Since early ages I remember being enchanted by those 1950’s films set in the beautiful Italian coast with equally beautiful actresses sunbathing and being driven around curvy roads on those charming Vespa mopeds, whilst some romantic issue between them and their heartthrob was developed on the screen… I grew up with this amazing scenery and the dolce vita vibe in my memory, and since I started my travel life, I’ve always had a place in the back of my mind, constantly calling my name like a mermaid (with Marcelo Mastroianni’s voice) attracting me to my inevitable destiny.
The beautiful and mythical (at least for me) Capri Island was my destination choice of birthday travel present to my also travel lover boyfriend. We spent his birthday on the island a few weeks ago and we both wished to have stayed more – what an adorable place! As a matter of fact, there is not much to do in the island that justifies staying there more than two days at most, but Capri is that kind of place that catches you in a way, you don’t really care about doing anything at all, you just want to stay there, enjoying every second of the stunning view and letting life go by without any unnecessary complications. It’s important to say this relaxing travel style is neither mine nor my boyfriends’… We’re more the curious-active type. Work of sorcery maybe? Very likely. But don’t trust me on this. You will have to experience for yourself to understand.
The Capri Island is located in the Campania region at south of Gulf of Naples, fairly close to the Sorrentine Peninsula and can be reached via boats from both cities, Naples and Sorrento. The journey from Naples (our choice) starts from the (in)famous Molo Beverello, part of the Naples’ Port and takes about an hour until it ends at Marina Grande’s Port in Capri. The boats depart more or less on every hour and the recommendation here is to book your tickets online. You can get better prices and avoid the huge queues. But, if like us, you prefer to be spontaneous (disorganised), you can buy your tickets in loco and pay about 24 euro each way after spending from 10 to 15 minutes in the queue.
It’s really nice to see Naples disappearing in the background as the boat goes further away and it also makes for very good pictures (having said that, be careful with the Chinese tourists – if they have to jump on your shoulders without warning for a good picture they will!).
Both Capri and Anacapri cities were built over the hills of the island, what means walking around by foot is not exactly an option – unless you are absolutely and enviously fit. To help you save time and legs you can make use of the funicular that takes you to the top of the town in just few minutes and goes up and down on every ten minutes, or you can tour around on one of the very cool taxis found in Marina Grande.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, you can also hire a moped and explore the island at your own pace, which I recommend to be very slow, considering the narrow and curvy roads, full of buses and with incredible but dangerously distracting sea views…
It’s a little unfair to suggest what to see in Capri – the whole place deserves a good look and every square meter will be surely admired as seen. However, if time is an issue like it was for us, the Gardens of Augustus is a must-see place. From their large terraces with an infinite amount of fragrant ornamental flowers and plants overlooking the sea, you will be able to have a 180-degree panoramic view of the island and its major points of interest such as Marina Piccola bay, the Faraglioni, the Mount Solaro and the breathtaking multi shade sea.
HIGH END SHOPPING
It’s internationally known that Capri Island is a fancy resort enjoyed by the rich, famous and especially the honeymooners throughout the year, and for that reason, the place is infested by every possible Italian designer brand on Earth – not many foreign ones though, which makes me feel personally proud of the preference Italians always give to their own products.
Whether you love all that Gucci and Prada stuff or have no idea what I’m talking about, I suggest you give the locals a chance and let them show you the best of the Caprese style. Visit some of the chic crafted leather sole sandal shops that are very traditional not only in Capri but also in the whole south coast of Italy. In Capri they certainly take their crafting to another level and in a matter of few hours.
To help you keep “cool” in the Mediterranean heat (Capri is actually in the Tyrrhenian sea, but anyway…), there is a quite famous and fancy local perfume shop in the island with very unique fragrances developed with natural and centenarian methods of extraction – and you can actually try all of them without the embarrassment of asking the sellers, because they are exposed outside of the shop for the sake of the passersby. It would be just impossible to be chicer than that.
EATING & DRINKING
You probably won’t believe me, but the delicious Caprese salad (tomato, cheese, basil) actually tastes better here in its place of origin than anywhere else I have eaten before (a lot of places!). Although I think any type of food here, eaten by the Marina Grande’s port and its beautiful view would taste better anyway. There are plenty of restaurants with gentle waiters grabbing you by the collar to win the local competition and show you the best of the Caprese cuisine and the local artisanal beers. Don’t resist, just go with the flow and let yourself be surprised.
Our trip to Capri island was one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve ever done, despite being also the shortest one. We left with the feeling of leaving lots behind and the certainty of coming back to get it at some point. Hopefully this will be soon.
You can see more pictures of my trip to Capri here.