Brilliant blues will tempt you in the island of Capri

Idyllic island in Italy’s Gulf of Naples…

Keep your eyes glued to the window as the shuttle from Naples airport weaves slowly through the narrow streets of the city’s Greco-Roman historic centre. Past alley labyrinths and literary cafès. Past church steeples, Baroque facades, Renaissance statues and frescoed fountains. Past leftovers of the ancient Agora and Forum. To the buzzing port guarded by the turreted Castle Nuovo. Where the shadow of Vesuvius looming in the distance triggers a thought…maybe Pompeii just a bad dream. Long ticket queues to multiple islands, but the wait is short, because Capri ferries depart every 45 minutes. So sit back on the plush seats and enjoy the smooth sail over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Because here on, its stinging electric blue all the way.

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Announce your arrival with élan

Idyllic island…the mind pronounces wordlessly, as you approach the stone breakwaters separating the sea from the yacht-studded harbour. Azure blue contrasts sharply with a white-dominant town rising up a stony cliff. Simple houses huddle together in pleasing disharmony. Ancient Roman hideaway. 19th-century art capital rivalling the stature of Paris. And now chic getaway synonymous with jet-setter parties, celebrity escapes and understated luxury. With lemon trees, vibrant bougainvillea, fresh air, warm sun, happy faces, tanned skin. Eager leap right into the Mediterranean!

People everywhere. Quick inspection for transport. Funicular? Bus? Wait…are those vintage cabriolets with open roofs?? Yasssss! Uptown through narrow winding streets. Worth each cent of the 20 euro ride. Disembark at the thronging Piazzetta Umberto. Postpone curiosity for later. Luggage drag to hotel…enticing boutiques and enviable villas all along. Narrow streets, covered passages…this is getting to be very long walk! And uphill! Puff. Pant. Stare at flower-draped walls, adorned frontages, hidden statues in gardens. Finally reach Villa Helios…smile at the much deserved upgrade to partial sea view room. One more spoon of perfect and it will spill! Brilliantly blue with ecstasy?

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Find rocks and a dizzying trail

Return to the pulsating Piazzetta for a sun-soak. Wander aimlessly, poke into corners, peek into alleys, eavesdrop on lazy cats, indulge in shameless people- watching. Relish the freshness of Capricciosa Pizza and Limoncello. Savour the lusciousness of Caprisa cake at the historic Cafe Morgano. And queue up for the oldest gelato at the famed Buonocore. Capri start, done right.

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Search out the path leading to the Gardens of Augustus, named after Caesar Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire, who adopted Capri as his hideaway. Outside the entrance, get a glimpse of the dizzying trail of Via Krupp clinging to a sheer cliffside all the way down to the rocky shoreline. Meander through the gardens’ lush flower terraces, murmuring fountains and exotic Majolica-tiled walls. Find the best view of the Faraglioni Rocks, the trio of rock formations embedded in the transparent turquoise waters. Gaping much? Blue colored, heart-shaped eyeballs are a thing…and they are born here.

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Hike to hedonistic haven

Take a hike to Villa Jovis. 50 minutes of eternity. Who needs heaven when you have this?? Villas, villas and more villas…both sides. Generously proportioned lawns. Tasteful iron grillwork. Gracefully decorated fountains. Delicately hanging trellis. Lusciously draped vines. And secretively hidden statues. Forget shy, get greedy. Get an eyeful.

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Go back to 1st century AD. Step into the stony sprawl that defines the 7,000 square feet hedonistic haven belonging to Roman Emperor Tiberius. Isn’t Villa Jovis too modest a name for the first ever Roman imperial palace and largest of the twelve imperial villas on the island? Find traces of marble, mosaic, terraces, gardens and baths in the ruins. Poke around the lighthouse from where Tiberius communicated with the coast and with Rome. Shudder at the sheer 977-feet cliff drop where ‘miscreants’  were hurled to their death. And gasp at the 360 degree view of azure blue infinity…

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Glide into a magical sea cave

From the harbour, ferry across the sea in 10 minutes to the famed Blue Grotto. Wait your turn to be transferred into one of the many waiting small wooden boats. Sway to the gondolier lively songs as he rows to a meter-high cave mouth, grabs hold of the chain linked to the cave side, signals a head duck, and whisks you inside the the 190-feet long and 82-feet wide water cave.

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Pitch dark inside…wait for the eye adjust. You’re floating on liquid sapphire…magical and intense like the light of a blue flame. So many boats, cameras flashes and gondoliers singing praises for Santa Lucia. Personal swimming pool for Emperor Tiberius with passageways leading to the palace and ancient marine temple, this. Don’t waste time analysing the science of the illumination, because you have only a few moments to soak in the spell.

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Pinch yourself back to reality

Hop onto a bus negotiating an uphill hairpin road to Anacapri, the quieter, more rugged side of the island. Destination Villa San Michel, abode of 19th-century Swedish author and physician Axel Munthe. Another luxury villa? Or sacred Greek temple perched on a hilltop ledge? As unreal as it gets.

