Diving is an extraordinary experience of intimate symbiosis with the sea. Holding your breath here becomes a skill that allows you to open the doors to a kingdom of silent beauty.
In Massa Lubrense there is a free diving center where you can find support and guidance to explore the art of diving. You can abandon yourself to the sea, immersing yourself in a world of calm, serenity, but also adventure. We had the opportunity to interview Antonio Mironi, founder of the Capri Freediving center and certified instructor by the Association Sport Apnea Academy, who shared with us interesting information about it.
Hello Antonio! When was Capri Freediving founded and why?
Capri Freediving is a free diving center that was founded in 2023 in Massa Lubrense. It was born from a project that has always been in my head since childhood. I come from a history far from the sea, I am originally from Capri but I grew up in Milan; despite this, I have always been passionate about the sea, even though from afar. My dream was to come back one day and get closer to the discipline of freediving, which I have always practiced as a child. After graduating in economics I dedicated myself to training and preparing to become a free diving instructor. My goal was to open a center where people could share and teach apnea, mainly at sea since we have wonderful places. The center was born from the realization of a dream that I have always had.
What types of services do you offer?
We mainly offer courses. Being an apnea center we offer mini courses that can last both a day and a week, within which there are several methodologies. Following the attendance of these courses, patents may also be issued. The title that qualifies me as an instructor is a title issued by Apnea Academy, the largest school of apnea in the world founded by Umberto Pelizzari, historical world champion of apnea and holder of several records. There are also facilities for tourists such as recreational apnea excursions and snorkeling, more oriented to the tourist industry. Finally, we also have a whole logistics aimed at people who have already attended the courses and who have experience of apnea and who want to do training at sea.
What kind of discipline is apnea?
Apnea is a discipline that is growing more and more because it is open to all. Very often people are afraid to hold their breath, which is actually part of our genetic code, we just have to go back and do it. There are steps to follow to teach anyone to enjoy these sensations. I would define it as a discipline aimed at the well-being and relaxation of the person.
How do you train and prepare for apnea?
First of all, exercises are necessary from the point of view of breathing: to learn not to breathe you must first learn to breathe. There are exercises that come from the ancient art of pranayama, a strand of yoga that concerns breathing. Apnea borrows these exercises to train the ability to inhale and expire, to train the extension of the diaphragm and rib cage. Then there are the workouts in water that can be divided into workouts done in the pool (known as dynamic apnea) that train the lack of oxygen and that train the increase in carbon dioxide. Then there are the workouts done deeply in the water that are called workouts in constant trim and in this case we train the depth, the pressure, the compensation and a whole series of variations that are included in the deep going.
Are specific requirements necessary?
It is a sport open to all. The only requirement is to know how to swim and be comfortable in the water. This year in our center came a lady of 52 years that had never done apnea in his life and fell to 18 meters underwater.
What are the benefits of free diving?
Definitely apnea helps relaxation, it is a wellness sport. What happens on a physiological level, especially at sea, is a lowering of the heartbeat due to contact with water and going slightly deeper. This lowering of the heartbeat generates a whole series of benefits such as the muscle, nervous and mental relaxation; the moment you leave a session of apnea you have the feeling of having slept, as when you wake up in the morning well relaxed. Among the other benefits we find being in the water, so you release all the gravity, all that weight you have on you: being in the water, with activities projected to relaxation, helps the physique to give up all the tensions.
On the site there is a section called “emotions in apnea“, in this regard, what emotions can you feel with this experience?
Emotions in apnea mainly concerns the recreational services that you do in Capri Freediving, so snorkeling and recreational apnea. The emotion is to stay relaxing in a marine environment, a protected environment like Parco Marino Punta Campanella, that includes Baia di Ieranto, Fiordo di Crapolla or the islets Li Galli. The emotion is to enjoy the seabed and the fauna, the transparency of the water, thanks to the presence of an expert guide, who can assist you and that guarantees safety to people who dive. Without a guide all this would not be feasible, especially in our areas where, especially in summer, there is a good presence of boats.
What makes Massa Lubrense unique as a place to practice apnea?
The Marine Park, the A.M.P. Punta Campanella. Generally in the tourist areas it is common to find many boats and practice apnea safely also means having the help of an organization that deals with regulating the transit of boats. In addition to this, it provides support in the organization of events. For example, this year we will organize an internship with Pelizzari and thanks to the collaboration of A.M.P. Punta Campanella we will have a well-defined logistics that will help to ensure safety. We are particularly cautious in this regard. The alliance with the Marine Park is a fundamental element, without which all this would not be possible.
Why should a person approach this world? And what advice would you give?
Today, we are immersed in a context in which we are constantly exposed to many stressful factors, including work-related pressures and family commitments. We are often bombarded with incessant notifications from our phone devices and computers. Apnea helps to mentally disconnect from these continuous inputs. The brain works faster, and we’re not wired to work that fast. Apnea slows everything down and helps us think more calmly. People should approach apnea because it brings us back to our basic functions, the simple ones that belong to us, like being well and being quiet. Apnea helps to slow down and feel good. The advice, therefore, is to try to believe. In fact, almost always people perceive the benefit.
We thank the instructor Antonio Mironi for kindly sharing his time and valuable information with us. We hope that this article has aroused your curiosity. The sea awaits only you, whether you are beginners or experts!