CAPRI the ‘azure isle’

Capri is one of the most enchanting islands in the world and a “must” on the international tourist circuit. A natural adjunct to the Sorrentine Peninsula, for centuries writers, poets, musicians and painters have fallen under its spell. Any number of directors have chosen it as the setting for their films, and of course all sorts of famous people have congregated at the cafe tables in the celebrated Piazzetta. One of the island’s first adepts was the Roman emperor Tiberius, who spent the last years of his life here. Certainly the “cocktail” of nature, art, culture and high society that Capri can offer has few equivalents in the world, but what is it about the island that really makes its mark on visitors?

Surely it is the sea or rather the colors of the sea and the environment… the intense blue of the deep water, the crystalline turquoise in the inlets, the white of the rocks in the blazing sun and the grey of the clifftops which fade into the azure above or the yellow of the flowering broom….

Everyone needs to see Italy with their own eyes. Photos and words don’t begin to do it justice. I spent just few hours in Capri and it was very difficult for me to leave the island. Italy is so breathtaking that it can lift up anyone’s spirits, and also be quite relaxing if you are away from the major attractions. During this trip I tasted all the features that make summer my favorite season. Tanned skin, wet hair left to dry on the boat, less make-up, colorful dresses, reminiscent of the color of the sea, long evening walks to the shops in the country, fish dinners, a sense of freedom and lightness.

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On our third day in Sorrentine Peninsula we choose to finally take a day trip to the island of dreamy Capri. Sorrento is a delightful city with wonderful orange groves and spectacular cliffs looking out over the Bay of Naples to the north and, on clear days, you can see the Vesuvius. But why not get a panoramic view of the coastline, why not board a boat or ferry and visit the famous island of Capri for a whole day?

So we caught the first ferry early in the morning from Punta Campanella in Sorrento after we descended the steep twisting road to buy the tickets. There are ferries, fast ferries and hydrofoils that frequently depart Sorrento for Capri, as well as other destinations. Capri which is frequently linked to the mainland by boats and hovercraft is only 5 km from here, which represents the furthermost point of the Sorrento peninsular. The journey is very comfortable and takes about half an hour. From the boat you can have the most incredible views of Sorrento coastline.

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It is difficult for a person who does not know Capri to imagine the emotions and the surprise of the tourist or traveler who sets foot on this enchanted island for the first time. Capri is popular all the year round, particularly at weekends. I was lucky enough to visit it at the end of June when the mild climate is still favorable for swimming and the island is not so crowded. It felt like spending a few hours in paradise. I really recommend you this fairy tale island for your honeymoon! I don’t know when I will have mine but for sure I will come back here one day! I promised to myself!

When you arrive at Capri in Marina Grande you will discover an enchanting, romantic island that has been a luxury getaway since the days of the Roman Empire. Marina Grande, as is quite clear from its name, is the main port and the most frequented landing place of the island as well as a colorful and fascinating introduction to the picturesque and suggestive microcosm of Capri. Here, in the Augustian age there was a sandy shore, the Grande Marina which the Romans used as a landing place for their ships and which afterwards became an important port. Today Marina Grande is a beautiful riverside town which is set in a lovely natural position at the foot of the green saddle along with the romantic town of Capri stretches. The town of Marina Grande has merged with the above lying main town; in the small square which overlooks the port and which is usually swarming with tourists stand the characteristic houses of Capri, rendered typical by the terraces, by the balconies, by the open galleries and by the multicolored facades of the town, brightened by the “Pompeian red” which is one of the most intense notes of color along the whole Neapolitan coast.

