffo and D’Urso…They had as their guests, artists, writers, politicians, famous film directors who came to spend their days in complete relax; the old fishermen still talk about the sea trips of the famous First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Princess Margaret of England, who in the sixties was a frequent visitor to Conca dei Marini…

The eastern part of the bay is dominated by the imposing Hotel Saraceno, at the end of the sixties famous for its night-club where one could hear the pop singer Peppino Di Capri…

Baia del Saraceno

High up above over the great cavern is the Convent of St. Rosa that although firmly anchored on the rocks seems to be suspended in the air….
Once belonging to the cloistered nuns of the second order of the Dominicans, in the past it preformed an important role in the social life and economy of the town, but the most famous undertaking of the pious nuns was the invention of the delicious Sfogliatelle S.Rosa (flaky pastry filled with custard): the ways of the Lord can pass through the kitchen!….

Capo di Conca

On the eastern side of the bay a magnificent sea-side village. Conca dei Marini that in the era of the Amalfi Republic was a maritime and commercial centre with a well furnished fleet and the best sailors in the area. After the passing of the magnificence of the Duchy, the people of Conca became able fishermen, and on the beach at Conca until the middle of the XX century, the last “tonnare” resisted, a structure that was also used as a factory for the preparation of the fish and market of exchange for the sale of the catch, mainly tuna and sword-fish….
On the beach we can still see the old “maccheroni” factory of Buonocore, the white house with arches, the thirteenth century house named Mele, once the “foresteria” (guest- house) of the monastery S. Rosa, and also the little Church of St. Maria della Neve, on the Saints day the fifteenth of August, the whole hamlet is illuminated and there is an interesting navel procession with a long trial of boats that sail to Amalfi with the Madonna….

Procession of S. Maria della Neve

On leaving the hamlet we arrive at the promontory of Capo di Conca, jutting out into a deep sea of an almost unreal cobalt blue: it is one of the deepest parts of the high Tyrrenian, a privileged point for the sighting of large whales….

Topping the promontory is the most beautiful tower on the coast, the White Tower, erected in 1563 for the viceroy of Naples, Don Pedro de Toledo. When the tower no longer played a defence role it was used to hold the earthly remains of the people of Conca, but statistically speaking they are the most longeval people in the area: it must be the salubrious air!…

Capo di Conca

On the right of the promontory in the beautiful bay, the water assumes the most fantastic colours of green and blue. The same marvellous colours we find in the magnificent Grotto, the entrance is hidden in a crevice in the rocks on the waters edge in front of us….

The Emerald Grotto

The entrance maybe hidden but in a few seconds time will stand still as colour takes on a new meaning…The Grotto is a extraordinary temple, an embroidery of millenary lights, where the sea reproduces the most sublime colours: cobalt blue that merges into turquoise… turquoise becomes green… an emerald green that wraps itself around everything…

Grotta dello Smeraldo

The inside is like an oriental temple, filled with columns, stalactites and bizarre shaped curtains, that popular fantasy gives curious names and likeness. There are mermaids and fantastic animals, famous people: e.g. Garibaldi on his horse, who becomes George Washington for the Americans and Napoleon for the French….

In this enchanting cavern the typical elements of an inland grotto exist side by side with those of a marine grotto. This is because once the grotto was above sea level and the slow dripping created stalactites and stalagmites of various dimensions; later about 6000 years ago the higher temperature of the earth and the phenomenon of slow subsidence caused the sea level to rise thus submerging the coast, the Tyrrhene invaded part of the grotto giving us the marvellous ambient we find today, it is created mainly by an aperture towards the sea at about 4 metres under the sea level…

The Emerald Grotto was discovered in 1932 by a local fisherman who was curious about two strange holes in the rock face: he proudly wore the band that declared him “The discoverer of the Emerald Grotto”, until his death…

under water Crib

Before leaving please do not miss an interesting feature, the under water “crib scene” made of pottery from Vietri, every year at Christmas a large group of divers from all over Italy come to pay homage in a very moving procession….

Panorama dalla Grotta dello Smeraldo

The ticket entry in the Grotto is 5 €

You can go to Esmerald Grotto:
By boat, from Amalfi bear, from 9.30 a.m. to 4.0 p.m., boat ticket come and come back € 10
By private boat. Here We can stop the boat on bearth.
By car, at km 26.4 of 163 Railway, entry by steps or lift…

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