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murrayskinner Capri - A travel report by Murray
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Capri,  Italy - flag Italy
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murrayskinner's travel reports

Capri - A Beautiful Island 3-4 Miles From Sorrento

  18 votes
Page: 1 2
Capri, pronounced properly with emphasis in the first instead of the second syllable, is a beautiful picturesque island catering mainly to summertime vacationers. We visited it from Sorrento for a day in May 2006. It is beautiful yet over commercialized.

Dramatic Shoreline
Dramatic Shoreline
You can reach Capri by ferry or hydrofoil from either Naples or Sorrento. From Sorrento, the ferry takes about 40 minutes the hydrofoil takes about 20 minutes. The shoreline is very jagged with cliffs flowing down to the waters edge, sometimes in very dramatic fashion. Because of this topography, quality beaches are at a minimum, yet there are some good choices for a swim. Most are private swimming clubs called stabilimenti balneari, at which you will be charged admittance. You can easily visit most of the island in a day. The ferries arrive at Marina Grande, which is relatively unattractive, but there is a rough public beach to the right of the marina facing the island. From the Marina you can walk up to Capri, but I suggest taking the funicular. Capri has a wide variety of shops and restaurants that definitely cater to the wealthy. It was difficult for our family to really feel that we belonged here. The town Capri definitely does not have the Italian ambience that we enjoyed throughout other parts of the country. From Capri you can walk or take the bus to Anacapri, basically what appeared to be a smaller and more relaxed version of Capri town. The Island of Capri does not conjure up memories of historic sites, friendly locals, or quaint affordable restaurants..... But it does have stunning seaside scenery. If for nothing else come for the views and to tell your friends that you have been to Capri. Ideally you would want to come in the warmer months (from late May to September) and spend time near the water and viewing the beautiful sites from one of the countless water tours that circle the island. The island of Capri looks beautiful from the ocean, but for us lost it’s appeal once we stepped on shore.

Favourite spots:
Beach at Marina Grande
Beach at Marina Grande
La Grotta Azzurra - The BLUE GROTTO This is probably Capri's most famous site (although we could not enter due to high seas) Since the opening is very narrow, you will have to lie on the bottom of the boat to get into the grotto (in case the sea grows rough, boat service is suspended). There is actually a bigger but completely submerged opening; this very underwater entrance allows the blue coloration of the water inside the grotto, due to a phenomenon of sunlight reflection. Apparently there is magical view in the inside. A boat tour around the island will give you the best insight to the rugged beauty of Capri. From the tour your guide will highlight many grottos and caves that have camaflaged meaning with resemblances to historic figures if you look hard enough. You will also cruise by some magnificent cliff top villas and will be astounded by the deep blue, clear waters surrounding the island. The boat tour will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours and is highly recommended.

What's really great:
Marina Grande
Marina Grande
As mentioned above, the highlight of any tour of Capri will be a tour of the island. No visit to Capri is complete without at least a few hours spent on the Mediterranean sea surrounding the island. Whether you choose to join an organised tour, or rent a private boat with captain, taking to the turquoise waters is the only way to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the island. In fact, many of the most enchanting stretches of the Capri coastline are completely inaccessible by land. By boat visitors are able to reach those secluded bays which are just perfect for swimming or sun bathing - far from the crowds crammed onto the tiny pebble beaches.

The Grand Arc
The Grand Arc
The top sights in Capri are found at the oceans edge. The main sights being the Blue Grotto and the grand arc that has been bored through a touring island through thousands of years of pounding seas. Shoppers will enjoy Capri and Capri Town.

You can also take a chair lift to one of the highest points on Capri, but take a sweater or jacket as it can be much cooler up there.

We stayed in Sorrento and visited for the day. Most information suggested we do so, because the island is so expensive.

Other recommendations:
Avoid the waterfront Cafes at Marina Grande unless you appreciate the value in 12 Euro draft beers in a relatively uninspiring atmosphere

Published on Tuesday June 6th, 2006

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Sat, Jun 17 2006 - 01:03 AM rating by downundergal

Its sad that some of the most well known natural attractions are spoilt through wanting to make a quick buck. An informative report though and nice pictures.

Mon, Jun 12 2006 - 01:44 PM rating by eirekay

Murray - beautiful photos and a nice recap!

Wed, Jun 07 2006 - 01:58 AM rating by marianne

Good information about the ferries and the hydrofoil. Good photos especially the Grand Arc, wish there were more to show the island.

Tue, Jun 06 2006 - 07:01 AM rating by st.vincent

Good report Murray, I like traveling on those funicular railways. I've not been to Capri but it looks a good idea for a daytrip.


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