Wanderlust

La Dolce Vita: The Top 10 Things To Do In Capri

Capri is worth the rocky ferry ride from the Amalfi Coast. It’s a quintessentially Italian island – picture boats bobbing in the big blue, crisp white villas, vintage limos and streets lined with lemon trees, blossoming bougainvilleas and rainbow rows of Vespas. The small villages are dripping in charm, and the beach clubs serve up Aperol spritzes and gelato to the glitterati and day-trippers all afternoon long.

For a taste of la dolce vita, here’s what to do when you hop off the funicolare.

#1 SEE THE BLUE GROTTO

If you’re jetting to Capri, it’d be a crime not to visit the Blue Grotto. It’s a bit of a mission to get to the underwater cave – the entrance is so small, you have to lay down flat in your boat – but once you’re in, it will take your breath away. Seriously. The sunlight makes the water look a mesmerising shade of blue. Bring your swimmers, so you can float around while a group of Italians serenade you (to show off the acoustics of the cave, but details). The Blue Grotto is the most beautiful at sunset, but if you’re catching the ferry back to the mainland, try to hold off until at least the late afternoon to avoid the tour groups.  

#2 GO ON A GOZZO RIDE

Cruise the crystalline waters on a gozzo, one of Capri’s classic wooden boats. Pack your cossies and a bottle of bubbles, and rent a ride – along with a private driver. As you sip (and watch your Insta popping off), your driver will take you to the best caves and swimming spots, and stop in front of the faraglioni. Jutting out of the Mediterranean Sea, the three jagged rocks are Capri’s most iconic sight – so don’t leave until you get THE snap. 😉

Don’t have time for a boat? Back on dry land, make your way to one of two streets: Belvedere di Tragara or Pizzolungo. The walk will reward you with picture-perfect views of the faraglioni.

#3 FEEL ON TOP OF THE WORLD AT MONTE SOLARO

Jump on the (tiny) bus that’ll whisk you to Anacapri. The fifteen minutes will fly as you admire the surf splashing against the cliffs. When you get to Piazza Vittoria, hop on the chair lift and go all the way up to Monte Solaro, Capri’s highest point. On the ride, you’ll spot the islands of Ischia and Procida, and at the summit, you’ll be treated to panoramic views stretching as far as Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It’s amazing. If you’re game, you can walk back down, which takes about an hour.

#4 STROLL THROUGH CAPRI VILLAGE

Next up: Capri Village! The town is as cute as it gets. Think old-school cobblestoned streets (and women trying to walk them in stilettos), and colourful buildings with stripy awnings. Start by window-shopping your way down Via Camerelle and Via Sopremante. They’re dotted with Italy’s most iconic luxury fashion houses – Prada, Pucci (fun fact: the brand invented the Capri pant), Ferragamo – plus stores selling leather sandals, beach bags, ceramics, and crafts. Check out Capritouch, Eco Capri, La Parisienne, and Le Farella, or ask Antonio at L’Arte del Sandolo Caprese to make you a new pair of kicks on the spot.

When your wishlist is full, head to the piazzetta (aka the town square). It’s buzzing with energy, and the people-watching is next level. Sit down with a coffee or prosecco and soak up the scene – and be blinded by the bejewelled women walking past. It honestly feels like a movie!

After that, choose any of the little paths out of the piazzetta and see where it takes you.

#5 TRY CAPRI’S TRADITIONAL EATS

Eating is one of life’s simple pleasures, and the Italians do it so, so right.

Capri is home to farmers and fishermen, and the cuisine is fresh, unfussy, and bursting with flavour. You’ve probably tried insalata caprese, but the OG version is insane, thanks to real buffalo mozarella, sun-repined tomatoes and basil grown on the island. The panino caprese is the same deal, but sandwiched between bread. Then there’s ravioli caprese, which is stuffed with caciotta cheese (a type of Tuscan cheese) and mint.

After dinner, order an ice-cold limoncello. Sure, it’s an acquired taste, but Capri is the birthplace of the booze, so it’s now or never. Made with alcohol-infused zest of local lemons, it’s strong – and if you hate it, you can always get it in gelato form. There are shops all around the island that specialise in the stuff.

If you’re out and about late night, get a croissant at Bar Alberto. They start serving them at 1am, and the one filled with white chocolate is out of this world.

Before you leave Capri, treat yourself to a slice of torta caprese, a rich, moist (mmm) flourless cake with chocolate and ground almonds at Pasticceria Ferraro or Da Alberto. It’s heavenly.

Where to eat in Capri:

  • Il Riccio
  • Da Paolino – this place is in an actual lemon grove, and the trees twinkle with fairylights at night
  • La Campannina
  • Aumm Aumm
  • Verginiello
  • Mamma
  • L’Altro Vissani
  • Pulalli
  • Aurora
  • E’Divino
  • Le Grotelle
  • Or save money by packing a picnic and eating it at the Gardens of Augustus.

#6 GET A GELATO OR GRANITA

This is another non-negotiable. On those blazing summer days, cool down with a citrusy granita (a frozen fruit dessert) or gelato at Buonocore or Bar Caso.

#7 PARTY AT A BEACH CLUB

This is what you were waiting for! No Italian summer is complete without a day – or 10 – at a beach club. Capri’s lidos are among the most famous in the world.

La Fontelina is your new happy place. Tip the guy who assigns you one of the navy-and-white umbrellas and he’ll most likely give you a better spot, and dip and sip all day long.

Da Luigi ai Faraglioni, La Canzone del Mare and Lido del Faro are also guaranteed good times.

Not into the beach club scene? Chill out at Marina Piccola.

#8 VISIT THE OLD-SCHOOL VILLAS

Emperor Tiberius was onto something when he lived on Capri more than 2000 years ago. He ruled the Roman Empire from Villa Jovis, a huge white villa with flower-filled gardens, and the ruins are still there.

Love gardens? Wander through Villa San Michele. Built in the 1920s, it has an impressive art collection and a gorgeous garden that’s one of the top 10 in Italy.

#9 PICK UP A NEW PERFUME

Spritz yourself with Capri’s signature scent at Carthusia Perfumery.

The legend goes that in 1380, the father of the monastery (attached to the perfumeria) was surprised by the news that Queen Giovanna d’Angio was coming to Capri. He made a flower arrangement with the most beautiful blooms on the island. When he got around to changing the water 3 days later, he noticed that it had a sweet-smelling fragrance. And boom – that became the first perfume of Capri.

#10 DANCE AT A ‘DISCO’

Start with cocktails at Piccolo Bar or Bar degli Artisti, then get down on an Italian d-floor at Number Two.

 

Wanderlust by Katia Iervasi 

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