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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 live here. Rising a thousand ft from the Bay of Naples, Capri’s hedonistic charms seize hold as quickly as you climb away from the ferry dock. For the full effect, trip as much as the city in a vintage open-top limousine (the usual taxi right here) and benefit from the heat wind in your hair because the switchback highway reveals ever extra dramatic glimpses of wild limestone crags plunging into a deep blue sea. The sea stays warm well into October and, for an island that is simply four miles lengthy, there are many marked trails for keen walkers. There are two small towns either side of the island’s central saddle: Capri city is best for people-watching, designer boutiques and selection of eating places; Anacapri is the place many of the island’s population lives and farms. Regular buses make the 15-minute journey between them. Personally I prefer Capri city, if solely to marvel at the best way girls who costume out of Vogue handle to negotiate the cobbles in six-inch stilettos.

More Telegraph Journey expert guides
Ferragamo Bootie with Grosgrain Vara Bow in Red WineGetting there

British Airways (0844 493 0787; britishairways.com), Meridiana (0871 222 9319; meridiana.it) and easyJet (0871 244 2377; easyjet.com) have every day flights to Naples from a selection of UK airports from round £65 return. Take a bus (€3) or a set-rate 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 remain
Particular deal with

There are many glamorous five-star inns on Capri, however none can beat the tasteful type of the 18-room Lodge La Minerva (1 on map) (through Occhio Marino, Capri city; 00 39 081 837 7067; laminervacapri.com). Unfold over 5 levels, all with far-reaching sea views, you’ll be able to breakfast in bed or on the roof terrace and gentle lunches are served at the pool set in a lovely backyard. Run by the Esposito family for three generations, nothing is too much bother to arrange or obtain. Doubles from €270 together with breakfast.

Mid-range
A pleasant, solicitous group of workers make it a pleasure to stay on the Lodge della Piccola Marina (2) (14/16 by way of Mulo, Capri town; 00 39 081 837 9642;hoteldellapiccolamarina.it). There are forty bright ferragamo shoes 68237 trendy rooms with massive balconies overlooking the pool and the sea past (ask for one on the highest flooring). Breakfast pasties, baked on site, are superb and head concierge, Norberto, books restaurants and excursions at the drop of a hat. Doubles from €160 including breakfast.

On a finances
Villa Eva (3) (Traversa La Vigna, Anacapri: 00 39 081 837 1549; villaeva.com) is reasonably priced because it’s a bus trip from Anacapri (or a 30-minute stroll). The upside is that it’s quiet and near the Blue Grotto for an early morning dip. There are 10 properly decorated rooms and cottages for households (pay up for a terrace sea view) and a pool. Doubles from €100 including breakfast.

On arrival
7pm

Watch the glitterati sashay through the Piazzetta (four) (officially referred to as Piazza Umberto 1) from the terrace of the Gran Caffe, though a glass of prosecco will set you again €10.

8pm
It’s a 20-minute stroll into the countryside to reach Da Tonino (5) (via Dentecale, Capri town; 00 39 081 837 6718). Welcoming, unpretentious and reasonably priced (for high-finish cooking on Capri), it has a short seasonal menu of local fish and seafood dishes in addition to rabbit, contemporary pasta and risottos. Very good Italian wine listing (you can visit the extensive cellar). Three programs around €60.

Day One
9am

Stride out alongside paths lined with handsome white villas in flower-stuffed gardens to Villa Jovis (6) from the place Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire. There’s sufficient stone left to impress and a high-quality view over the Sorrento peninsula. Open 9am-1pm, Mar-Nov; closed Tues (1-15 of month) and Solar (16-31); entry €2.

10.30am
Take the narrow woodland path to the right on exiting Villa Jovis which meanders across the cliffs to Villa Lysis (7), constructed by the dissolute French aesthete in an appealing Classical-meets-Artwork-Nouveau model. Open 10am-6pm, closed Mon; entry free.

11.30am
Back in Capri city centre pick up an ice-cream or a pastry at Buonocore (8) (35 by way of Vittorio Emanuele) earlier than window-shopping along via Camerelle and via Sopramonte. In addition to flagship shops for Prada, Pucci (who invented the unique Capri pants) and Ferragamo, there are cobblers making leather Capri sandals (from €60) and good canvas beach baggage.

Lunch at Terrazza Brunella (9) (24 via Tragara; 00 39 081 937 0122) for one of the best insalata Caprese in town: buffalo mozzarella, tremendous-ripe tomatoes and basil (€16) and an attractive view over the south coast.

Hire a standard 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 famous Blue Grotto (it’s a beautiful shade of blue) as you will need to switch to a smaller rowing boat. The price features a poor rendition of O Sole Mio to exhibit the acoustics. In addition to visiting different caves lined with red coral and stalactites, there’s a chance to swim by the Green Grotto but check for jellyfish before diving overboard. Boats are greatest booked via the hotel concierge: three-hour trip around €175 for as much as four individuals.

6.30pm
Take the bus or a limo taxi to Anacapri (eleven). Simply off Piazza Vittoria is Eureka (fifty five through G. Orlandi), the very best and most genuine of Capri’s ceramic shops (most import work from factories in Vietri sul Mare close to Salerno).

7.15pm
It’s a pleasing 30-minute walk from Anacapri to Da Gelsomina (12) (72 through Migliara, Anacapri; 00 39 081 837 1499; dagelsomina.com), or pre-e book its shuttle bus from Piazza Vittoria. The restaurant is completely sited to look at the sun set over the sea (it’s worth strolling out to the Migliara Belvedere with an aperitif for the view). Run by a pleasant native family, portions are giant and native specialities use vegetables from its smallholding under. There’s also a vineyard which supplies the house wine. Three courses around €50.

Day Two
eight.45am

Be first by means of the door at 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 incorporates an eclectic private assortment of over a thousand objects from Antiquity to the twentieth century. Open day by day 9am-5pm; entry €7; villasanmichele.eu.

10am
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-way €7.50; return €10. It’s a lovely one-hour walk back down alongside a path by heathland and pinewoods.

12pm
Pop into the Church of San Michele, simply off By way of G. Orlando (15), to marvel at its ground of 18th-century majolica tiles representing Paradise on Earth. Open daily; €3.

1pm

Try homemade spaghetti with lemons on the terrace of the Pulalli Wine Bar (16) (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.

Island checklist

    Buy tickets for island buses from accommodations or grocery retailers; all the time punch on entry.
    Pack a pair of comfortable walking footwear (no leather soles) for the flights of slippery stone steps and the steep paths.
    Vacationer offices within the Pizzetta in Capri town (00 39 081 837 0686; capritourism.com) and through G.Orlandi in Anacapri (00 39 081 837 1524).

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