Arrival on the island
We arrived on Capri from Positano on the 10am ferry. The most memorable part of the journey, besides the amazing views while approaching the island, was the wait to board the ferry in Positano. Normally not that exciting and usually down right annoying, but this time we had front row seats for the show a very fit Italian man was putting on as he was helping load luggage, shirtless. It seemed like something out of tv ad, and I was looking around for cameras to see if it was real or not. Unfortunately, there’s no photo evidence but the sight will forever live on in my memory!
Once we arrived on the island I was happy with the decision to stay a couple of nights instead of visiting as a day trip. There was going to be enough to keep us busy for an action-packed two days and I didn’t want to feel too rushed. Not to say the island can be ‘done’ in only two days, but we managed to see a lot in our short time in paradise.
We stayed in a small B&B called Casetta Minghitto, with a beautiful courtyard complete with a row of citrus trees and a lovely host named Luigi. Our little slice of peaceful heaven was located a 10 minute walk from “downtown” Anacapri on the west and quiet side of the island.
Getting from the ferry to Anacapri was easy, yet time consuming. The bus departs from the far end of the jetty area (turn right when getting off the ferry and follow the crowds), which is also where the taxis queue. The queue for the bus ended up being three bus loads long and the buses come every 15 minutes or so. Quite a few people gave up waiting and hopped into a convertible taxi instead. For 20 euros, it’s an expensive, yet fashionable way to travel. If I had known how long of a walk it would be from the main road to the accommodation, I probably would have gone with the taxi!
The bus travels from the jetty, up the very windy road up to Anacapri town and continues down to Faro. Since the B&B was on the road heading towards the blue grotto, we’d need to change buses. Not knowing when the buses would come by and the short distance, we walked each time. With luggage it was hot but after a few trips back and forth, it didn’t seem as long.
By the time we dropped of our bags, it was well past lunch time so we walked into Anacapri town. The first restaurant we came across was La Rondinella and it had a lovely outdoor patio area on the laneway side. I had one of my favourite dishes of the trip there – a vegetarian pasta dish – that may not look like much, but the cheesy, creamy sauce I still think about months later!
Despite being the end of April, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm, so it was time to find a beach. Our B&B host told us the best beach on the Island was called Faro Beach, just a short bus ride away. While not far on the map, pretty much everywhere you go is up or down a hill and there’s no way I’d want to walk there to or from Anacapri town. The bus dropped us off in the car park for the Faro (lighthouse). Next to the beach, and I use the term beach lightly, is a very inviting bar called Bar Malibu. While on the expensive side, the drinks were refreshing and couldn’t look any prettier.
I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with the beach, given its complete lack of sand. It was fairly popular on the day, though I’d suggest something a bit more comfortable than a single towel to make the concrete more appealing. The water hadn’t quite warmed up yet either, and the only people in the water were teenage boys daring each other to jump in.
Roman Villa of Damecuta
After some refreshments, it was back on the bus to Anacapri and a walk to the north west part of the island to check out the Roman Villa of Damecuta. With a lack of signs, it was a bit tricky to find but my handy google maps app helped lead the way down Via Grotto Azzurro. It was a lovely walk through the “suburbs” of Anacapri and then to some pretty unforgettable ocean views. Once in the park we were alone except when a lady came by with her dog and then the groundskeeper who closed the gate at dusk. With a bottle of red in hand, we had a glass of vino, watching the sunset over the Bay of Naples. It was so quiet and peaceful, and while surrounded by 2,000 year old ruins, it felt like we were on a different planet. The serenity was short lived when a group of teenagers decided to hop the fence and hang out on the ruins. Still one of my favourite places on the island and highly recommended for sunset.
In the evening, it was back into Anacapri town for dinner. After doing a full circle of the narrow streets of the small town centre, we decided on pasta and pizza at Bar Ristorante Materita. The meal was ok but the service could be improved. It felt like the waiter forgot about us after our food came. On a positive note, the atmosphere was great, sitting outside at street level watching all the people coming and going with their takeaway pizzas. It must be the pizza hot spot in town.
Walking the Pizzolungo
We figured out a trick for using the buses on Capri. Get on them early before the day trippers arrive. Though we waited 30 minutes for the bus that comes by every 15 minutes, when it arrived, it only had five people on it so we were able to sit down.
