Can you imagine a place where the sea and sky merge into one, where rugged cliffs are adorned with vibrant bougainvillea, and where narrow streets lead to hidden treasures. Welcome to Capri Island – Italy’s gem in the Tyrrhenian Sea. This idyllic island is not just about breath-taking panoramas and azure waters; it’s a blend of history, culture, and gastronomy that promises an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re an adventurer seeking natural wonders, a passionate Instagram photographer, a history buff intrigued by ancient ruins, or a foodie eager to indulge in local delicacies, Capri has something for everyone. So, let’s embark on this virtual tour and uncover the best things to do in Capri and around the island.
Explore the natural beauty of Capri Island
Experience the Blue Grotto
Dive into the mesmerizing world of the Grotta Azzurra, or Blue Grotto, a sea cave on the coast of Capri that is one of the island’s most magical attractions. This natural wonder is renowned for its brilliant blue light that illuminates the cavernous space, creating an ethereal atmosphere that leaves visitors in awe.
Embarking on a boat tour is the best way to experience the Blue Grotto. As you approach the cave, you’ll notice the water’s striking azure hue, a result of sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and reflecting throughout the grotto. The entrance to the cave is small, and when the tide is right, you can glide through on a wooden rowboat, ducking your head as you enter this otherworldly realm.
Inside, the grotto is spacious and eerily beautiful. The blue light gives everything a dreamlike quality, making it feel like you’ve entered a different world. The sound of the oars gently splashing against the luminous water echoes around the cave, adding to the mystical ambiance.
For the adventurous, swimming in the Blue Grotto is an unforgettable experience. Imagine floating in the radiant blue waters, surrounded by the cave’s cool, damp walls, while the sun’s rays create a shimmering light show beneath the surface. It’s a surreal and enchanting experience that truly captures the magic of Capri Island.
Remember, visiting the Blue Grotto is dependent on weather and sea conditions. On days when the sea is rough, access to the cave may be restricted. So, plan your trip accordingly and get ready to witness one of nature’s most stunning spectacles.
Ascend Mount Solaro for panoramic views
For a truly breathtaking experience on Capri Island, you can’t miss the chairlift ride to Mount Solaro. Located in the charming town of Anacapri, this mountain is the highest point on the island, standing at an impressive 589 meters above sea level.
The journey to the summit begins with a peaceful chairlift ride that takes about 12 minutes. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the island and the sparkling blue sea below. The landscape is dotted with vibrant green vegetation, colorful flowers, and traditional white-washed houses, creating a picturesque scene that seems straight out of a postcard.
Once you reach the top, prepare to be awed by the panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. From here, you can spot famous landmarks such as the Faraglioni rock formations and the Marina Piccola. On clear days, you might even catch sight of the distant Amalfi Coast and the Gulf of Naples.
But the real magic happens as the day draws to a close. Many visitors time their visit to coincide with the sunset, and for good reason. Watching the sun slowly dip below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of pink, orange, and purple, is a sight to behold. It’s a serene moment that perfectly encapsulates the beauty and tranquility of Capri Island.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a memorable experience, the chairlift ride to Mount Solaro is a must-do activity when visiting Capri. Just remember to bring your camera – you’ll definitely want to capture these incredible views!
Immerse in Capri’s rich history and culture
Visit Villa Jovis, Tiberius’ imperial residence
Step back in time as you explore the Roman ruins of Villa Jovis, one of Capri’s most significant historical sites. Perched on the island’s easternmost tip, this sprawling imperial residence was once the luxurious retreat of Emperor Tiberius.
Constructed around AD 27, Villa Jovis offers a fascinating glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire. As you wander through the remnants of this ancient complex, you can almost hear the echoes of lavish banquets and political intrigues that once filled these halls.
The villa is spread over several terraces, covering an area of about 7,000 square meters. Its strategic location provided Tiberius with a panoramic view of the sea and the Bay of Naples, a sight that remains breathtaking to this day.
