Capri is a rocky island situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Naples. I visited the island on a day-trip from Positano on the Amalfi Coast and it was truly memorable. It’s really easy to get to Capri from Positano. Ferries ply between these two tourist hotspots several times a day and it takes only 30 minutes (20 minutes from Sorrento), making a day trip to Capri a great thing to do. We left on the 11am ferry and sat up on the deck. Throughout the 30-minute ride, the views of the imposing cliffs of the Sorrento peninsula and the villages perched precariously on the edges took centre-stage. There’s really nothing quite like it anywhere in the world.
From a distance, Capri (map) looked like a giant monster of the deep breaching the surface. It’s towering cliffs and rugged coastline, with countless caves and rock formations, are truly awe-inspiring. As we looked up at the massive cliffs, we spotted Villa Jovis, the summer home of Emperor Tiberius. During his reign, anyone who fell out of favour with him were thrown off these cliffs. The thought sent a cold shiver down my back as I imagined the terrifying fall. Those cliffs are at least 300 meters (or more than a thousand feet) high!
As the ferry rounded the cliffs and approached the small harbour of Capri, the gorgeous little town of Capri came into view. The brightly coloured houses of Marina Grande lined the harbourfront whilst high in the hills above it, the whitewashed town of Capri loomed.
Things to do in Capri
There are many things to do and see in Capri. The first thing we did upon arrival was check for tours around the island. Friends of ours had strongly recommended a boat tour around the island. We checked at a small booth at the jetty and yes, they offered island tours with or without the option to visit the famous Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra). We chose the island tour that included the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra).
The boat tour was lovely. We got to see the impressive limestone cliffs up close – the cliffs were littered with caves, crevices and massive arches. The highlight of the tour was without doubt the Blue Grotto. The ethereal blue colour of the water in the cave was absolutely unforgettable.
Back in Marina Grande, we made our way up to the town of Capri. The two are connected by a funicular railway – the easiest and quickest way up – and there are also buses and taxis. The sporty visitors can opt to walk the steep 2.2 kilometer path to the top. I didn’t even think about it for a second….not in the hot summer heat.
Once at the top, the views over the Gulf of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius were stupendous. We went on a leisurely stroll around the quaint narrow lanes of Capri that lead in all directions from the main square, Piazza Umberto I. It quickly became clear to me that Capri is an island for the well-heeled. Every big name in fashion is represented in the little streets while restaurants have pictures hanging at their doors of glamorous people (Sylvester Stallone and Danny Devito right down to Beyoncé and Jay-Z) dining there. My first instinct was to sniff out a great eatery that was reasonably-priced. I stayed off the main streets and explored the back lanes, and found a fabulous little place: Trattoria Scialapopolo, off the Via Le Botteghe. I had a simple spaghetti alio olio and a slice of chocolate cake heaven to finish off – a divine meal for a modest price.
Capri is a lovely place to just wander around for the afternoon and explore the many lanes with their beautiful fashion, art and handicraft shops. There are also various places that are absolutely worth a visit, such as Villa Jovis, the former home of Emperor Tiberius, or the Gardens of Augustus. One can also opt to visit Capri’s second town, Anacapri. Anacapri is home to the splendid St. Michael’s Church and the ruins of Barbarossa Castle, as well as the chairlift which takes visitors up to Monte Solaro, Capri’s highest peak, for some magnificent views.
Capri makes for a wonderful day trip from Naples, Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast. At the end of the day, chances are, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning sunset as you sit on the boat back to the mainland.