For reasons I can’t quite describe, Conca dei Marini has always been one of my favorite places on the Amalfi Coast. It is beautiful and peaceful, and yet is located just 4 kilometers west of a the much more active and bustling Amalfi. There are lovely churches in Conca, as well as the little cove you can see above, which is still guarded over by the ruins of a Norman watchtower. Just about a year ago, when I took that photo, I had just smelled almond blossoms for the first time. What a heavenly scent! Spring is certainly a wonderful time to be on the Amalfi Coast.

Conca dei Marini is also home to the Grotta dello Smeraldo, or the Emerald Grotto, named after the striking emerald color of the sea water. Many tourist buses stop above the Grotto, where you can take an elevator or steps down to the entrance of the cave. From there you walk into the cave and climb into little boats that row you around inside. It is beautiful, but one visit is enough. I think it is really the first place I have found on the Amalfi Coast that really felt purely touristy, but in a Disney World sort of way. But it is very beautiful inside! Here are a couple of videos I found in the archives:

Located under the rippling water is a ceramic presepe, or nativity scene, which you can see in this following video:

If you are planning a visit to the Grotta dello Smeraldo, a fun way to arrive is by boat from Amalfi. The Coop Sant’Andrea runs a morning and afternoon boat that costs about 10 euros. Entrance to the Grotto will cost you about 5 euros, and round trip by boat the visit will take about an hour and a half. Stop by one of the nearby beaches, such as Santa Croce or Duoglio, on your way back to Amalfi to make it a perfect day!

Have to been to Conca dei Marini or the Grotta dello Smeraldo? Travel thoughts?

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  • Lola

    Excellent Laura, grazie. The video of the grotta is a great idea, photos just can’t cut the reality of those fluorescent colors.

    Did you ever swim in there? I did. I went off season and corrupted one of the guys there, promising I’d skinny dip if he let me slip in the water. I didn’t, obviously. It was awesome. And kinda scary.

    Ciao and HURRY BACK.

    April 16, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Lola! Grazie! What a devilishly good idea! 😉 No, I haven’t been swimming in the grotto, but it really must have been amazing. The colors are just astounding, and I was surprised that the video captured even a little of the feeling. Hum, I know what I am doing next winter!

    April 16, 2009

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