Oh, So Nice CAPRI!
by Tony Kendall
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Even if Naples had nothing to offer it would be almost worth it to live near Sorrento (and the Amalfi coast) and the lovely
island of Capri. After one leaves Capri pleasant thoughts and the song, the "Isle of Capri" linger. Capri is just about 45
minutes away by the "Aliscafi" (hydrofoil) but it could be a million miles away. Where Naples is brash, loud, dirty; Capri
is calm, peaceful and very clean. Capri is an excellent place for a honeymoon or just a place to get away from things. Don't
get me wrong, it has a nightlife and it has many fine restaurants...there is something for everyone.
I will not go into every detail of Capri (get a travel book) but I will highlight things that impressed me. Capri is not a big
island, certainly not like Oahu but the lush vegetation and crystal clear turquoise seas sometimes bring Hawaii to mind.
However, Capri is not Hawaii but definitely Italian.
Most likely you will have taken the Ali Scafi (hydrofoil from Naples which takes about 45 minutes) from the port of
Mergilina or the slower ferry from the main Naples port, Molo Beverello. You will be deposited at Marina Grande, the
port. From Marina Grande one can see the quaint white and colored houses waiting for you as you step onto the pier-your
adventure has begun!
There are two "major" towns in Capri, Capri and Anacapri and your hotel will most likely be located at one of the two. To
get to the town of Capri you can take a taxi, minibus, or the funicolare. I suggest the funicolare which takes you straight up
the hill side and offers you a beautiful view. Capri is small enough where you can get around on foot. To get to Anacapri
you take a minibus up straight up the cliff....not for those scared of heights! If you stay in Anacapri, I would recommend the
Caesar Augustus if you are on a tight budget. It is not a 5 star hotel but it is still nice and it is hard to beat the view.....from
your balcony is about 1000 foot drop!
In Capri there are many nice hotels. In another article, I describe a nice hotel (Hotel Flora) owned by the very pleasant
What to do in Capri?
- 1. Enjoy the beauty! Walk around the town of Capri and when you want a break have a Campari or cappuccino at one
of the bars at the Piazza Umberto. You can spend a couple of hours watching half of Capri pass you buy.
- 2. Shopping! Perhaps a little more expensive than in Naples or Sorrento but you can find many items (clothes, jewelry,
music boxes) that will delight you.
- 3. Swimming Sunbathing (in the Summer): At first you might be disappointed not to see many beaches but they are
there! Some secluded beaches can only be reached by boat. I rented a boat and went to the Green Grotto and had a
wonderful time swimming in caves (called the Green Grotto) along the beach, brilliantly lit by the warm Capri sun,
you could swim down 10 to 15 feet and have the brilliant sun rays follow you down. The water was an emerald green
and when you opened your eyes under the water it was like being in an emerald! You can also take a regularly
scheduled boat from Marina Grande to some of the hard to get beaches. They have all the facilities you would expect
at a beach.
- 4. Visit the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra): Wherever you go you will be amazed by the crystal clear turquoise sea, but
even more so in the marine cave, Grotta Azzurra. Tourists commonly make the mistake (I think it is a mistake) by
taking a boat at Marina Grande. The boat take about 35 minutes to get to the cave then you have to pay to get on the tiny
boats that barely fit into the opening. I think the better way is to take a mini bus to the Grotto, walk down some stairs
and catch one of the little boats to go into a cave.
- Tony's unconventional suggestion: When you take the stairs down to the Grotto you will see a little outside bar on the
hillside overlooking the Grotto. Stake out a table, order some wine, bread, and cheese and "camp out" for the day. The
owner will be happy to see you and if you order a drink every couple of hours he will be more than happy to have you
sit at your on table. You can bring your towels and of course your swim suit. Catch the Capri rays and every couple of
hours, pay one of the boats a couple of dollars to take a dip inside the Blue Grotto. Yes, you can swim in the Blue
- 5. Take a hike! You will want to see the beautiful Faragolini, huge rocks carved out by the sea just off shore. (see
color picture in the previous posting). There is a path leading from the town of Capri to the Faragolini. The well
paved pedestrian path take about an hour to walk. Don't leave Capri without walking this nature path.
- 6. Go to Anacapri: Take the chair lift up to Monte Solaro. You will feel like you are flying as you pass about 10 feet
above terraces and vineyards as you watch the farmers in their fields. At the top you will have a memorable view of
Capri and Naples. Don't fall off the cliff!
- 7. Sample the nightlife: Nice restaurants (try the Capri torte--click for recipe) and bars to visit and meet the Italian
- 8. Write a book, get unstressed. Capri has a way of relaxing you without boring you.
Images of Capri (click picture below to download to your computer)
Click the highlighted word Capri torte to get a recipe for this delicious cake.
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