The Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzurra is one of the most beautiful sea caves in Italy. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. The cave which extends some 50 metres into the cliff at the surface, and is about 150 metres deep is a popular tourist destination and a boat trip is a definite must while in Capri. During Roman times, the grotto was used as the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius as well as a marine temple, and decorated with statues of the Roman sea gods Neptune and Triton.
Probably the most famous site in Capri, is La Piazzetta (Piazza Umberto I), the use of the suffix “etta” in Italian is a diminutive, and is used in affectionate reference to the square’s small size. In the past it was just the site of the fish market, but has since risen in prestige and it is now the center of Capri’s social life. Make sure to sip a coffee or enjoy local limoncello and see the world go by from one of the outdoor tables of its cafes and restaurants.
Enjoy its natural beauty
To really appreciate the beauty of the island, take a walk along its coastal path. The perimeter covers a distance of 17 kilometres, and while strolling and you can gaze out over the turquoise sea, as well as getting away from the crowds. If you’re up for more serious hiking then climb atop the Monte Scolaro, which rises to 589 metres above sea level, to admire the unending views. As an alternative to hiking, take the panoramic chair lift to the top.
Shop local fashion
From the Piazzetta the narrow streets in every direction are filled with high end shopping boutiques, but don’t forget the artisanal produce too. In Via Camerelle, the ost esclusive shopping area, you will find the famed shoe makers of Capri, and its cropped pants tailors.
Perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of Capri are its faraglioni, coastal and oceanic rock formations eroded by waves. These unique natural structures which rise up from the azure waters have been names, Stella, the one connected to the island, and which is 109 metres high, Mezzo, the middle one which measures 82 metres and Scopolo (or Fuori), the furthest from the island which rises to 106 metres. These three formations have become so iconic that they instantly remind anyone of Capri, and are also the protagonists of the unforgettable Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue Campaigns, both TV commercial and the print campaign featuring David Gandy and Bianca Balti.
Eat, drink and be merry!
There is always something foody to sample when visiting Italy, from small little islands to the capital. Capri, though small, boasts three important local dishes. According to legend, limoncello, was invented on the island of Capri, though Sorrento and Amalfi also make the same claim. What is for sure is that the brand name “limoncello” was first registered by an islander, grandson of Maria Antonia Farnace, hostess of a small, historic inn in the center of Anacapri, who would offer this digestive made from fruit from the inn’s own lemon grove. Also, the flourless almond and chocolate cake that bares the island’s name, the Torta Caprese, and the iconic Caprese Salad reflecting the colours of the Italian flag, made with the simplest yet most delicious ingredients of Mozzarella, Tomato, olive oil and basil.
A must visit spot for a little sunbathing is the Marina Piccola beach. The beach has an important literary reference, as Homer has Ulysses and his men stranded on this beach and victims of the guiles of the beautiful and deadly dangerous mermaids in his epic The Odyssey. Though an island, Capri has few beaches, but they’re all equally petite and picturesque.
The timeless Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue continues its summer journey through the Mediterranean, returning to the crystal blue waters of Capri, where it all began, with two limited edition fragrances: Love in Capri for her and Beauty of Capri for him. The women’s fragrance is inspired by the twining vines of cream coloured Honeysuckle flowers. The fragrance is a Floral, Rich White Floral fragrance, with hints of zesty citrus, smells which are closely associated with Capri. Beauty of Capri for men is a Woody, Aromatic scent which opens with the crisp youthful juiciness of citrus oils obtained from the thick rind of the Cedrat, found in the wild groves across the island, enhanced by the Bitter Orange and Sicilian Bergamot. The addition of the Marine accord conjure up images of the cooling sea waters of Capri.
Capri has eminent origins as a luxurious sea retreat of the emperors of Rome. The first to have “colonised” Capri with imperial flair. Augustus decided to have Sea Palace residence built on the island, developing the area with temples, villas, aqueducts, and planted gardens he so he could enjoy his private paradise Augustus’ successor Tiberius built a series of villas in Capri (Tacitus records that there were twelve Imperial villas on the island), the most famous of which is the Villa Jovis, one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Italy. Tiberius’ Palace had a private passage to the Blue Grotto, which he used as his private swimming pool. In 27 AD, Tiberius permanently moved to Capri, running the Empire from there until his death in 37. While the island has unhappy links to the infamous Emperor Commodus, who banished his sister Lucilla to Capri in 182 AD, where she was executed shortly afterwards.
Celebrity hot spot
As well as its unparalleled beauty, one of the attractions of Capri is the fact that it conjures images of the Dolce Vita like few places in Italy. In fact, Capri remains one of the best places for Celeb spotting. Originally home to the Roman Emperors, in its millenniums as a resort, Capri’s beaches and winding roads have been tread by all sorts from painter John Singer Sargent to author Graham Greene. Famously Jackie Kennedy was a fan (she sported her Capri pants in the island, and made them mainstream fashion), Audrey Hepburn, locals like Sophia Loren and Italian greats like Marcello Mastroianni holidayed there. Today chances are you will spot Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z, Oscar winning actors, tech gurus like Mark Zuckerberg and plenty of politicians, as well as the international jet-set.