No trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast is complete without jetting off to the beautiful island of Capri. The island in the Bay of Naples, renowned as a playground for the yacht-riding glitterati, is as well known for its craggy landscape as it is for its luxurious hotels and high-end shopping. If you’re able, you’ll want to schedule more than 24 hours on the island, but if you’ve got only a day to spare, that’s still plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of Capri.
How to Get There
During the summer season, which runs from April to October, there are plenty of ferries operating from various ports to Capri. From Napoli, ferries to Capri depart from two ports: Molo Beverello and the Calata Porta di Massa. If you are coming from the Amalfi coast, high-speed ferries depart from the villages of Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. And from Sorrento, ferries depart from Marina Piccola port and the journey can be done in about 25 minutes.
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All ferries dock at Marina Grande once they reach Capri. From here, you can either take the funicular straight up to the charming Piazzetta, or head to your hotel in one of the island’s convertible-style taxis to check-in.
Where to Stay
Capri has no shortage of opulent lodgings from which to choose, but to my mind, there is no choice at all: the most exquisite hotel in all of Capri—and one of the most beautiful in Italy—is JK Place. The 22-room hotel, 20 of which face the sea, evokes the feeling of being a guest in a very chic friend’s home. Its modern furnishings and nautical color palette reflect the vibe of the island to a T!
What to Do
Start off your Caprese day by walking around the Piazzetta—Capri’s most famous square, the piazza Umberto I. It is the heartbeat of the island. Enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of its pavement cafes and indulge in the serious business of people-watching.
Even if you’re not staying at JK Place, have an alfresco lunch here, either at their bar lounge or their restaurant JKitchen, both of which have panoramic views of the ocean.
It goes without saying that one must order the Caprese salad, but there are plenty of other light delights from which to choose on the menu. Whatever you select will pair swimmingly with their famous Caprito cocktail, a concoction of fresh lime and white sugar splashed with the finest liqueur from Capri—Limoncello—and topped off with a dash of cranberry juice.
Even if you have had desert, still make it a point to stop for a gelato while on the island. Everyone raves about Buonocore Gelateria (Via Vittorio Emanuele, 35), so why not find out for yourself if their offerings live up to their reputation?
Before leaving the island, one must also have a taste of torta Caprese, a decadent and pillowy flourless cake made from almonds and chocolate. Try a slice from Pasticceria Ferraro (Via G. Orlandi 233), or sample a miniature version of the specialty at Da Alberto (Via Roma 9).
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After your dolci, and toward evening, comes the time to do what the Italians call il dolce far niente—“the sweetness of doing nothing,” and the best way to do nothing is by sea. Head to the marina and take a sailing tour of the Bay of Naples. It is a good idea to book in advance. Capri Relax Boats provides an excellent service that can be reserved online and its charming proprietor, Giovanni, is easily reached by text or WhatsApp.
By sea, you’ll get to see the famed Faraglioni of Capri, a triad of monolithic rocks that jut out of the ocean and sail by rowboat into the Grotta Azzura (the Blue Grotto). The grotto is a cave with a meter-high mouth in which the waters sparkle in an incandescent blue that is impossible to describe and essential to experience. Back on your main boat after the grotto tour, ask your skipper to find a spot for swimming or lie back and take a nap under the rays of the setting sun.
Back on dry land, head over to Villa Verde for dinner. Here, the spaghetti alla aragosta and the spaghetti alle vongole are the most supreme on the island.
There’s no better place to find 24 hours of heaven on earth than in Capri.