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36 Hours In… Capri
Why go now
In autumn, the residents of Capri breathe a collective sigh of relief. The deluge of daytrippers from Naples and Sorrento reduces to a manageable trickle, and the island regains one thing of the mystique that drew writers, performers and eccentrics as numerous as Graham Greene, Gracie Fields and Maxim Gorky to stay right here. Rising a thousand ft from the Bay of Naples, Capri’s hedonistic charms seize hold as soon as you climb away from the ferry dock. For the total impact, ride up to the city in a vintage open-top limousine (the standard taxi right here) and enjoy the heat wind in your hair as the switchback highway reveals ever more dramatic glimpses of wild limestone crags plunging into a deep blue sea. The sea stays warm nicely into October and, for an island that is simply 4 miles long, there are plenty of marked trails for keen walkers. There are two small towns both facet of the island’s central saddle: Capri city is best for people-watching, designer boutiques and selection of restaurants; Anacapri is where most of the island’s inhabitants lives and farms. Regular buses make the 15-minute journey between them. Personally I desire Capri town, if only to marvel at the way women who dress out of Vogue handle to negotiate the cobbles in six-inch stilettos.
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British Airways (0844 493 0787; britishairways.com), Meridiana (0871 222 9319; meridiana.it) and easyJet (0871 244 2377; easyjet.com) have each day flights to Naples from a selection of UK airports from around £65 return. Take a bus (€3) or a set-price taxi (€20) for the 30-minute journey to Naples port to catch a SNAV hydrofoil (€21.50; snav.it) or a slower Caremar ferry (€13.50,caremar.it).
The place to stay
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There are many glamorous five-star hotels on Capri, but none can beat the tasteful model of the 18-room Hotel La Minerva (1 on map) (by way of Occhio Marino, Capri city; 00 39 081 837 7067; laminervacapri.com). Spread over 5 ranges, all with far-reaching sea views, you’ll be able to breakfast in bed or on the roof f by ferragamo free time terrace and mild lunches are served at the pool set in a lovely garden. Run by the Esposito household for three generations, nothing is a lot bother to arrange or get hold of. Doubles from €270 including breakfast.
A friendly, solicitous crew of staff make it a pleasure to stay on the Lodge della Piccola Marina (2) (14/16 via Mulo, Capri town; 00 39 081 837 9642;hoteldellapiccolamarina.it). There are 40 vibrant modern rooms with massive balconies overlooking the pool and the sea past (ask for one on the top floor). Breakfast pasties, baked on site, are very good and head concierge, Norberto, books eating places and excursions at the drop of a hat. Doubles from €160 including breakfast.
On a funds
Villa Eva (three) (Traversa La Vigna, Anacapri: 00 39 081 837 1549; villaeva.com) is reasonably priced as a result of it’s a bus experience from Anacapri (or a 30-minute walk). The upside is that it’s quiet and close to the Blue Grotto for an early morning dip. There are 10 nicely decorated rooms and cottages for households (pay up for a terrace sea view) and a pool. Doubles from €100 together with breakfast.
Watch the glitterati sashay by way of the Piazzetta (4) (formally referred to as Piazza Umberto 1) from the terrace of the Gran Caffe, though a glass of prosecco will set you again €10.
It’s a 20-minute walk into the countryside to achieve Da Tonino (5) (through Dentecale, Capri town; 00 39 081 837 6718). Welcoming, unpretentious and inexpensive (for high-finish cooking on Capri), it has a short seasonal menu of local fish and seafood dishes in addition to rabbit, fresh pasta and risottos. Superb Italian wine list (you may visit the in depth cellar). Three programs round €60.
Stride out along paths lined with handsome white villas in flower-crammed gardens to Villa Jovis (6) from the place Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire. There’s sufficient stone left to impress and a nice view over the Sorrento peninsula. Open 9am-1pm, Mar-Nov; closed Tues (1-15 of month) and Solar (sixteen-31); entry €2.
Take the slim woodland path to the appropriate on exiting Villa Jovis which meanders across the cliffs to Villa Lysis (7), built by the dissolute French aesthete in an interesting Classical-meets-Art-Nouveau fashion. Open 10am-6pm, closed Mon; entry free.
Back in Capri city centre choose up an ice-cream or a pastry at Buonocore (8) (35 by way of Vittorio Emanuele) before window-buying alongside via Camerelle and by way of Sopramonte. As well as flagship shops for Prada, Pucci (who invented the original Capri pants) and Ferragamo, there are cobblers making leather-based Capri sandals (from €60) and smart canvas beach baggage.
Lunch at Terrazza Brunella (9) (24 via Tragara; 00 39 081 937 0122) for the best insalata Caprese in city: buffalo mozzarella, super-ripe tomatoes and basil (€16) and a good looking view over the south coast.
Rent a traditional gozzo fishing boat from Marina Piccola (10) for a non-public round-island tour of the limestone stacks, arches and grottoes. It costs an additional €13 to enter the well-known Blue Grotto (it is an attractive shade of blue) as you need to transfer to a smaller rowing boat. The price includes a poor rendition of O Sole Mio to showcase the acoustics. In addition to visiting other caves lined with purple coral and stalactites, there’s an opportunity to swim by way of the Inexperienced Grotto but check for jellyfish earlier than diving overboard. Boats are greatest booked by the lodge concierge: three-hour journey around €175 for as much as four individuals.
Take the bus or a limo taxi to Anacapri (11). Just off Piazza Vittoria is Eureka (55 through G. Orlandi), the perfect and most authentic of Capri’s ceramic outlets (most import work from factories in Vietri sul Mare near Salerno).
It’s a pleasant 30-minute walk from Anacapri to Da Gelsomina (12) (72 through Migliara, Anacapri; 00 39 081 837 1499; dagelsomina.com), or pre-book its shuttle bus from Piazza Vittoria. The restaurant is completely sited to watch the sun set over the sea (it’s price strolling out to the Migliara Belvedere with an aperitif for the view). Run by a friendly local household, portions are giant and native specialities use vegetables from its smallholding below. There’s also a vineyard which provides the house wine. Three courses around €50.
Be first by means of the door on the Villa San Michele (thirteen) (34 viale A.Munthe) to beat the tour groups. Built in the 1920s by Swedish doctor Axel Munthe on the ruins of a Roman villa, it comprises an eclectic private collection of over a thousand objects from Antiquity to the 20th century. Open each day 9am-5pm; entry €7; villasanmichele.eu.
Return to Piazza Vittoria and take an old-fashioned chairlift to the summit of 589m Mount Solaro (14) for panoramic views so far as Naples and Vesuvius. Operates 9am-5pm: one-approach €7.50; return €10. It’s a lovely one-hour walk back down along a path by means of heathland and pinewoods.
Pop into the Church of San Michele, simply off By way of G. Orlando (15), to marvel at its floor f by ferragamo free time of 18th-century majolica tiles representing Paradise on Earth. Open day by day; €3.
Try homemade spaghetti with lemons on the terrace of the Pulalli Wine Bar (sixteen) (00 39 081 837 4108; €18 with salad and wine) in the clock-tower above the Piazzetta, earlier than catching the funicular railway right down to the ferry in Marina Grande.
- Purchase tickets for island buses from accommodations or grocery retailers; all the time punch on entry.
Pack a pair of comfortable strolling sneakers (no leather-based soles) for the flights of slippery stone steps and the steep paths.
Vacationer places of work in the Pizzetta in Capri town (00 39 081 837 0686; capritourism.com) and through G.Orlandi in Anacapri (00 39 081 837 1524).