Grotta Matromania

Grotta di Matromania - Grotta di Matermania

Useful Information

Location: Eastern coast of Capri island. From the center of the village Capri follow Via Le Botthege to the east, then turn right into Via Matermania. The final part of this road is called Via Arco Naturale, at its end a trail to the cave starts.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=35m, W=18m.
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Grotta di Matromania is a natural cave with heavy artificial alterations. It contains the remains of Roman walls and a sort of amphitheatre cut out of the rock. The place was used as a Nymphaeum, a monument consecrated to the nymphs. Natural grottoes were thought to be habitations to the local nymphs. But while they were seen as sacral places during pre-Roman times, the Romans started to see their recreational use.

According to local legend the cave was used for the worship of Kybele, Goddess of Earth, and Mitra, God of the Sun. According to the legend the worship included human sycrifices. This habit was ended by Imperator Augustus, who ordered the transformation of the cave. It was decorated with mosaics and shells, and it was used as a water reservoir.

Since Roman times the decorations were destroyed and the cave today shows only remains of the walls and the chiseled walls.