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Spend a few hours immersing in the beauty of the lush gardens. Stroll under the  pretty pergola, find hundreds of artworks, admire the carved Medusa head and make a wish at the antique pink marble Egyptian sphinx, crouching and looking out to cobalt blue vistas beyond town to the Sorrentine Peninsula and Mount Vesuvius. Peer down the 921 Phoenician Steps…once the only stony, steep access used to transport fresh water, building material, correspondence and luggage of early travellers. Tough climb down…do you dare?

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Daydream with a sensational sundowner

Head to the Faro beach and let your impulse guide you to the Punta Carena Lighthouse. Second largest in Italy, with classic red-and-white old-world appeal…its been a guiding light to voyagers since 1867. Pure vintage and ageless. At the rocky edge of the land, with ultramarine waters all around, you will have one single urge…to sun it up for as long as you can. Give in.

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Later, grab a seat with a view in the shack bar, order a drink and drown in the lilt of the soft music. Watch lazy swimmers fill the cove. Witness a romantic beach wedding…tinkling champagne glasses, floating conversation, ballet dancers in bubbles and all. Flashback 2,000 years, to the time when the spectacular scenery of this tiny island attracted its first Greek and Roman aristocratic tourists. Sunset fantasies come to life as the giant blazing red ball sets the sea aflame. And you understand why writers, artists and musicians have always been drawn to Capri shores. This is inspiration overload.

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Idyllic island in Italy’s Gulf of Naples #capri #italy #island #mediterranean #anacapri

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50 thoughts on “Brilliant blues will tempt you in the island of Capri

  1. I have read so much novels featuring the island of Capri in Italy.
    However, yours is the one that gave justice to how it really looked like.
    I’d love to do the same things you did below: “Wander aimlessly, poke into corners, peek into alleys, eavesdrop on lazy cats, indulge in shameless people- watching. Relish the freshness of Capricciosa Pizza and Limoncello. Savour the lusciousness of Caprisa cake at the historic Cafe Morgano. And queue up for the oldest gelato at the famed Buonocore. Capri start, done right.”

    Hope this wish of mine would happen soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You paint a beautiful picture of Capri! I lived in Naples in 1999, and Capri was just as popular back then. I preferred Ischia because there were fewer tourists! Your pics of Anacapri are beautiful. I never made it to the blue grotto – but I wish I had!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I already knew that Capri must be an incredible beautiful island, but today I saw your pics and I said to myself – you got to go there! Besides of all the wonderful places to see the crazy zick zack road surprised me the most. Thanks for making me wanna go to Capri!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Punita,

    Capri suits you well! You look gorgeous in those photos!
    Your exceptional writings about Capri should be published in a top travel magazine. Brilliant!

    Sei bravissima, Punita!

    xoxo Milijana

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It was hard to tell if you did this all in one day? You certainly saw a lot. From the water level in the Blue Grotto to the views at the top of Anna Capri. With stops along the way to watch a wedding. Capri is one of the places where we were really glad we stayed for a few days. The crowds go away with the last ferry. And you see a different local side.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a truly colorful piece – on so many levels. I’ve heard of Capri of course, and remember languid Italian movie scenes and the romance of that gorgeous place. Loved your enthusiasm for it all. How lovely to visit even digitally.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would definitely pay 20 euro to enjoy a vintage cabriolet! How cool!! 😄✨ And what an epic experience it must have been to go inside the Blue Grotto! I have to put it on my bucket list! All your pictures are truly breathtaking! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a long time since I visited Capri but you have really captured the spirit that we remember. The intense blues, blue everywhere all around, and that joy of wandering amongst the alleys, stopping for coffee or gelato!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Capri looks magical and it seems like there are quite a few hiking trails, which is right up my alley! The Gardens of Augustus look incredible and that trail winding down the cliffs looks like fun. I wish I could swim in the Blue Grotto as Emperor Tiberius did.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Is that a yellow pomegranate?

    Hiking sounds like an amazing way to explore Capri. The white buildings complement the blue of the ocean beautifully. I love the bougainvillaeas. There seem to be so many varieties!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love how you described your arrival in Capri! It’s definitely a wonderful place to go on vacations! I was actually not far away from Capri when I went to Southern Italy on archaeological fieldwork. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit Capri, and I was alone without my Sweetheart… and this beautiful place should be explored as a couple, right?! 🙂 However, we did go to the Blue Cave on a day trip when we were in Sicily. The brilliant blue water of the sea on your photos makes me dream about our time there, and is definitely giving me wanderlust! I think it’s about time that we go to Capri soon! Thanks a lot for this inspiring post!

    Like

  12. Wow ok so that’s another place to add to my bucket list! I would love to go to Naples actually, but I had no idea that Capri was so close – and omg so beautiful! The hike to Villa Jovis definitely sounds worth the effort, although it’s hard to be disappointed anywhere in Capri!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The views from the Gardens of Augustus sound and look absolutely incredible! I love all the little doses of Roman history throughout Capri. It looks like the perfect blend of beauty and history.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh wow! I heard a lot about Capri but never been to this part of Italy and it really looks truly amazing. I can see myself swimming in the sea in the summer months one day, this area has been on my list for a while and would love to check this out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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