My disappointing tour of the Blue Grotto

Comments 21 Standard

The Blue Grotto (also known as Grotta Azzurra) is a sea cave on the island of Capri, Italy. It is known for the incredible sparkling blue reflection on the water in the cave. This occurs because of the sunlight that passes through the small opening in the cave. It is certainly not difficult to understand why The Blue Grotto is one of the primary attractions on Capri.

I went with my aunt and cousin with a tour company that takes you on a boat to see the island and in particular to explore the Blue Grotto. We figured we would get two in one, a great scenic view of Capri and then have an amazing Blue Grotto experience. We were wrong. The boat took us around the island, which is incredibly beautiful and then onto a tour of the cave. Once we arrived, we saw a number of other boats from different tour companies and a line of  narrow wooden rowboats lined up waiting to go into the cave. That is when we realized that we had to go into one of those tiny row boats! The closer we got to the entrance of the cave, the more we realized how small the opening was! You could not go straight through, you have to lay on your back in the boat in order to fit. Our guide actually had to lay on his back top of us! We were nervous at first, but it was actually a pretty funny experience.

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Once we were in the cave, we found that it was dark, but you could see that the water was glowing this incredibly bright blue color throughout the cave. It was so bright that it looked like someone had put an immensely powerful  blue light under the water in order to make it glow. We rowed in a line with the other boats around the outside of the cave for a few minutes and then exited the the same way we came in.

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I was pretty disappointed that the cave experience was so short, as The Blue Grotto was something that I was really excited to see and then when we did get to experience it we were in and out of the cave in just a few short minutes. The tour company made the tour sound like it was a scenic boat tour and that you would be intimately exploring The Blue Grotto, however they failed to mention that if you blinked you would miss it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cool experience, however it would have been far better if we had time to fully experience it and had more time to take it all in.

I don’t regret going it, because it was something I really wanted to do, but in hindsight I wish I had picked an alternative option. After the tour I looked online at other tours and many of them seem like they would be a similar experience. Other tours might be different, so you can decide to take your chances, however if you want a true experience then I highly suggest finding one where you will spend more time in the cave. If you do decide to do a standard boat tour, at least you now know what you will be getting for your money!

Tips you need to get into the Duomo di Milano

Comments 24 Standard

Milan is known for high fashion, shopping, beautiful architecture and of course the Duomo. It has a unique gothic structure and is the fifth largest cathedral in the world. No wonder it took six centuries to build! Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Unfortunately you cant just walk up to it and stroll in. If only things were that easy! Here are some things you need to know for your visit.

1.You have to pay to get into the cathedral and on the rooftop. 

2. You cannot go into the cathedral unless you are wearing appropriate clothing covering your knees and shoulders.

3. If you decide to go to the rooftop, you do not need to follow a dress code.

4. Wear comfortable shoes if you are planning to go to the rooftop. It is a tiring hike up a pretty intimidating staircase. There is an elevator, however it is small and there is generally a long line of people waiting to get on.

5. There is an area to purchase tickets on the right side of the cathedral that most people don’t realize is there. I went to that booth and waited less than a minute while the other line in the front was a 30 minute wait. 

6. If you have your ticket already for the rooftop, you do not have to wait on the line to get in. Most people on that line are buying tickets to get in or are waiting without realizing that they don’t need to. You can walk straight to the entrance, show your ticket and get in right away. 

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