Which country lays claim to the island of Capri?
And the answer: Italy.
Known for the famous Blue Grotto, the island of Capri is located off the Sorrento peninsula in southern Italy. It's been inhabited for millennia, and was once a colony of Greece and then a resort for Roman emperors.
The dramatic natural landscapes, decadent historical structures and generally picturesque nothing-but-ocean view has all the makings for a perfect, secluded vacation destination. And destination it is indeed, as rich folk ranging from the Roman Emperors to the Kennedy family have enjoyed the splendor of the island of Capri. For over 2,000 years, writers, intellectuals, musicians, and other seekers of worldly pleasure have taken to Capri's distinctly magical shores.
After the fall of the Roman empire, Capri entered a dark period. Its riches were often raided, and few tourists filtered through its walls. It wasn't until around 1750, when excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Roman towns buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, made Naples a key stop on the grand tour. Then, the Blue Grotto was rediscovered in the early 19th century, cementing the popularity of the city forever.
Described anywhere from a magical blue pool to an "unfathomable blue sky," the Blue Grotto is a hidden cave lit by an underwater cavity, filtering sunlight through the water to create a mysterious blue color. To get to the Grotto, an experienced tour guide waits for a lull in the tides before slipping his or her row boat underneath a low opening in the rock. While intimidating, what lies beyond is certainly worth the journey.
Interestingly, the island of Capri is riddled with caves and grottos, and the Blue Grotto was not a mystery to locals. Known locally as Gradola, it had been avoided as it was said to be inhabited by monsters or evil spirits. There are in fact said to be many spiritual hotspots in and around Capri – a conscious choice made by the Romans who once inhabited it.
Check out the breathtaking views of the island below.