Things to Do in Capri
The island of Capri, offshore from Naples and the towns along the Amalfi Coast, has long been a popular retreat - there are Roman ruins on the island to prove it. But one geologic feature in particular - the Blue Grotto - draws just as many visitors as the beaches and boutiques.
The Blue Grotto is a sea cave that, because of the way the light flows into the cave, appears to glow a bright blue inside. There is a tiny opening at the water level, through which you can actually enter the grotto and experience the light firsthand. It’s just big enough for a small rowboat, and even still everyone in the boat must lie down at just the right moment to get inside.
Once inside, the cave opens up and you can sit up in the boat, marveling at the glowing blue light coming from below the surface of the water. The light comes from a second (and much larger) opening below the one through which you enter, but you can’t really see that opening.
A trio of rocky spurs looming out from the ocean off the southeast coast of Capri island, the natural landmark known as ‘I Faraglioni’ has become one of the island’s most memorable postcard images. The distinctive rocks, formed over years of coastal erosion, lie just a few meters off land, and tower up to 100 meters above the waters of the Mediterranean, making for a dramatic sight. The rocks are so famous they even have their own names - ‘Stella’ is the closest to shore; ‘Faraglione di Mezzo’ is the central and smallest rock; while ‘Faraglione di Fuori’ or ‘Scopolo’ is the largest and furthest from shore.
The best way to view the Faraglioni is on a boat tour of the coast, but the rock stacks can also be seen from shore, with great views from La Fontelina and da Luigi beaches. If you do opt for a boat cruise, you’ll have the chance to not only circle the rocks, but sail right through the middle – passing beneath the natural arch of Faraglione di Mezzo.
The Green Grotto, also known as the Grotto Verde, is a popular sea cave on the island of Capri, just off the coast of Naples, Italy. However, it is not typically as crowded as the even more popular Blue Grotto. One of several caves along the coast of Capri, it gets its name from the green light that reflects on the rocks inside of the cave, creating a beautiful visual effect for visitors to the cave. The cave has two openings, the smallest of which lets in the sunlight. It is also possible to swim through the grotto, but you may need to ask the driver of your boat to let you off on one side to swim to the other.
The Natural Arch on the Italian island of Capri is all that remains of what was once a deep and incredibly high grotto. Thought to date all the way back to the Paleolithic era, today the limestone arch stands about 12 meters wide and 18 meters tall. Avid photographers will find that the arch can provide an ideal picture frame for capturing seascapes in the distance. Located on the east side of the island, the walk to reach the Natural Arch is one of the most beautiful on Capri. From a small square facing the arch visitors can also enjoy tremendous views of the Sorrentine Peninsula, Punta Campanella and the islets of the Li Galli archipelago.
Dramatically perched atop the sea cliffs of Capri Island and just a short stroll from Capri’s central piazza, the Gardens of Augustus are a mesmerizing sight. Laid out by Friedrich August Krupp in the early 20th century, the exquisite gardens are a tribute to Capri’s native flora, with paved footpaths, green lawns and monumental fountains trimmed with colorful flowers and terrace gardens bursting with vibrant geraniums and dahlias.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Gardens of Augustus is its striking location, leading onto the Via Krupp – a paved switchback footpath that snakes down the cliff side – and offering spectacular views over the Marina Piccola and the landmark Faraglioni Rocks below.
Located on the southern side of the island of Capri, Marina Piccola was once the main port on the island, used by Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. Sheltered from the wind and enjoying a southern exposure, the beaches here are typically the warmest on the island. The marina is split into the Marina di Mulo and the Marina di Peannauro by the Scoglio delle Sirene cliff. Legend has it that the cliff was once inhabited by bewitching sirens described by Homer in the Odyssey.
Out to sea from Marina Piccola are the rock formations known as the Faraglioni Stacks, which must be passed when leaving the marina by boat. Near the small square where the buses stop in the marina are stairs that lead down to a pebble beach and to the Church of Saint Andrea, built in 1900. Visitors may also wish to hike along the historic Via Krupp, a switchback foot path that leads from Marina Piccola to the Charterhouse of San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus.
Marina Grande is the main port on the island of Capri, located off the coast of Naples, Italy. Set just north of the main town of Capri and at the foot of Mount Solaro on the norther side of the island, it was an ancient fishing port, used by the Romans during Augustan times. Since the early 20th century, it has developed into a major port and seaside resort that features the largest beach on the island. A small square overlooks the port, which is surrounded by a rainbow of traditional Capri houses with terraces and balconies. There are also a number of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops around the port.
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