Among the ruins, you’ll find the remnants of residential quarters, servant’s rooms, and even a bath complex. One of the most intriguing features is the ‘Leap of Tiberius’, a sheer cliff from which, according to legend, the emperor had his enemies thrown into the sea.
Visiting Villa Jovis not only allows you to delve into the rich tapestry of Capri’s history but also provides an opportunity to enjoy some of the island’s most stunning landscapes. The walk to the villa itself is a delightful experience, taking you along narrow lanes lined with traditional Caprese homes and vibrant flora.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water, especially during the summer months. The site is open to the public, but it’s always wise to check the opening hours before your visit.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate beautiful views, a trip to Villa Jovis is a must when exploring the enchanting island of Capri.
Discover the artistic heritage at Certosa di San Giacomo
Nestled in the heart of Capri, you’ll find a place where art and history intertwine – the Certosa di San Giacomo. This ancient monastery, dating back to the 14th century, is a testament to Capri’s rich cultural heritage.
As you step into the serene confines of this historic site, you’re immediately transported back in time. The monastery’s architecture, with its cloisters and chapels, tells tales of monks who once lived here, offering a unique glimpse into Capri’s past.
But the Certosa di San Giacomo isn’t just about history. It’s also home to an impressive art gallery that showcases works from various periods, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts. As you wander through the gallery, you’ll come across a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and frescoes, each piece telling a story of its own. From religious art that reflects the monastery’s spiritual roots to contemporary pieces that offer a modern perspective, the gallery provides a comprehensive overview of Italian art history.
Visiting the Certosa di San Giacomo is more than just a sightseeing activity; it’s a cultural experience. Whether you’re exploring the monastery’s historic corridors, admiring the art on display, or simply soaking in the peaceful atmosphere, you’re engaging with Capri’s artistic heritage in a truly immersive way.
So, when you’re on Capri Island, make sure to carve out some time for the Certosa di San Giacomo. It’s not just a destination; it’s a journey into the island’s artistic soul.
Indulge in a gastronomic journey
Savor authentic local cuisine
When in Capri, your taste buds are in for a treat. The island is renowned for its mouthwatering local cuisine that beautifully encapsulates the flavors of the Mediterranean. Two dishes you simply cannot miss are the Caprese salad and Ravioli capresi.
The Caprese salad, named after the island itself, is a simple yet flavorful dish that showcases the freshness of its ingredients. It’s a delightful combination of ripe, juicy tomatoes, creamy buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. This dish is not just a salad; it’s a vibrant medley of colors and flavors that perfectly represents the spirit of Capri.
Next on your culinary journey is Ravioli capresi. This is no ordinary pasta dish. Handmade with love, these delicate parcels of dough are filled with caciotta cheese and marjoram, then dressed in a rich tomato sauce. Each bite of Ravioli capresi is a burst of authentic Italian flavors that will leave you craving more.
While enjoying these dishes, remember that they are more than just food. They are a part of Capri’s cultural heritage, a testament to the island’s rich history and the locals’ passion for gastronomy. So, as you savor each bite, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into creating these culinary masterpieces.
Enjoy a glass of Limoncello
As you wander through the fragrant lemon gardens of Capri, you’ll likely encounter the island’s famous Limoncello. This delightful lemon liqueur is a staple in Capri and a must-try for any visitor. The process of making Limoncello is a cherished tradition passed down through generations.
The journey of Limoncello starts in the lush lemon groves that dot the island. These aren’t your average lemons – Capri’s lemons are renowned for their size and intense aroma, making them perfect for Limoncello production. Walking through these gardens, you’ll be enveloped by the intoxicating scent of citrus, a sensory experience that’s as refreshing as the drink itself.
But what makes Limoncello truly special is the meticulous process of its creation. The lemons are handpicked at the peak of ripeness, ensuring the highest quality. The peels are then carefully zested, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. This zest is steeped in high-proof alcohol, extracting the essential oils and vibrant yellow color. After several days, this infusion is strained and mixed with a simple syrup, resulting in the sweet, tangy Limoncello we know and love.
