144 Route 9.
ruins under water; among others, to the S. of Capri by the Ca-
marelle, a long series of arches, perhaps pertaining to an ancient
road. — To the S. of the village the Certosa, founded in 1371,
now in ruins.
Anacapri is reached by a steep path, ascending by means of
535 steps. On the summit stands the ruin of a mediaeval castle,
il Castello di Barbarossa, so called from its having been destroyed
by the pirate of that name in the 16th cent. Roman ruins are also
in the vicinity, especially at the village of Damecuta; remnants
of mosaics, coloured plastering, marble pavement and columns.
The "Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) is situated about midway
between the landing-place of Capri and the Punta Gradelle on the
N. W. side of the island (boat thither, see p. 142). The boat
skirts the base of the precipitous rocky shore, where numerous
seastars (stella marina) are observed. In 15 min. the ruins of the
Baths of Tiberius are reached, where a fragment of an ancient
wall and part of a column in the water are seen. In 30 min.
more the entrance of the grotto, scarcely 3 ft. in height is attai¬
ned. Visitors must stoop or lie down in the boat on entering
(not accessible when a breeze blows from the N. or E.). In the
interior the height of the roof increases to 40 ft. above the water,
which is 8 fathoms deep. Length of the grotto 165 ft., extreme
width 100 ft. The effect of the blue refraction of the light on
every object is indescribable and at first completely dazzles the eye.
Objects in the water assume a beautiful silvery appearance. The
diminutive boatman , who during the voyage does not fail to de¬
scribe the astonishing effect which his body in the water and his
sunburnt face above it will produce in the grotto. now offers to
bathe in order to verify his statement. For this exhibition he is
sufficiently rewarded with */2 1-, although he generally makes the
exhorbitant demand of 2—3 1. ; the experiment may be more
agreeably made by the traveller immersing his own arm. The
most favorable time is between 10 and 1 o'clock. Near the middle
of the grotto is a kind of landing place, leading to a passage
with broken steps, but closed at the upper extremity, probably a
former approach from the land to the grotto, which was once con¬
nected with the villa of Tiberius at Damecuta. The grotto was
known to the ancients, but fell into oblivion in the middle ages.
Since 1822, when it was discovered by fishermen, it has been a
favourite resort of travellers. — Another, far inferior to the above,
the so-called Green Grotto, on the S. side of the island , was dis¬
covered in 1848.