🚶🏽♀️The Capri Island: Capri, Italy, 2017
In the gulf of Naples just off the end of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the island of Capri located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is famous for its rugged, dramatic and cove-studded coastline. It is quite easy to get to this island from Naples, as there are many ferries running frequently. You can choose to travel by a slow ferry that takes about 80 minutes and costs around 15 euros; or use a high-speed ferry (nave veloce) that takes about 50 minutes and costs around 20 euros. I chose the slow one, “Caremar Ferry” to be specific, as I wanted to be on it for a long time for obvious reasons (clicking lots of photographs 📸 whilst watching the beautiful landscapes)!
Upon arriving close to Mount Solaro, at whose foot Marina Grande (the main port of the island of Capri) is, I got to see a stunning panoramic view of a dramatically beautiful coastline with the sunshine falling over it. The island is famous for such views.
🚣 The Boat Tour around the Capri Island:
Upon reaching the port, the very first thing I did was to book a private boat tour around the island that costed about 80 euros per hour. Quite an expensive one but totally worth it as the tour offers visiting multitude of masterpieces of nature such as the Faraglioni, Green Grotto, Blue Grotto, the White Grotto and the lighthouse of Punta Carena.
After the boat was assigned, I see an old man, the driver of the boat approaching with a huge smile on his face and trust me, he maintained it for the entire trip. He also made sure to be engaging all along the tour by offering food and drinks, cracking some jokes, showing places where to snorkel, waited patiently until I finished my photography sessions and he was the coolest one I have met till date! Kudos to him! 🙌
📍Grotta Azzura (blue grotto)
There are three main caves on the island, the green grotto, the blue Grotto and the White grotto.
Blue Grotto, being one of the most famous emblems of the island of Capri, is a sea cave which has its blue color from the sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater creating a bule reflection that illuminates the cavern. You shift to row boat to enter this cave as it is very narrow and the tour is for about 4 minutes. The boatsman usually sings while passing through this cave, which makes it even more soothing considering the fact that it echoes beautifully. Going through this cave was truly FUN!
This lighthouse of Punta Carena is the most important and the only point of reference for boat navigation in south Italy.
After watching the cave you will easily understand why it got its name of the green cave or grotta verde because the color of the water here is all GREEN reflecting it on the rocks as well. The simple reason behind it is the entire seabed of Capri is usually with rocks but in this place it is just the sand plus with a shallow depth. The green grotto is almost unreal with water that is simply indescribably clear! On sunny days with these crystal-clear waters, you get to see the seabed rich in flora and fauna.
You also get to see these red corals on the way.
📍 Marina Piccola
This south side of the island is the most famous residential quarter and to get a private house here will cost "millions of euros"! Many famous celebrities own beautiful villas here. Forget about the interiors, you can just see the outside and tell why the cost could be so freaking high!!!
📍 I Faraglioni
Next was to this MOST MOST famous and MUST VISIT spot! These three rocks looming from the sea with a natural tunnel that runs right through, are the most famous remaining rocks which have survived coastal landslides and erosion by the sea. Entering through the tunnel was a spectacular view.
My driver wanted to make it memorable for me, so he just calls to ask me to hold the steering for a picture and then suddenly he moves away letting me alone! The surprised face expression truly justifies my excitement!
📍 Grotta Bianca
The white grotto is a wonderful cavitie with white stalactites. This is directly accessible from the sea through a series of very steep steps built in the 20th century. The caves are extremely striking due to the strange shapes that they have taken over the centuries.
On the way to all these attractions you see lots of crags, some decorated with statues to attract the visitor's eyes! Also, watch around the north-eastern side of the island as you can see the mainland Italy with the view of Amalfi coast at a distance.
That calls an end to the boat tour.
The hikes of the Capri island are quite famous and I wanted to pin at least one of them. I decided on doing the hike up to Monte Solaro. This location is the highest point on the island at 589 meters elevation (1932 ft). From the top you can enjoy panoramic views that include the Faraglioni rock formations, the Capri town and the whole of the Gulf of Naples. On clear days you can catch a glimpse of the Gulf of Salerno.If you choose to avoid the hike, there is a chairlift from the Piazza Vittoria. It takes about 12 minutes and offers nice views (costs around 12 euros two-way). If you love to stay away from the crowds, you can hike to the top from the Piazza della Pace. It takes about an hour and there are many steps, but the path is easy to follow and not at all crowded. I took around 3 hours for the entire hike from Marina Grande to Monte Solaro (via Piazza della Pace) and down to the Piazza Vittoria, Anacapri.
On the way I did see the famous landmarks, Villa San Michele and Chiesa di San Michele - Anacapri.
📍 Villa San Michele
Being completed in the early 20th century, this villa is the most visited location on the island. It was in fact one of the homes of the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe.The interiors of the home offer a beautiful journey of his writings and his work. In every nook and corner you can feel the how much efforts he put in designing this beautiful villa. Arriving at this destination using the Phoenician steps is highly recommended.
These Phoenician steps, 921 steps to be precise, were used by anyone who needed to transport goods from Marina Grande up to Anacapri. It was dominantly used by women who carried heavy vases climbing up and down for which their hard work is portrayed as a monument to these women at the top of the steps. Even the materials required for the construction of the villa were transported via these steps using donkeys.
The steps begin in Marina Grande. From the port, walk along Via Palazzo a Mare and, after about 400 meters (437 yards), you'll see a sign indicating the steps to your right. It takes about half hour to reach the villa using these steps covering some of the most beautiful views of the island. From the top of the steps you'll quickly reach the Church of San Michele and the ancient archway which once marked the border between the towns of Capri and Anacapri.
📍 Chiesa di San Michele - Anacapri (Church of St Michael the Archangel)
Built in 1719, this is a Roman catholic church located on Piazza San Nicola in Anacapri. It is octagonal in shape and of Baroquestyle. The church received a "monument" designation due to its notable majolicafloor mosaic.
📍 Monte Solaro
💞🎉Exploring La Piazetta:
The next was to get to the main square in Capri, La Piazzetta. It's easy to get to the Piazzetta.
From Marina Grande: a funicular train.
From Marina Piccola and Anacapri: bus. The bus station is just a few meters from the Piazzetta.
I used the bus as I got down to Anacapri after the hike.
📍 Piazza Umberto I or La Piazetta
This small and most fashionable square is the Capri's legendary Piazzetta. In the island dialect it's called chiazza but the official registered name as seen on maps is Piazza Umberto 1. This busy sqaure marks the focal point of the island life and the best time to see it is in the early mornings when all pass through this square for work after having their morning coffee and cornetto.
📍 Torre del Orologio: The clock tower of Capri
This most unique and free-standing clock tower is the highly recognised icon of La Piazetta.
It marks every quarter hour.
📍 Chiesa di Santo Stefano
Built around La Piazzeta in the seventeenth century, Santo Stefano is a Catholic church and former cathedral on the island of Capri,Italy. It is the principal house of worship in the Capri town dedicated to Saint Stephen.
Many people come to Capri for the spectacular views of the island, the shopping and to enjoy an aperitivo in the main piazzetta while watching people go by. These are the must-do activities! You can also wait until sunset to get soaked up in this beauty! One of the best moments for me to watch the sun setting from this legendary square of Capri!
This maked my end to a long trip of exploring from Bari to Capri (read thier respective blogs) and remained as the most memorable ones! ❤️