While on Capri, don’t miss the chance to witness this process firsthand. Many local producers offer tours of their lemon gardens and Limoncello-making facilities. It’s a fascinating insight into a beloved tradition and a testament to the island’s dedication to preserving its cultural heritage.
And of course, no Limoncello experience would be complete without tasting it. Served chilled in small glasses, Limoncello is a perfect digestif after a meal. Its bright, citrusy flavor is a burst of sunshine, capturing the essence of Capri in every sip. Whether enjoyed in a bustling piazza or a quiet garden overlooking the sea, a glass of Limoncello is a taste of Capri’s sweet life.
Shop and relax in Piazzetta
No trip to Capri Island would be complete without a visit to the bustling Piazzetta. Known officially as Piazza Umberto I, this charming square is the heart of Capri’s social life and a hub for shopping enthusiasts.
For those with a penchant for luxury, the Piazzetta offers an array of designer shops. From high-end Italian brands like Gucci and Prada to international fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, you’ll find them all lining the narrow, picturesque streets around the square. These boutiques not only offer the latest collections but also provide a unique shopping experience, with their beautiful interiors and personalized service.
But it’s not just about the big names. The Piazzetta is also home to a number of local boutiques, where you can discover unique pieces that reflect the island’s style and tradition. Whether you’re looking for handmade sandals, artisanal ceramics, or exquisite jewelry made from coral and seashells, these shops offer a treasure trove of items that make perfect souvenirs or gifts.
After a day of retail therapy, there’s nothing better than unwinding at one of the Piazzetta’s many cafes. The cafe culture in Capri is vibrant and deeply ingrained in the local lifestyle. Sip on a cup of freshly brewed Italian coffee as you watch the world go by, or enjoy a glass of Prosecco as the sun sets, turning the square into a magical spectacle.
The Piazzetta truly encapsulates the spirit of Capri – a blend of glamour, tradition, and laid-back charm. So, take your time, soak in the atmosphere, and enjoy every moment of your visit to this enchanting square.
Experience the vibrant nightlife
As the sun sets over the Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri Island transforms into a vibrant hub of music and dance. One place that perfectly encapsulates this lively atmosphere is Taverna Anema e Core. Known as the heart and soul of Capri’s nightlife, this iconic club has been entertaining locals and tourists alike for decades.
Taverna Anema e Core is not your typical club. It’s a place where you can enjoy traditional Neapolitan music, performed live every night. The owner, Guido Lembo, often takes to the stage himself, ensuring an unforgettable experience with his charismatic performances. Jennifer Lopez herself has even been spotted singing there (above)! The infectious rhythm of the music will have you tapping your feet in no time, and before you know it, you’ll be joining the locals on the dance floor, swaying to the beat of classic Italian tunes.
But the fun doesn’t stop at Taverna Anema e Core. Capri Island boasts a variety of clubs that cater to different tastes. Whether you’re into jazz, pop, or electronic music, there’s a club for you on Capri. Dance the night away under the starlit sky at one of the open-air clubs, or enjoy a more intimate setting at a cozy lounge bar.
Remember, the nightlife on Capri Island starts late and goes on until the early hours of the morning. So, take a leisurely dinner, rest up, and then get ready to experience the island’s vibrant nightlife. It’s a side of Capri that you won’t want to miss! Capri Island, with its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, offers a unique blend of experiences that cater to every traveler’s taste. Whether you’re an adventurer seeking the thrill of exploring the Blue Grotto or Mount Solaro, a history enthusiast eager to delve into the island’s past at Villa Jovis and Certosa di San Giacomo, or a food lover looking to indulge in local cuisine and Limoncello, Capri has something for everyone. The charm of Piazzetta’s shopping scene and the island’s lively nightlife further enhance the allure of this Italian paradise. This guide serves as your compass to navigate the best of what Capri has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable journey through one of Italy’s most enchanting islands.
As you plan your trip, remember that the magic of Capri lies not just in its attractions but also in its ability to make you lose track of time while immersing in its captivating beauty.