The island of Capri, in the Bay of Naples in Italy, is one of forthright charm and glamour. The Marina Grande, often one’s first impression of the isle, bustles with travelers who arrive with soaring anticipation and leave with longing to stay. The Marina of Capri is connected to the center of town by a funicular, which brings passengers to the Piazzetta, the most fashionable square in the world, in four minutes (€2 ticket price, departs every 15 minutes). Near the marina, there are buses full to the gills with tourists and taxis with colorful interiors and cut off tops. The sheer cliffs and rugged landscape, freckled with vibrant, century-old villas, are enough to leave you breathless and bewildered.
1. Take a Boat Tour Around the Island
From the sea, you can see Capri in a new light. The Capri website offers different boat tours and experiences at variable prices. A favored choice is the Classic Boat Tour by Bagni Tiberio Boats. For €160, cruise around the island on a traditional gozzo boat for two hours, stopping at the Faraglioni, Green Grotto, and the lighthouse. During the summer months, for €14 you can lie back in a wooden rowboat and enter the magical Blue Grotto.
Jump off the boat and take a dip in the crystalline waters. The sea is salty and fresh. The colors are hard to believe, even as the waves glimmer right before your eyes. Whether you take the two-hour classic boat tour, full-day tour by speedboat, or gulet boat for dinner by the sea, witnessing Capri from the sparkling water leaves a lasting impression.
2. Climb Mount Solaro
To see the entire island at your feet, summit Mount Solaro for a grand panorama 589 meters above sea level. Your perspective will readily surpass the island of Capri and reach the Bay of Naples, the Almafi Coast, and the mountains of Calabria. The single-person chairlift (€8 single, €11 roundtrip) from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri will bring you to the top in about twelve minutes. If you prefer to hike, it can take between an hour and an hour and a half.
Mount Solaro is known locally as Acchiappanuvole, or cloud catcher, referring to the thick blanket of fog that forms around the summit at dawn. Once there, you can explore the Cetrella, where a small church, bell tower, and sacristy from the seventeenth century endure. The Barbarossa Castle is perched on the cliffs northeast of Anacapri where guided tours of the ruins are occasionally offered.
3. Wander through the Ancient Streets of Anacapri
Anacapri is a village at the highest point on the island, where you can stay at the distinguished Capri Palace, known for its generous hospitality and luxury, Mediterranean style. Here you will find a quieter, more tranquil part of the island; a sweet escape from the, at times, overwhelming crowds in Capri town.
Through the narrow, pedestrian streets you’ll find petite shops with carefully crafted outdoor and window displays. There is no shortage of lemon-decorated trinkets and bottles of limoncello. The fluorescent blue and off-white linen dresses and button-down shirts dominate the walkways. Square tables with pastel-colored tablecloths invite you for a morning espresso or evening aperitivo under the twinkling string lights.
Wander over to the boutique La Zagara Wine Bar for a drink, or walk down the steps toward the Ristorante La Zagara for dinner at white-linen tables set up underneath the shady lemon grove. The restaurant, surrounded by the scent of citrus flowers and fruit, serves a full menu of traditional recipes from Capri.
4. Take A Day Trip to the Almafi Coast
If time allows, consider taking advantage of the other enticing destinations nearby: Pompei, Sorrento, Positano, or Almafi. Pompei is known for the ancient city of Pompeii, which was buried by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. The coastal town of Sorrento is separated from the harbor by tall, looming cliffs and is well-known for the Piazzo Tasso and abundance of coffee shops. Positano is also a cliff-top town and has the infamous pebble beach and steep, cobblestone alleys lined with boutiques and small restaurants. A short €8 ferry ride from Positano, you’ll reach the small, stunning town of Almafi, known as the seat of a maritime republic in the 9th and 11th centuries.
The prices for one-way tickets from Capri range between €20-30.
5. Have A Drink at the Punta Carena Lighthouse
During the Capri boat tour, you’ll be introduced to the Punta Carena Lighthouse, perched upon a rocky bay where visitors and locals alike can dive directly into the pristine waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The lighthouse is one of the oldest in Italy and was first used during the year 1867. It’s a quieter part of the island where the locals prefer to hang out. During the summer months, the two beach cafes, Da Antonio and Maliblu, have live music in the evenings.
By bus, take the Faro – Anacapri – terminal route from Piazza della Pace (€2 ticket price).
By foot, take Via Nuova del Faro from the center of Anacapri for about an hour walk.
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