The island of Capri is one of the most legendary summer destinations, much of its charm deriving in addition to the wonderful nature also from the island’s 50s and 60s luxury aura, having been the favorite spot of the Hollywood and European influential jet setters. Much has changed in today’s world, but it would be a mistake to think that the blue paradise feeling in Capri has somehow faded away. For me it has been a place to go for twenty years and thus, very difficult to write about, as too many things have remained with me, making it hard to choose. However, here comes my ‘not to miss’ list for those wishing to explore this lovely island.
I will start with the iconic main square of Capri, La Piazzetta. It’s the center of the island’s life or, as some like to call it, the center of the world. Except for the winter season when the whole island is hybernating, it’s always vivid. The morning starts with people enjoying there their coffee and cornetto, the day proceeds with those visiting the island just for a day sitting down for having a quick drink or lunch, finally giving a way to the most beautiful part – having an aperitif in one of the Piazzetta bars before dinner or finishing your night there, slowly enjoying your glass of wine under the stars while listening to the melodical bim-bam of the famous tower clock.
I can’t be
happier that after years of renovation, via Krupp was again opened in the
summer 2023. It’s a natural footpath connecting the Capri center - entrance is near the beautiful Gardens of
Augustus, another spot to visit – and Marina Piccola. Built between 1900-1902
by the German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp, it’s about 100 meters long,
and offers not only a great hiking or walking occasion to keep your health in
tact, but also breathtaking views that you don’t want to miss. Whenever it has
been opened, it has been my favorite way to get down to the beaches of Marina
Marina Piccola is where the island’s most beautiful beaches can be found. One can choose to go to the free public beach or opt for one of the luxurious beach clubs, historically most known among them being la Canzone del Mare (“The Song of the Sea”). Plenty of beach bars and restaurants are offering just about everything, from a refreshing smoothie to salads, pizza, pasta or seafood for lunch. You can also take a boat and embark on one of the around the island tours from Marina Piccola – the same can be done from Marina Grande, the main port where people are usually arriving – together with visiting the Capri’s famous sea cave la Grotta Azzurra (“the Blue Grotto”).
Anacapri & the legacy of Axel Munthe
The higher part of the island, Anacapri, is offering a calm getaway from the island’s rush, together with the best views on the surrounding Bay of Naples. It’s also a place to go when you would like to shop for local souvenirs and gifts to take with you, anything from handpainted porcelain and linen to lemon soaps, perfumes, limoncello or – a pair of handmade Capri sandals.
When in Anacapri, the ultimate place not to miss is Villa San Michele, the life heritage left by the famous Swedish doctor and writer, Axel Munthe. The villa itself is being turned into a museum, holding collections of art and objects depicting the life of its founder. Axel Munthe, author of the bestselling book “The Story of San Michele”, was also a personal physician of the Queen Victoria of Sweden, known for his deep love for Capri. The legend says that he died, having a return ticket to Capri in his pocket. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful garden and the Barbarossa mountain, made into a sanctuary for migratory birds by Axel Munthe. One can also admire the marvellous views on the surrounding bay and Naples coastline from the villa’s garden, as well as after the visit take the ancient Scala Fenicia “Phoenician Steps” to Marina Grande, if not being afraid for walking for a good hour. I’d say, you will be highly rewarded for your effort.
Monte Solaro & Punta Carena
When already in Anacapri, there’s so much more to experience for a culture and nature lover. Let’s start with the highest point of the island at 589 meters - the Monte Solaro mountain. The easiest way to get there is to take the chair lift, admiring the magnificent views while going up. On the moutain top the visitor can see the statue of the emperor Augustus and, looking down, the island’s symbol – the rocks of Faraglioni.
Those who love nature and hiking, should not miss the path leading from the center of Anacapri to the 19th century lighthouse Punta Carena. With its white and red vertical stripes the lightouse tower is in itself worth exploring, not to mention offering stunning sea views.
And that’s just a start. We will follow up with another story about the places to go in Capri – from restaurants to the most authentic gifts to buy. Let’s start making those travel plans!
***Capri is one of the destinations for Luminata’s food, wine & culture experiences. Read more here and come to discover the authentic Italy with us by getting in touch!
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