Capri is a small Italian island in the Bay
of Naples, about 5 kilometers from the mainland. We visited on a day trip in April, arriving
via a fast jet ferry from Sorrento and avoiding the peak summer season, when the island can
be overrun with tourists. Capri is also easy to reach by ferry from
Naples. We arrived at Capris main port, Marina
Grande, which is on the north coast.
From here you can take boat trips, for example
to the Blue Grotto, which is a flooded sea-cave, or you can take a boat to the south coast
to see the Faraglioni Rocks. However, with limited time we decided to make
for Capri town, then on to to Anacapri and Monte Solaro. To get from Marina Grande up to Capri town
we took the funicular railway which connects the harbour to the Piazzetta, the towns
main square. Capris two main centres, Capri town and
its uphill rival Anacapri, are almost entirely given over to tourism and prices can be high.
Capri is a world-famous beauty spot and its
also a summer favourite of holidaying VIPs. The Piazzetta is full of fashionable bars
and its well worth stopping for an espresso. You might even see one of those VIPs! The square is dominated by a free-standing
clock tower. Note the tiled clock face.
Capri is well known for its maiolica tiles.
Here they can be seen forming a map of the island. We boarded a crowded bus to Anacapri and explored
the islands second town. Walking along Via Giuseppe Orlandi, we saw
the Casa Rossa, a brightly coloured house built in the late 1800s by an American colonel. Its now a museum.
Continuing along this road, we reached Piazza
San Nicola and the Church of San Michele, built in Italian baroque style at the turn
of the 18th century. Built on an octagonal Greek cross plan, the
church is famous for its maiolica floor decoration depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve. It was completed in 1761. For an impressive view of the entire floor,
you can climb the spiral staircase to the organ loft and look out over the church from
More maiolica tiles can be seen nearby, decorating
the benches in Piazza Armando Diaz. The Monte Solaro chairlift is also in Anacapri,
and it reaches the top of the 589 meters high mountain within minutes. From the summit there are picturesque views
over the island and across the Bay of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. Theres also a great view of the Faraglioni
Rocks from here.
These three spurs of rock rise from the sea
within meters of the coast and are one of the favourite destinations for boat tours
of the islands coast. We hiked down from the summit back to Anacapri. The path is quite uneven in places but the
walk is well worth it for the changing panoramas. On the way down, you can see a series of small
Each represents a stop on the Via Crucis,
or Way of the Cross. We headed back to Marina Grande and caught
the last ferry back to Sorrento, which left late afternoon. You can see plenty of this beautiful island
in a few hours, but dont expect to fit everything in. Next time, maybe well get to the Blue Grotto!.