The Blue Grotto has become the emblem of the island of Capri; but the enchantment of this place goes back further in time, when it was well known by the Romans, as proved by the antique statues which were found in the Grotto. The lucky coincidence of geological and speological conditions has created a double enchantment. The sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. To get to the Blue Grotto, there are motorboats that leave from the port of Marina Grande and that besides going round the island, stop off here. You can also get to the Grotto by bus (from Anacapri) or by taxi as, after reaching the entrance to the grotto, you have to get into little rowing boats, that take a maximum of two or three persons, and lying on the bottom of them, you are taken through the natural narrow opening. The grotto cannot be visited during adverse weather conditions.
These splendid geological formations undoubtedly the best known feature of the island's jagged form - hold the numerous nests of Capri's large diomedei gulls. The first outcropping (Stella, or "Star ) is joined to the coast and stands 109 m. high; the second (di Mezzo, or "Middle') is 81 m. high and has a natural tunnel roughly 60 m. in length that passes right through it, the third faraglione (reef), is 104 m. high and inhabited by the blue lizard (lacerta muralis coerulea), now a rare, protected specie. A fourth faraglione, standing by itself in front of the Port of Tragara, is called the Monacone, named after the sea lion or "Monaca' ("Nun') seal that lived there until the last century. The remains of Roman structures - which actually consist of an access stairway and a tub for collecting water and raising fish - have contributed to the legend that Masgaba, the African architect of the island's Augustan buildings, was buried there.ited during adverse weather conditions.
These belonged to the villa of Friedrich Alfred Krupp, son of the founder of the great German steelworks, who took up residence in Capri towards the end of the last century. Built on the ruins of ancient Roman structures, the gardens were donated by Krupp to the Town of Capri, which later named them for the Roman emperor. In a corner of the garden, a statue of Lenin by the sculptor Manzu was erected to commemorate his stay on the island.
The "heart" of Capri is the Piazza Umberto I, a small, compact, closed-off square that resembles a courtyard. Surrounding the square are the ''Torre dell'Orologio'', or Clock Tower, which may have been the bell tower of the old cathedral, plus the municipal offices (located in the rooms of the former bishop's residence), and a series of stores and cafés; the picturesque left side of the San Stefano church acts as a backdrop. The piazza was probably part of the primitive inhabited area of Capri (Vth-IVth cents. BC), as shown by a number of sections of wall made from limestone blocks.
The island's largest imperial villa, it was built for Tiberius at the beginning of the 1st century AD and discovered in the 1700's under the Bourbon ruler Charles. The structure, built to an uncommon height, consisted of a number of different floors terraced along the natural slope of the land, with the difference from the highest to the lowest point being 40 m.The various spaces of the actual domus were laid out around a central area that held the large cisterns for gathering rain water, the sole source of drinking water and also a reserve used to supply the baths to the south. The building complex includes the Church of St. Maria del Soccorso (1700's), which is open only for the feast of the Tiberian Piedigrotta: the mediocre statue located to one side, depicting the virgin holding the child, replaces an earlier statue that was erected in 1901 and struck down by a lightening bolt in 1977.
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