Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

If I had not taken this photo myself I would think it was a fake; an island shot masterly blended with moonscapes and imagined places by some unknown artist. However unbelievable, this is a real place. It is the view from the highest point on the Island of Capri, Mount Solaro, looking out towards Sorrento. In the lower foreground is the city of Capri. To the right (out of the shot) would be the recognizable Faraglioni, a word meaning “stacks” and used to refer to the limestone crags that jut out of the water off the corner of the Island.
 
Want to recreate this stunning view for yourself? I don’t blame you. Getting to the top of the highest hill in Capri is not easy, but if I can do it, so can you. First things first, get to Capri. Easier said than done, I know. It took me ten years to get back there after my first visit way back in 2003, but I am so glad I did. While you will have to change your mode of transportation several times (in my case, five times), it’s well worth it. Pack light and get ready to be mobile (all you need a swimsuit anyway).

More images of the view. Top: to the right you can see the Faraglioni; Bottom right & left: views from the chairlift; Bottom middle: the statue of Augustus

More images of the view. Top: to the right you can see the Faraglioni; Bottom right & left: views from the chairlift; Bottom middle: the statue of Augustus

You can get to the Island by boat (just 30-60 minutes, depending) from Naples, Sorrento, or the Amalfi coast. So either fly or train to one of these locations and get to the main port from which three or four ferry companies offer daily transport to the Island of Capri at various times throughout the day. Once you’re on the Island, public transportation is the name of the game (the taxis are very pricey!). From the Capri’s main port, the Marina Grande, take either a public bus or the funicular into the hills of the Island (both cost 1.80 Euro a ride. Get your tickets first!). If you take the bus you can go straight to Anacapri, one of the two main towns on the Island and the location of the chairlift that will take you to the top of Mount Solaro. With the funicular, however, you will have to first go to Capri then catch a second bus to Anacapri (not necessarily a bad thing since this way you get to see both towns and Capri is the more famous and more picturesque of the two).
 
Once you’ve caught a bus to Anacapri listen for the driver to announce the stop. The bus will drop you of in Piazza Vittoria in the center of town. From the piazza you will see stairs going up towards what look like restaurants and shops. Go up and turn right. You will see the entrance to the chairlift (seggiovia in Italian). For 10 Euro you get a round trip ticket to an elevation of nearly 2,000 feet. The roughly 15 minute ride is fun but can be a little scary if you have a fear of heights. Once at the top though, the view, as you can see, is well worth it. Grab a granita (icey, frothy, lemony goodness) and a chair at the lovely bar and relax. Snap as many pictures as you can, including the sculpture of Augustus who heroically gestures out toward the vista. If you’ve had enough of the crowds below, bring a book and stay until the last chair heads down around 5pm (changes seasonally). If you’re ready for the next adventure say goodbye and grab a seat back down to Anacapri. From here you can also get a bus to the Blue Grotto, an entry point that is slightly less clogged than those coming directly from the Marina Grande.
 
One final tip: once you’ve returned to Anacapri and need to catch the bus back to either Capri or the Marina Grande, do not catch it at the same place you got dropped off (Piazza Vittoria). Walk 50 feet up the road (Viale T. de Tommasso) to the head of the bus line. You will be more likely to get a spot and won’t have to wait in line as long!
 
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