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After we disembark at Marina Grande and get used with this unique island and the picturesque port, the boats and the sequence of enchanting houses we took the cable railway – the funicular – up to Capri itself, the main center which is off limits for private vehicles during the season. The presence of this unique transport system is bound to be noted by the tourist. Although a modern road allows the taxis and public transport systems to travel as far as the main town, thousands of tourists and travelers chose to take this lovely rack railway which goes on a direct route from Marina Grande to Capri. The funicular it passes along the cultivated slopes and along the hills which seem to cling to the imposing rocks. It is a delightful experience to use this singular and rather old fashioned form of transport but in harmony with the rough and wild nature of the island. I was so excited doing this! And when I finally get off in the Piazzetta of Capri I was like “Wow”!!!!The view is absolutely fascinating from the main attraction of the island – an important meeting point and an obligatory stop for the crowds of tourists who come here the whole year. I barely managed to take a picture only with me.

The Piazza Umberto I is universally known as the “Piazzetta” and is dominated by the Clocktower, once the belltower of the ancient cathedral. It is the throbbing heart of the main town and the “drawing room”of Capri; at the tables of the cafes, which are shaded by multicolored and characteristic umbrellas, the most important and prestigious people from all over the world have sat. Beyond the Clocktower, the piazza opens out onto the small loggia of Belvedere, characterized by a succession of white columns placed on high pedestals. From the parapet of the small loggia one can admire one of the most spectacular views of the whole island, which stretches out from the unmistakable profile of Ischia to the whole Neapolitan gulf.

All around the famous Small Piazza, a complex maze of lanes and narrow alleys testify the presence of a medieval borough at Capri. This enchanting district makes up one of the most exhaustive pictures of the whole island, thanks to the buildings, to the setting out of the town and to the architectural techniques adopted during the Medieval period. Once again the dominant color is the whiteness of the house fronts, which are for the greater part built of calcareous stone. This uniformity is sometimes broken by the large patches of an intense azzure of the almost unreal sky of Capri and the greenest of the vegetation seen in the hedges and in the lush gardens.

A stone’s throw from the Piazzetta the Via Vittorio Emanuele stands one of the widest roads of the historical center of Capri and divides the Medieval quarter from the area of the large hotels. These streets are characterized by the extremely pretty buildings and by the graceful elegance of the architectural lines. Together with the large hotels here you can find characteristic shops selling handicrafts and refined and exclusive boutiques where it’s possible to buy the best products on the market. There’s no way to avoid the shopping in Capri. The narrow streets in every direction are filled with the names of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Fendi and Valentino, but don’t forget the artisans. There are sandal-makers, Capri pant-makers and perfume-makers. The perfumes are delicious, some made with essence of rosemary picked from Monte Solaro or citrussy lemon (men’s) while others are made from the Capri wild carnation (women’s). 

This beautiful island is synonymous with stars, style and impossible glamour but, away from the central Piazzetta, it’s also a place of stunning natural beauty and calm. Charles Dickens once wrote ‘In no place on earth are there so many opportunities for delicious peace and quiet as on this small island’. The best thing  you can do to enjoy a bit of luxury and the atmosphere of the island is to take lunch in one of the many restaurants you can find down the narrow streets. Simple seafood salads, delicious pastas and the freshest fish accompanied by gentle sea breezes and spectacular views.

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This island has a special place in my heart for her bright colors, sunny landscapes, blue clear waters and magic calmness of the land. That day I prefer to wear in ‘Capri style‘ a juicy beautiful dress from Lashez with a pair of flat sandals and a big bag (filled with anything I need) in my hands, both from Zara. I was so thankful I packed it because I felt like a part of those marvelous pictures…Colors can hold the key to changing our mood, energizing our day and charging the way those around us percieve our behavior.

Capri is the main town and the major center of the island and stretches along the saddleback which lies between Mount St.Maria, Mount Tuoro and Mount Tiberius. Due to the spectacular beauty of its natural position Capri is considered to be one of the “pearls” of world tourism. Capri is the main goal of the tourists who visit the “minor islands”, who come from all over the world.

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Capri is essentially a fairy tale, a dream lost in the extraordinary azure of an incredible sea, in the boundless panoramas which embrace other precious terraces of that wonderful mosaic which is the Neapolitan and Salerno coast, between Capo Miseno and Amalfi.