Not so long ago I read a post about why you shouldn’t visit Capri. I have searched and searched and searched the net for it since to no avail. When I read it, it made me think ‘is my trip to Capri going to be rubbish?’ But me being me I have to experience something for myself and not, not do something because someone else didn’t enjoy it or didn’t get anything from it. Also, I think the guys who had written it had visited in the off season and struggled to find anything open. Capri had always appealed to me and the fact that I was staying in Sorrento a hop across the water a visit was never in doubt.
Capri had a reputation in the 1960’s of being the playground of the rich and famous. This was something I had to see for myself, an island only accessible by water (or helicopter I’m sure if you were/are rich enough) gets a tick in my book. Did you know that geological surveys and archaeological findings have confirmed that Capri actually used to be part of mainland Italy?
We decided to do an organised tour booked via Acampora Travel at a cost of £65 per person which was led by the lovely and knowledgable guide Gulia. This included hotel pick up and drop off, ferry ride, transportation whilst on the island and running commentary from Gulia. If you want the freedom of doing the trip at your own pace getting there is pretty easy from Sorrento with ferries running regularly from Sorrento Marina at a cost of between €14 and €18 per person, depending on the time of day you travel. The fast ferries take around 30 minutes and if you get the opportunity I’d advise standing at the back as you get great views of Sorrento and Mt Vesuvius which slowly disappear the closer you get to Capri. Allowing perfect photo opportunities providing you make the journey on a clear day.
When I arrived in Capri the group was given the opportunity to join an optional boat tour around the island for €16 per person from the marina, Marina Grande. This in my option was well worth it. Gulia joined us and pointed out various buildings (including Gracie Field’s home) caves and the beautiful orange coral which has formed at the bottom of the cliffs. Guila pointed out the sculpture of Gennarino (The Statue of the Scugnizzo) sitting on the rocks, waving out across the water – don’t forget to shout ‘Ciao Gennarino’ as he is said to bring good luck to travellers . We also went through the rock, which over time due to erosion is now an arch where Mr ESLT and I enjoyed a smooch which, according to legend means our love will last forever! We pulled up to the entrance of the Blue Grotto (lagoon) where we could see people entering. To get in you have to lay flat in a small rowing boat as the opening in the rocks is tiny! Now firstly, I’m not great with tight spaces and secondly we were short on time so decided that this wasn’t for us. I imagine it’s beautiful in there but visiting just wasn’t our thing. The boat journey around the full island took 60 minutes.
Back on dry land we jumped on a minibus and headed up the narrow, bendy road to Anacapri which sits at the highest point of the island. Here Gulia took us to a look out point which gave us breathtaking views of the sea, harbour and town below. We were given a couple of hours free time in Anacapri for us to grab lunch and explore the tiny quiet streets of this lovely town. After a hearty meal of pizza and beer we wandered around admiring the intricate buildings until we stumbled across the Church of St Michele Arcangelo which boasts the most beautiful and colourful mosaic floor I have ever seen. You are not permitted to walk on it and must navigate your way around the room on the wooden planks that have been placed around the edges. You can also climb a narrow spiralled staircase which allows you a birdseye view of the floor. What a great find and for a $2 (per person) entry fee it was also a bargain. Anacapri also has cable cars which you can ride….again not our thing but the looked like fun especially if you have kids with you. Here you will find many shops. The majority of which are gift shops. I’ll be honest we fell into the trap and bought souvenirs for friends and family simply because Capri was written across it!
After a lovely couple of hours up there we jumped back on the minibus and headed down to the town of Capri. Here Gulia took us on a walking tour of the town. Flower garden for the queen and another look out point which again gave fantastic views out over the water Tyrrhenian Sea. We were again given a couple of hours free time to explore. Capri was a lot busier than Anacapri that’s day and I imagine is most days with the shops and cafes bustling with visitors to the island. Here the shops are very different to those of Anacapri. Here are the shops that I had expected of this island – the high end designer ones! They are all on one street – Via Camerelle and Gulia told us that this was the most dangerous street in Capri – for husband’s wallets!!! Needless to say we visited a few and even found in the Gucci shop a specially designed handbag that you can only by on the Isle of Capri. A couple of hours here maybe wasn’t enough but it was getting late and I had turned a fluorescent shade of red(!) so it was time to head back to the harbour and board our ferry back to the mainland.
So in summary, I’m writing a post about why you should go to Capri. Personally, it was an extremely enjoyable day, maybe the 30 degree weather had something to do with it? I don’t know but I’m glad I took the day to visit and explore this unique island and would highly recommend it. I would also recommend wearing sunscreen in said 30 degree weather so you don’t end up looking like a boil in the bag lobster like I did! (Ouch).