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over the Mediterranean Sea from a hotel pool in Capri
Tours on the Amalfi Coast

Villas in Capri, Apartments in Capri, Hotels in Capri, Tours to Capri, Tours on the Amalfi Coast

A view from a terrace, Isle of Capri

Check out: Capri Online

Map of Capri

The blue grotto, Capri

Welcome to Capri
from Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: n/a
Official site:

See all of our Capri Tours

Capri has long been a hangout of the rich and famous, who may own sumptuous villas with arresting views, or anchor their yachts in the Marina GrandeCapri has fixed itself in the collective imagination as a place where one might set foot for a few hours, but never settle; a place one can see but never really touch; a bit out of reach unless one has money or power.

And yet, beneath the glitz, is a charming Island, with a storied history, where one can spend a day (or two or three!) and come away well-sunned, all appetites sated and the soul re-invigorated. summer, Capri is swarmed by tourists, and the locals are in full "tourist" mode - professionally friendly but detached.  Visit Capri in the off-season if you can.

Capri is a saddle-shaped island that sits about 7.5 kilometers from the tip of the Amalfi peninsula and 17 kilometers due south of Naples.  Mount Tiberio rises to 334 meters at the eastern end, and Mount Solaro peaks at 589 meters on the western end.  Marina Grande (big marina) sits on the north shore, and Marina Piccola on the south, connected by a traversing ridge.  The City of Capri clamors up the hillside around and behind the Marina Grande, and the town of Anacapri sits on a verdant plain on the western flank of Mount Solaro.

The Island has been inhabited since Paleolithic age, but the Island was named by the Greeks, who settled here during the time of Homer, for the wild boars ("Kapros") that populated the island.

In due course, the Romans came to hold sway and according to legend, between 27 and 37 BC the Emperor Tiberius even ruled the Roman Empire from the Villa Jovis, reputedly the most magnificent of twelve villas he built to honor the Gods of Olympus.  Other Emperors and Roman nobles enjoyed the Island before and after Tiberius, right to the end of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD.

After the collapse of Rome, the Island fell to raiding Saracen pirates, then to the Longobards, Normans, Angevins, Aragonese, the Spanish and the Bourbons under Napoleon, following the pattern of the entire South of Italy.

Under the Spanish, and later the Bourbons who made it a favorite holiday destination of their "rich and famous", the island prospered and the most notable of the Islands buildings - churches and convents - were constructed.  Those who did the building plundered the largely still intact Roman edifices for building materials, leaving almost nothing of the Roman heritage. 

So, what is it about Capri that is so profoundly attractive?  First, there is the climate: sunny, not too humid, and cooled by sea breezes.  Second, is the genuine hospitality of the Caprese. Third, the landscape is beguiling, including the plains to the west, the mountain heights at either end, the rugged coast, and such well known sites as the Grotto Azzura (Blue Grotto) - or cave - which became a major tourist attraction in the late 19th Century.

There is also something about the Island's flora and fauna that is "different".  There are over 850 species and 130 varieties of plants, including such rarities as the dwarf palm which thrives in some remarkably inaccessible places.

And mankind has left his mark here too, in the form of well tended olive groves, vineyards, and vibrant gardens and potted flowers surrounding pastel colored homes, some of them simple, some elaborate, most of them tasteful in the extreme.

The atmosphere, due to Capri's attractive powers, is sophisticated and cosmopolitan.  It has long been a hang-out for writers and artists, a few of the top order, but most, second-raters.  Somerset Maugham (definitely a "top-rater") wrote a short story, The Lotus Eaters, about the island.

In the City of Capri, one finds the Piazza Umberto I, more a courtyard than the usual expansive "main square".  Around it is arrayed the Cathedral, the Bishop's residence which is now a municipal office building, the Torre dell'Orologio (bell tower) and a number of cafes, restaurants and shops.

Just off the side is a terrace that leads to the funicular that carries residents and tourists up Castiglioni hill.  At the end of the terrace are limestone blocks, some squared, some polygonal, incorporated into the medieval walls that used to surround the City, but which, in fact, are remnants of the Greek acropolis that sat on the spot centuries ago.  The narrow medieval streets and alleys surrounding the Piazza are a good stroll.

Those with energy, strength and stamina can explore much of the Island on foot, going from the north side to the south, and back again, on well-trod roads and paths.  Needless to say, along the way you will gain prospects of amazing beauty and sublimity.

There are a few taxis to carry you further distances and a bus that will take you from Capri City to Anacapri.  Or, you can explore the coast in a boat - your own if you are lucky enough to have one - or a hired one if you are like the rest of us.

Capri - it's a kind of luxury.  It's the kind of luxury you should give yourself at least once in this life.

by Vian Andrews September 24, 2005

Region of Campania


Tours to the Island of Capri

We offer many tours to Capri from the Amalfi Coast and also from Rome.  Check out our great selection of tours. Click here
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Villa San Michele Gardens, on the Island of Capri, by Jesse Andrews


Tell us about your trip to the Isle of Capri.  What were your favorite places to visit, stay, and dine.  Contribute

Island Stats:
Maximum height:
1,920 feet; average height: 676 feet; length: 3,8 miles.

Maximum width: 1,7 miles, minimum width: 3/4 mile.

Distance round the island by road: 10.1/2 miles; by sea: 9 miles.

Climate: temperate, restful, invigorating and stimulating.