Before my first visit to Capri, I made the same association that a lot of people do. Capri = Blue Grotto. Rowing into that grotto is indeed a very neat experience. But it’s not why I’ve been back so many times, or why I’ve made sure that every visit lasts for at least two days.
Capri has been on bucket lists since Tiberius was emperor of Rome; the ruins of his villa are proof of that. It’s one of those rare places that has an ideal mix of civilization and natural beauty. Since we spend two nights here on our Amalfi Coast walking tour, I can’t imagine how much the usual day-trippers from Naples or Sorrento miss.
The Grand Hotel Quisisana
In my book, the first commandment is: Check in to the Grand Hotel Quisisana. This buttery yellow palace is just steps from the Piazzetta, Capri’s see-and-be-seen main square. Named one of the top hotels by both Conde Nast and Travel + Leisure, this upscale property is perfectly sited and beckons an overnight stay. The hotel’s luxe pool overlooks the sea and is paparazzi-worthy. Sip a Campari on the front terrace at sunset, and you’ll really know you made the right decision.
Capri’s Breathtaking Views
From Anacapri, marvel below at the Faraglioni, a trio of rock pillars that lurch out of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Yachts are attracted to them like moths to a flame. And from up above that creates quite the optical illusion: the water is so clear that you can see the boats’ shadows on the sea floor and it looks like they’re levitating above the waves. From here, embark on the six-minute chairlift ride to the top of Monte Solaro. At the start of the ride, your feet practically brush the clotheslines in the villagers’ backyards. By the top, you’ve become a close friend with the view across the entire Bay of Naples with Vesuvius looming over the whole scene. Explore a 14th-century monastery with your expert local guide, to get a taste of this quaint island’s history.
Make your way back down at sea level on foot, passing through fields of wildflowers and taking in the never-ending sea views. In town, you’re a shopper, the late afternoon is the perfect time to browse Via Camerelle when the merchants have time to chat and pull out the special item that only arrived yesterday. This is when the day-trippers head back to the mainland, so you can wander the scenic streets and truly embrace “la dolce vita“.
Our tour’s visits to Capri are always paired up with Positano, Amalfi, Vesuvius, and Pompeii – more magnificence per hectare than you can imagine. But it’s Capri that first captured my heart and imagination. In a world full of new places to visit, this is the one that keeps calling me back.