Capri trip planner
A travel guide to the most storied and gorgeous of the Italian islands
Banchina del Porto (Ferry pier), Capri
Piazza Umberto I 1, Capri
Piazzetta Cerio 11, Capri
Via G. Orlando 19a (just off Piazza Vittoria), Anacapri, Capri
Other useful private sites
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Get to Capri
Capri is an island of seduction. It is four square miles of sharp lava blanketed with lush green foliage, white cube houses, and walls spilling over with bougainvillea.
This Eden of oleander and jasmine is surrounded sparkling deep blue and green waters and eerily lit sea grottoes. Capri's sheer physical beauty and dreamy laid-back lifestyle has attracted sun-seekers for millennia, from Roman emperors to latter day hedonists.
How to pronounce Capri
The island in Italy is pronounced CAH-pree, with the stress on the first syllable. Those modish tight pants that stop at mid-calf with a tiny flare and slit? You can call those cah-PREES if you want—just don't say the island's name that way.
Homer certainly chose his spot well when he designated this island to be the home of the mythical Sirens, beautiful but monstrous flesh-eating women who lived on the offshore rocks and sang an irresistible song to lure ancient sailors to their doom.
Capri's allure today is still almost as strong, though the only doom you're likely to face these days is financial (case in point: the famed Blue Grotto has among the highest admissions of any sight in Italy).
Spend the night on Capri
The vest pocket–sized Piazzetta square, social hub of Capri town.Most visitors pop over on the ferry in the morning, fork over the euros for a quick row through the Blue Grotto, gawk at the obscene prices in Capri boutiques, and if they're lucky hike out to explore the ruins of Tiberius' Villa. Capri by day, especially in summer, experiences a tourist crush that veritably sucks the magic right out of the island. If at all possible, spend the night.
As the day-trippers leave on the 5pm ferry, the cloying sounds and scents of Capri creep out of hiding along with the local population. They reclaim the island, restoring some of its Mediterranean mystery and a great deal of its charm and seductiveness.
The lay of the land on Capri
Most people arrive on Capri at Marina Grande, the busy, touristy main port. A bus or funicular from here takes you up to Capri, the main town—which, to avoid confusion, I'll refer to as "Capri Town"—and home to most of the boutique shopping, posh hotels, chichi nightlife, and Beautiful People (Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts all visited just while I was on the island researching this—not kidding).
The center of Capri Town is Piazza Umberto I, called by everyone the Piazzetta.
Out the other side of Capri Town is Marina Piccola, a smaller yachting port consisting of several restaurant/beach establishments.
Capri and the ports occupy the narrowest part of the island, from which a mountain rises in either direction. Halfway up the larger of these, Monte Solaro, sits the village of Anacapri, Capri town's historic rival but today the cooler, calmer, cheaper, and slightly less crowded and developed of the two towns—if any of village life survives on this touristy island, it's in Anacapri.
- Planning your time: As I said above, though you could spend only an hour or three on Capri (and many thousands of tourists per year do), it really deserves an overnight stay. Spend two nights and you can actually feel like you're having a bit of vacation—rather than just making your way to the island one day, then away from it the next. More than three days, though, and you'll likely start to get bored.
- How to get to Capri: See the "Getting To Capri" page for details on ferries and hydrofoils from Naples, Sorrento, and elsewhere... » more
- Book a tour: Consider booking a tour from Rome with our partners at Viator.com:
• Capri Day Trip from Rome
• Capri Day Trip with Lunch from Naples
- How to get around on Capri: See the "Getting around Capri" page for details on the funicular, bus, and taxis (as well as how much time it takes to walk from one place to another)... » more
- Capri Visitor Information: If you pop into the little Capri tourist office along the right side of the ferry dock at Marina Grande (tel. +39-081-837-0634), there's no real need to visit the similarly tiny offices in Capri—Piazza Umberto I 1, open Monday to Saturday 8:30am to 8:30pm, Sunday 9am to 1pm and 2:30 to 6pm (tel. +39-081-837-0686)—or in Anacapri‚ Via G. Orlando 19a (just off Piazza Vittoria), open Monday to Saturday 9am to 3pm (tel. +39-081-837-1524).
The free map they all hand out is fine for most visits, but if you plan on a lot of hiking and exploring, you'll want to buy the more detailed map; it's worth the investment.
The Capri tourist office operates a very useful website at www.capritourism.com. Also useful is the Anacapri comune's website section on tourism: www.comunedianacapri.it/it/turismo. Also handy: the private sites at www.capri.net and www.capri.it.
- Luggage storage on Capri: If, however, you're just over to Capri for the day and want a place to leave your bags—or perhaps you are, say, taking the ferry here from Naples to spend the day then take another boat on to Sorrento—there are two luggage deposit offices.
• Near the main docks in Marina Grande (Via C. Colombo 10, tel. +39-081-837-4575)
• In Capri Town, but a bit hidden: under the funicular station, along the part of Via Acquaviva that's a tunnel (follow the signs for "toilette").
- Festivals: The festival of Capri's patron saint San Costanzo traditionally opens with an all-out procession behind a silver reliquary bust of the saint (people stand on their balconies and strew flower petals on the bust as it passes) on May 14, with a repeat procession from Marina Grande up to Capri on May 16 (this date may vary), and there are concerts and other community-sponsored events all week.
Anacapri throws its own version to honor St. Antonio di Padova on June 13.
The first week of January, folklore groups perform on the main piazzas of Capri and Anacapri.
The Villa Axel Munthe hosts free "sunset concerts" June to August Fridays at 7:45pm (tel. +39-081-764-0737).
- Sights on Capri (sights, hikes, beaches, boat excursions, shopping)
- Hotels on Capri
- Restaurants on Capri
- Capri logistics: Getting to Capri & Getting around Capri
- Nearby destinations: Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast (Positano, Amalfi, Ravello), Pompeii
- Campania guide
This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in March 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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