Things to Do in Capri
The symbol of Capri—and one of the island’s most striking natural features—this trio of soaring rock spurs jutting out from the waters of the Mediterranean are a dramatic sight from both land and sea. Take in their craggy beauty from one of the island’s many scenic overlooks, or sail past on a boat tour.
The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) is one of the most famous attractions on the beautiful island of Capri, located in Italy’s Bay of Naples. This unique sea cave gets its name from the bright blue light filtering through the water by way of an opening below sea level. To enter the cave, visitors board a small rowboat and duck as they enter through a low opening. Once inside the cave, you’ll marvel at the glowing turquoise light.
One of several natural sea caves along Capri's rugged coastline, the Green Grotto (Grotta Verde) is known for the unique green light that filters through the water and reflects onto the walls, creating a striking, dreamy atmosphere inside.
The White Grotto(Grotta Bianca) is one of several scenic caves along the coastline of the island of Capri, which sits just off the coast of Naples, Italy. Less crowded than the popular Blue Grotto, it gets its name from the white stalactites that hang from the roof of the cave and the white layers of calcareous material that coats its sides. One of the stalactites is said to resemble the Virgin Mary in prayer. The grotto consists of an upper and lower cave, although the upper is not easily accessible. The lower cave is about 24 feet at its tallest and is wider above the water (about six feet) than it is at the surface. According to Mario Puzo’s book “The Sicilian,” the famous Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano spent his first nights as an outlaw in the White Grotto.
Perched atop the dramatic cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples and just a short stroll from Capri’s central Piazzetta square, the lush Gardens of Augustus (Giardini di Augusto) are a quiet oasis offering mesmerizing views of the tiny cove of Marina Piccola and the soaring Faraglioni sea stacks just off shore.
The Natural Arch (Arco Naturale) on the Italian island of Capri is all that remains of what was once a deep and incredibly high grotto. Thought to date all the way back to the Paleolithic era, today the limestone arch stands about 12 meters wide and 18 meters tall. Avid photographers will find that the arch can provide an ideal picture frame for capturing seascapes in the distance. Located on the east side of the island, the walk to reach the Natural Arch is one of the most beautiful on Capri. From a small square facing the arch visitors can also enjoy tremendous views of the Sorrentine Peninsula, Punta Campanella and the islets of the Li Galli archipelago.
Located on the southern side of the island of Capri, Marina Piccola was once the main port on the island, used by Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. Sheltered from the wind and enjoying a southern exposure, the beaches here are typically the warmest on the island. The marina is split into the Marina di Mulo and the Marina di Peannauro by the Scoglio delle Sirene cliff. Legend has it that the cliff was once inhabited by bewitching sirens described by Homer in the Odyssey.
Out to sea from Marina Piccola are the rock formations known as the Faraglioni Stacks, which must be passed when leaving the marina by boat. Near the small square where the buses stop in the marina are stairs that lead down to a pebble beach and to the Church of Saint Andrea, built in 1900. Visitors may also wish to hike along the historic Via Krupp, a switchback foot path that leads from Marina Piccola to the Charterhouse of San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus.
The Villa San Michele on the island of Capri is a 20th century villa built by Swedish doctor and author Alex Munthe, who lived on Capri for nearly six decades. Now a museum, it is home to more than 1,600 pieces from as far back as 1250 B.C. A collection from the Etruscan period includes a marble sphinx and a head made of terracotta while Roman antiquities on display include a variety of mosaics, sculptures and columns. Highlights of the collection include an Egyptian sphinx in red and black granite from the time of Ramses II and a mask of Medusa. In the chapel, visitors will see examples of medieval church art, as well as pieces from the Neapolitan Renaissance, and in the dining room and kitchen are collections of 18th century Swedish pewter and 16th century Lombard copper vessels. Munthe’s personal effects are also on display, including a manuscript of his book, “The Story of San Michele.”
The villa gardens include more archaeological finds and offer panoramic views of the town of Capri, the harbor, the Sorretine peninsula and Mount Vesuvius.
Marina Grande is the main port on the island of Capri, located off the coast of Naples, Italy. Set just north of the main town of Capri and at the foot of Mount Solaro on the norther side of the island, it was an ancient fishing port, used by the Romans during Augustan times. Since the early 20th century, it has developed into a major port and seaside resort that features the largest beach on the island. A small square overlooks the port, which is surrounded by a rainbow of traditional Capri houses with terraces and balconies. There are also a number of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops around the port.
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