There are few better places I could imagine spending my day than on the Island of Capri. 2.3 million visitors each year also agree with me. This is why I believe it is best experienced over a night or two. When you stay longer, you can really take your time with each experience. And the island is quite different when the massive amounts of day-trippers retreat to the mainland. Here are a few of the special spots I love to linger at when I visit Capri.
ARCO NATURALE - THE NATURAL ARCH
My perfect day on this magical island undeniably begins with a coffee and a cornetto in the Piazetta - a must for people watching and local traditions. From here take Via Lungano (one of the oldest streets on the island) following the signs to Arco Naturale. Your path will lead you past a bevy of hotels, restaurants, and shops that will pique your interest while you walk. Once you pass through the intersection with Via Tiberio, the touristy places decrease and the natural beauty of Capri unfolds. Along the way, you may see two or three eateries with the most gorgeous views. I encourage you to stop (maybe on the way back for a snack and/or a drink) and enjoy the view. Of course, our final destination is a natural phenomenon on the island that offers some memorable views of the sea. Arco Naturale is believed to have formed in paleolithic times. What you see is what remains of a deep and very high cavity originally underground. It is said that it was only discovered after a landslide in the area. Unfortunately, the arch is still crumbling today. As you linger for a while, consider yourself quite lucky to be in its presence.
GIORGIO’S GRANITA STAND
One of my first spots, when I arrive in Capri or when I am leaving (or both actually), is a little trendy, but oh so refreshing. From Marina Grande, embark on a short trip via funicular to the Piazzetta. You can’t miss the funicular, just follow the crowds dis-embarking the ferries. As you exit the funicular and to the right, you will be greeted with the most breathtaking views of the island below, with Naples and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. Before exploring the town, make a stop at the tiny lemon stand in the main piazza. Here you will find Giorio, a Capri native who serves the best granita on the island. Granita is a typical iced beverage in the area. My personal favorite is the “special”, which is half lemon slush topped with freshly squeezed orange juice. You can even ask for a shot of vodka for a little something special!
SHOPPING ON VIA VITTORIO EMANUELE
Walk through the winding roads lined with shop after shop selling handmade leather sandals, jewelry, and the hottest fashions straight off the Italian runways. It is near impossible to leave the island without at least one sparkling memento. Have one of the sandal makers create a style that is all you. Continue along Via Vittorio Emanuele towards the Gardens of Augustus, and make a stop at Carthusia (MY FAVORITE) on the way. Carthusia began the art of perfume-making back in 1380. Utilizing the fragrant variance of flowers native to Capri, Carthusia has been creating tantalizing scents ever since and their service is impeccable.
THE GARDENS OF AUGUSTUS AND THE SURROUNDS
From the Piazzetta of Capri, walk along Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Federico Serena and then Via Matteotti. You will find the stunningly beautiful Augustus Gardens. The Gardens of Augustus are comprised of a series of panoramic flower-decked pergolas and terraces, overlooking the Faraglioni on the one side and the Bay of Marina Piccola and Via Krupp on the other. Stay a little longer and take in the scents, the sounds, and the view from the gardens.
Via Krupp, a pedestrian-only walkway begins near the Augustus Gardens and descends towards the blue sea below. Unfortunately, Via Krupp is closed due to the instability of the walkway. But the photos from above are fabulous.
At the edge of the gardens along the sea’s edge, you will find Hotel Luna which has a rooftop bar that offers excellent views of the Faraglioni Rocks. Stay awhile and enjoy some of their delicious fusion cocktails. You never know… an aperitivo may turn into a sunset dinner with an unforgettable view.
BEST VIEWS FROM MOUNT SOLARO
If you are staying on the island, take a local bus (even better - an open-air taxi) up to Anacapri. For an unforgettable 360 view, continue on via chairlift to the highest point of the island, Mount Solaro. Here you are offered views over the Faraglioni rock formations and the center of the town of Capri, and as far as the Sorrento Peninsula, the Galli islands, and the entire Gulf of Naples.
I hope my special spots of Capri encourage you to spend a night or two on this charming island. Are you ready to linger a little longer in Capri? Contact me to start making your dream trip to Italy a reality.
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