Capri trip planner

A travel guide to the most storied and gorgeous of the Italian islands

Capri Tourist info:
Marina Grande
Banchina del Porto (Ferry pier), Capri

tel. +39-081-837-0634

Capri Town
Piazza Umberto I 1, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-0686

Main office:
Piazzetta Cerio 11, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-5308

Via G. Orlando 19a (just off Piazza Vittoria), Anacapri, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-1524

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CapriCapri 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 Piazzetta, social hub of Capri town
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.

Take your extra day to visit the mountainside village of Anacapri, hike the undeveloped side of the island, or ride the chairlift up Monte Solaro for a panoramic sweep of the Bay.

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 a trip to Capri

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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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Copyright © 2008–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett