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CAPRI

Return to Italy

View from Villa San Michele over Capri, Italy
View from Villa San Michele over Marina Grande and isle of Capri

Capri is a small island in the Gulf of Naples.  It has a population of just over 10,000 people but the summer tourist season turns it into a busy metropolis.  It is popular with Italians from the mainland as well as tourists from around the world.  The largest city on the island is also named Capri.  The other major town is Anacapri.  

Weather:

July and August are the height of summer.  Expect average highs at this time of year of 88 F (31 C) and average lows of 68 F (20 C).  From December to February, average highs are just under 57 F (14 C) while average lows are around 41 F (5 C).  The driest part of the year extends from May to August.  Capri is very busy through the summer, so May and June are good choices for a visit.

Transportation:

Capri is a standard port of call for cruise ships.  Passengers are tendered to shore for sight seeing in Capri or excursions to the mainland.  Most visitors arrive from Naples on the high speed SNAV catamarran service to Capri.  The ferry takes about an hour and runs every half hour in summer, so it is easy to visit Capri on a day trip without worrying about the ferry connections.  The ferry arrives at Marina Grande.  From there most of the passengers line up for the funicular that takes them to the town of Capri.  From Capri there are small buses that take riders inexpensively up the steep, narrow road to Anacapri.  Taxis are also available on the island, but the buses and funicular are efficient and entertaining ways to see the island.

Blue Grotto, Grotta Azzurra, Capri, Italy

Blue Grotto, Grotta Azzurra, (c) Can Stock Photo / AntonioGravante

Attractions in Capri:

Things to see and do:

  • Ride the funicular from the harbour of Marina Grande up to the town of Capri.

  • Catch an excursion from the harbour of Marina Grande to the Blue Groto (Grotta Azzurra), the most popular attraction on the island.  Outside the grotto, you transfer to a small boat and pay an additional fee to be rowed into the cave of the Blue Grotto.  If the tide is high, you need to lie down in the boat to enter the cave.  It's dark inside but the sunlight around the cave entrance turns the water blue.

  • Walk from the town of Capri to the Natural Arch (Arco Naturale).

  • Jam in to a local bus for an exciting ride along the cliff edge to Anacapri.  Passengers stand, which heightens the sense of vertigo.  I was sick for about an hour after the short trip.

  • Catch the chair lift from Anacapri to the top of the hill for views of the entire island.

  • In Anacapri, visit the Villa San Michele, a highlight of the trip.

  • Travel by boat or high speed catamaran to Naples, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius or Sorrento.

Natural Arch, Arco Naturale, Capri, Italy

Natural Arch, Arco Naturale

Capri Tours:

Hotels in Capri:

Booking.com Hotel Listings for Capri:


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Capri Visit with Tim Anderson
In the morning, we first we headed out for cafe latte and pastry at a local haunt in Naples.  We knew the Italian routine by now.  Buy at the cashier and then present your voucher to get your food and drink.  We then took a cab to the Molo Beverello and caught the high speed cat to Capri.  The Disney Magic was in port there and passengers from it said it was a great experience.  Capri was another Italian tourist extravaganza.  Multiple boats arriving regularly from the mainland.  Buy tickets for the funicular (funicolore) nearby, while those unfamiliar with the practice line up only to find they can't get on without a ticket.  The line up was long and we waited about 20 minutes for the funicular.  At the top, in Capri proper, it was jammed with people.  We began walking side streets and I'd brought a copy of a recommendation for a walk that I'd found on the internet.  This turned out to be a highlight.  We walked the Via Matrimonia to the Arco Naturale.  It was a peaceful walk with few tourists in partly cloudy weather.  The arch was magnificently large with a steep drop into the green waters below. 

Sphinx, Villa San Michele, Capri, Italy

Villa San Michele, Capri

Next we both proceeded to make ourselves ill with a visit to Anacapri.  We took the local bus for $1.40 each. They jam pack them full of standing tourists and rush up the hill over speed bumps, as they barely miss on coming traffic.  I was at the back of the bus near the outside edge and the view was frightening.  Three quarters of the way up the mountain side, you go over a section where there is almost no rail and the road is suspended over the base of the island and the sea.  From my viewpoint, standing up, it looked like we were going right off the road.  At the top, Anacapri was also filled with tourists and we both felt ill from stress of the bus ride.  We walked to the Villa San Michele and this made the whole trip that day worthwhile.  The $6 euro fee at this house was keeping all the tourists out.  It was a lovely spot, which included a tour of the house, the gardens and the best view on the island.  The Swedish physician Axel Munthe adorned the property in statutes and roman art.  At the edge of the garden, the sphinx was what made Capri worthwhile.  Set in a corner, overlooking the islands and Capri in a manner that never allows you to see the face of the sphinx, it commands you to look with it instead of at it.  Sitting on the nearby bench you could gaze with the sphinx to Naples in one direction and down on Capri at right angles.  I spent quite a while there and then had no desire to spend time anywhere else on the island after that.  I did enjoy a salada caprese (Capri salad) on the way out though.  It's made with tomato and mozzarella.  The tomatoes and the spicing they use in Italy can't be beat.  That night we were scared to search for anywhere else to eat and enjoyed McDonalds burgers for a second night in Naples.  In the evening I filmed the crazy square where honking cars and people dogged each other in a chaotic and yet commonplace pattern while ambulance and police sirens wailed intermittently.  We were more than pleased to leave Naples the next morning, but we had some great experiences.


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