The bus dropped us off in Capri, a short walk to the Piazzetta. Similar to the bus, the piazzetta was very quiet and would not be recognisable a few hours later when we returned. Breakfast was a cappuccino and a cornetto integral at the bar costing 8 euros (2.50 each for a cappuncino and 1.50 for a cornetto). It would have been more than double that if we’d sat down, but there was a no time to sit, because it was time to walk the Pizzo Lungo (that all day I was thinking was called Pizza Lungo).
Leaving the Piazetta, the downhill walk passes by a number of beautiful hotels and villas (I’d love to know how much they cost a night!). A few minutes later, we reached a viewing platform at Belvedere Tragara for a photo, the first glimpse of the Faraglioni and views of the coast.
Continuing downhill we reached even better views of the Faraglioni. I didn’t know anything about them other than they are three rocks jutted out of the ocean. In person, I have to say, they are pretty spectacular.
Continuing along the path and the views keep coming and coming. This has to be one of the more picturesque walks I’ve been on. And at the end of April, the weather could not have been more perfect.
A lot of the walk comes with coastal views, and eventually the path turns inland and you find yourself walking through the woods surrounded by ginormous trees. At the bottom of the trail, there’s a giant cave that on a cold day, would make a nice cool spot for a break. Because then the stairs start. While I’m pretty good with stairs usually, we were both still sore from the Path of the Gods walk (yes a few days later) so it made for a bit of a tricky walk.
More steps, more views and then a whole lot of steps back up, there’s a cafe and then 5 minutes further is the Arch Naturale.
I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the Natural Arch. Come to find out, it’s a huge, natural looking arch. Go figure! Looking down at the azzurro water below, the boats kept arriving, circuling then leaving one after another. I’d like to see it next time from the ocean side.
After viewing the Arch from the three different viewing areas, it was a lovely and flat stroll back into Capri town. The Piazzetta was much more busy by midday. The quiet streets were fairly busy and the sleepy town area was very much awake.
Lunch would have to wait because it was gelato time at Buonocore Gelateria. The only ‘must-do’ on my food list was some gelato-goodness from this shop, which I came to find out is so much more than just gelato. The gelateria also has a large selection of pastries and the smell inside the cafe is swoon-worthy. I could easily eat my body weight in pastries from this shop.
Now full of gelato, it was back downhill to visit the Giardini di Augusto. We went for the flower gardens and stayed for the views. We found an empty bench with gorgeous views eastwards along the coast and downwards to Via Krupp. At 2 euros entry fee, it’s a lovely garden and more views.
Mount Solaro Chairlift
After our exciting day on the east side of the island, it was back to Anacapri to ride the chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since my experience with chairlifts tend to involve snow. It was a bit tricky to get on as it swing around, but it was a lovely trip up the ‘mountain’, despite someone thinking it was a good idea to have a cigarette. Seriously, some people don’t have a clue!
The ride takes about 18 minutes with views over Anacapri town and the island of Ischia to the north. At the top there are 360 degree views of the Faragalini, Capri town, Mount Vesuvius and Ischia.
We decided to walk back down the very rocking and dirty path which didn’t provide many views after the first half. This brought us back into town on Munthe road which has some shops on the quiet street and then back into town, through the old centre and to our B&B for much needed showers!
After a big day of sightseeing, we stayed in Anacapri for dinner, eating at La Taberna degli Amici. It was a nice evening and we wanted to eat outside. I’d picked this restaurant after seeing it highly rated on Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, the outside eating area is on the main road so it’s quite noisy, especially with the motorbikes buzzing past. Instead of our usual alfresco dining, we ate inside the cozy dining area and had some pretty good food. The service really made the meal though, with the staff making us feel like we were eating in the home of a long lost Italian cousin.
In the morning we arranged a transfer through the B&B to the ferry terminal. No more hiking with bags this time around! I wouldn’t normally write about a ferry transfer, but this one was a bit memorable. When I bought the ticket, the sign with all the ferries and their jetty numbers and the lady who sold me the ticket, both said the ferry would be leaving from say jetty 32. We waited next to the sign and there was no ferry. While we were waiting, a ferry arrived and disembarked its passengers three spots away. At the last minute I went over and asked one of the ferry workers if it was the right ferry to Sorrento, and ‘surprise!’ it was. We made it with about a full minute to spare. Hot tip – just because everything tells you your ferry’s leaving from a specific spot, doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to happen. Ask for help if something doesn’t seem right!
The ferry ride to Sorrento had about 20 people on it. The queue for the ferry to Capri when we arrived in Sorrento had about 300 people waiting to board. It’s always nice to be going against the crowd!