The tacky road sign and squadron of tour buses may put you off, but this cavern is worth a stop. The karstic cave was originally part of the shore, but the lowest end sank into the sea. Intense greenish light filters into the water from an arch below sea level and is reflected off the cavern walls. You visit the Grotta dello Smeraldo, which is filled with huge stalactites and stalagmites, on a large rowboat. Don't let the boatman's constant spiel detract from the 20-minute
experience—just tune out and enjoy the sparkles, shapes, and Harry Winston–esque color. You can take an elevator from the coast road down to the grotto, or you can drive to Amalfi and arrive by boat (€10, excluding the grotto's admission fee). Companies in Positano, Amalfi, and elsewhere along the coast provide service. The light at the grotto is best from noon to 3 pm.
089-871107-Amalfi tourist board
Aug 3, 2006
I went to the Grotta Esmerelda hoping that it would be stunning. It was not. The grotto is not lit by natural sunlight, but by underwater lights. The boat ride was entertaining. The guy who rowed kept saying "Beautiful! Beautiful!" Then he splashed his oar and pointed underwater and said: "Miracle! Miracle!" He to a submerged nativity scene that was lit by more underwater lights. Don't waste your time here. Enjoy the otherwise beautiful Amalfi
coast, and marvel at the driving there.