The first stop on our sunny boat ride around the Isle of Capri was the Blue Grotto.
Our boat stopped in the small harbor filled with numerous rowboats navigated by roguish Italian fellows who rowed standing up.
We were directed to a stationary boat manned by several fierce-looking chaps who looked like they were on a break from their day jobs as Italian hit men. A little nervously we handed over our money then settled back into our wobbly craft, thankful to have a cheerful rower who not only smiled but sang!
We joined a queue in front of the narrow entrance to the cave and when it was our turn our rower instructed us to lie flat in the bottom of the boat so we wouldn’t knock our heads whilst an obliging wave lifted us up and into the grotto. With much laughter and hilarity we somehow managed to shimmy about in our most inconvenient skirts and sundresses until we were wedged along the bottom like giggling sardines.
With a swish we were through the cave entrance and into the luminescent beauty of the Blue Grotto.
With the jostling of waves and rocking of the boat, it was nearly impossible to get a clear shot of the Blue Grotto, much less capture the ethereal wonder of floating atop a sea that glowed vivid turquoise. But I shall never forget the feeling of awe I experienced as we dipped and twirled our way round the cave, serenaded by various rowers singing lustily at the tops of their lungs, all of us bathed in a dancing azure light.
I know there are some who dismiss the Blue Grotto as a tourist gimmick, a scam perpetrated by Italians eager to strip visitors of every last euro. But I can’t see it like that.
It is exquisitely beautiful, a place straight out of an old European fairytale, a delicious escape from the ordinary.
And seriously, being ferried about in a magical grotto by a handsome Italian man singing opera is worth ten bucks ANY day of the week.
What is the best “touristy” thing you’ve ever done?