Emerald Grotto Sculptures, underwater biblical display.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Grotta dello Smeraldo


Four kilometres west of Amalfi, this grotto is named after the eerie emerald colour that emanates from the water. Stalactites hang down from the 24m-high ceiling, while stalagmites grow up to 10m tall. Buses regularly pass the car park above the cave entrance (from where you take a lift or stairs down to the rowing boats). Alternatively, Coop Sant’Andrea runs boats from Amalfi (€10 return, plus cave admission). Allow 1½ hours for the return trip.

A curiosity of the Grotta is an underwater presepe (nativity scene) submerged 4m beneath the water. The objects made from local Vietri ceramics were put there in 1956. Each year, on 24 December and 6 January, skin-divers from all over Italy make a traditional pilgrimage to the site.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amalfi attractions

1. Fiordo di Furore

0.66 MILES

The Fiordo di Furore, a deep and narrow cleft in the coastline 6km west of Amalfi, is a misnomer. Fjords are formed by glaciers, whereas the Furore ‘fjord…

2. Marina di Praia

1.47 MILES

Located a couple of kilometres east of the centre, this charming beach and harbour are the reasons why most people stop off in Praiano. From the SS163 …

3. Torre a Mare

1.56 MILES

Defensive towers sit all along the Amalfi Coast; ironically, they are generally known as Saracen towers, named after the very invaders they were erected…

4. Chiesa San Matteo Apostolo

1.79 MILES

Built in 1580 and tweaked numerous times since, this is Bomerano's architectural centrepiece. The marble baptismal font dates from the second half of the…

5. Chiesa di San Luca

1.94 MILES

In the upper village, the 16th-century Chiesa di San Luca features a colourful majolica floor, paintings by the 16th-century artist Giovanni Bernardo Lama…

6. Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea

2.32 MILES

Once the very symbol of Amalfi’s power, Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea (also known as Duomo di Amalfi) is the town’s most iconic monument.

7. Chiostro del Paradiso

2.32 MILES

To the left of Amalfi’s cathedral porch, these magnificent Moorish-style cloisters, complete with the remnants of 13th-century frescoes, were built in…

8. Museo della Carta


Amalfi’s Paper Museum is housed in a rugged, cave-like 13th-century paper mill (the oldest in Europe). It lovingly preserves the original paper presses,…