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Capri and Ischia

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Capri lives up to its reputation as a scenic delight

  Capri is a rugged but beautiful island  that sits at the southern end of the Bay of Naples.   (Click the map on Capri to center it, then select Hybrid to see the island in a satellite view with the roads overlaid on the image.  Zoom the map to see greater detail.)

Yes, the name is pronounced CAPri with the emphasis on CAP - this is not a Monty Pythonesque mispronunciation.

Served by high speed catamarans and conventional ferries from Naples and Sorrento, Capri is a great place for a brief vacation (and that may be all most of us can afford). 

You should know that Capri has a reputation as the home of exclusive and high priced resorts, although you can find relative bargains if your reserve well in advance.  In summer, the island virtually hums with the motion of day-visitors from Naples.  The best seasons for solitude are spring and early fall, but if you must visit during summer, stay a couple of days to experience this wonderful island when it is at its best - during the late afternoons and evening when the hordes of tourists have left for the mainland.

Capri's history dates back to the Bronze Age and the island was well-known to the Greeks.  Its notoriety markedly increased when the Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius chose to build villas on the island.  In modern times, Capri continues to be known for the high life and the luxe-resorts and spas that dot its landscape.

 

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The town of Capri starts at the Marina Grande and extends up the slope to the other side of the island

The Capri coast is very beautiful, but like most coastlines, it is best seen from the water.  If you have time, take a cruise that circles the island for several stunning panoramas.  The voyage will take a couple of hours, but should be well worth you time.   Another popular tour is boating  to the Blue Grotto, which is known for its cavern containing a deep, azure pool. 

The ruins of several the villas created by Tiberius Caesar  (the Villa Jovis (Jupiter's Villa), the villa of Damacuta and the Palazzo a Mare) are scattered throughout the island.  While you might be inclined to see them during a walking tour, doing so  can be strenuous due to Capri's topography.  The villas and other roman buildings were damaged during past occupations of the island by the French and British, who used the island as a strategic base for naval operations.

Capri and Anacapri are the island's two towns and both are supported by tourism.  Although there is little compelling about Anacapri, it does offer access to great views of the island, the Bay of Naples and the Sorrento Coast.

The Faraglioni Rocks in Capri provide  some of the island's most famous scenery

If you tire of Capri, you might be interested in Ischia, a lower cost alternative located to the north.   Ischia does not have the attractiveness of Capri (it is volcanic in origin, while Capri is sandstone), nor the price tag.  Ischia has a separate set of charms and is a delightful place to spend a few days getting away from it all.  Of course, Augustus Caesar traded Ischia to the Neapolitans (who really could not say "no") for Capri and few doubt the Emperor got the best of the deal.

A view of Ischia, a modest, peaceful, volcanic island.

 

 

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Click here for the website provided by the Capri Tourist Board. 

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