The Poetry cave (Grotte delle Poesia ) was known to be one of the best natural swimming places on the coast of Puglia. In fact, it is included in the list of the 10 most beautiful natural pools in the world. The turquoise and blue and green colours are just amazing. On the day we went, it was very overcast so my photos are not as spectacular as some that abound on the Internet. I imagine it is similar to the Blue Eye that we saw in Albania.
The picture above shows where people use to dive in (they wold dive in at the small hole above the orange arrow), and then swim to the bigger cave, and then out to sea. In the 2020’s the diving area was declared unsafe and the whole area was fenced off. The photo below shows where they have been doing archaeological work into the small hole.
According to the information board at the Poetry Caves:
“The Grotte delle Poesia are a system of karst caves that today appear as enchanting open-air caskets of water, yet in ancient times they would have been dry and covered. This cave called “Poesia Piccolo” was located in 1983. The name poetry derives from the Greek medieval term POSIA meaning ‘drink of water’.
On the rock walls there are hundreds of pre-protohistoric engravings and whole votive texts in Latin and Greek often written over those in the Messapian language dating from the fourth – second century BC.”
We visited on a cloudy, overcast day. On a sunny day the Poetry Cave is utterly beautiful like the photo that I found below on the internet.
The caves are found near the small town of Roca Vecchia. The large cave and small cave are connected by karst tunnels that were once covered by rocks (remember my orange arrow).
One is no longer allowed to swim in the caves but one can still access them from the sea. Of course, people always break the rules and as we were about to leave we saw someone swimming.
The nearby rocks are also just amazing. I have never seen or walked on such jagged rocks.
Memorials like this are found all over Italy.