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Jun
14

Capri … a Jewel of Campania

Campania is one of the Italian southern regions which surely deserve a visit: it is rich of natural sights, culture, architecture, archeological sites, as well as gastronomy and music. Campania has been the centre of the southern civilization, being part of the Magna Graecia first and then of the Roman Republic.

If you want spend your holiday in Campania, you have several places to visit: its capital Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, the Amalfi coast, Positano, Mount Vesuvius, the Greek temples of Paestum, the Roman archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the islands of the Bay of Naples Ischia and Capri.

Capri is a jewel of Campania and it has been a resort since the ancient Roman times. Mainly in the summer, the island is visited by several tourists, Italians and foreigners, which come for a daily trip from Naples and Sorrento or for a longer stay.

The origin of the name of Capri is uncertain: it could derive from the ancient Greek word kapros meaning wild boar; or it could come from the Roman word caprae indicating goats; or also, even if it is the less possible, it could be originate from an Etruscan expression for “rocky”.

The town of Capri is where principally the population of the island leaves; there are two harbors, called accordingly Marina Grande (big harbor) and Marina Piccola (small harbor). In the western hills, is situated the village of Anacapri (in the ancient Greek language ‘’ana” means “up, above”).

Since 1950, Capri became one of the preferred destinations for film stars and it took the role of “society island” par excellence. The small charming Piazza Umberto I, tenderly called the “Piazzetta” was the scenery of famous love affairs and summer betrayals, instantly photographed by the paparazzi.  In that period, you could easily see walking through the picturesque streets of Capri Hollywood actors such as Lana Turner, Liz Taylor, Jack Lemmon and Audrey Hepburn.

The charm and atmosphere of Capri hasn’t changed from the times of “La Dolce Vita” and the “Piazzetta” is still the heart of the island, where the visitors ritually seat in one of the open air café beneath the Clock Tower to enjoy their aperitif.

You can rent a villa in the centre of Capri, just at walking distance from the “Piazzetta” and play a part in the vivacious holiday life of the island choosing the places, the shops, the restaurants to visit.

Several spots deserve a visit while you stay in Capri:

- Villa San Michele is located on the extension at the top of Phoenician Steps, the long and sheer stone stairs that connect the centre of Capri with Anacapri. The villa was built on the ruins of the villa of Roman Emperor Tiberius by a Swedish physician, named Axel Munthe. From the gardens of San Michele, you have stunning panoramic views of the town of Capri and its marinas, the Peninsula of Sorrento and Mount Vesuvius.

- The Blue Grotto (in Italian Grotta Azzurra) is a renowned sea cave, where the sunlight creates, passing through an underwater cavity, a blue reflection that enlightens the cavern. The light comes from two different sources: one is a tiny hole in the cave wall, exactly at the waterline, used as entrance; the second source is another hole ten times bigger than the first, located directly below the entryway.

- The Arco Naturale is a natural arch situated on the east coast of Capri; it is dated from the Paleolithic age, it consists of limestone and it is the ruins of a destroyed grotto.

- The Faraglioni is the combined name of three stacks, which have also their single names: Stella (attached to the main island), Mezzo (after Stella) and Scopolo.

- Via Krupp is a twisty pavement built between 1900 and 1902 and commissioned by the German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp to connect the luxury Hotel Quisisana to the Marina Piccola. Since 1976, Via Krupp has been closed because of the risk of falling rocks.

- The Certosa di San Giacomo is a Carthusian monastery founded by Giacomo Arcucci in 1363. The main areas of the monastery are the pharmacy, the women’s church, the buildings for the monks and those for guests. It has two cloisters: one called Chiostro Grande, with late Renaissance design; and the second named Chiostro Piccolo featured by Roman marble columns.

- Punta Carena is a head situated about three km southwest of Anacapri. The feature of this spot is its lighthouse, active since 1867; it consists of an octagonal tower with lantern and gallery, above a two-story building.

Other spots deserve a visit in Capri are Villa Lysis, Villa Jovis, Villa Malaparte, Monte Solaro, Torre Materita; and the Capri Philosophical Park.

Capri is well connected to the mainland: from Marina Grande, with ferries and hydrofoils, you can reach the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Naples and the other islands of the bay.

 

 

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