VILLA LA MADONNINA: EXCURSION to Capri
There are many excellent guides describing the attractions of the area, which are a good base for visits. Here I only describe an excursion to Capri.
is very worthwhile visiting for two reasons. One is that it has a beautiful shoreline, with wild, impressive cliffs, the famous Faraglioni islands and the blue grotto. The second one is the beauty of the inland, with spectacular views to the ocean, beautiful villas, spectacular rocks formations and remains from Roman empires. We like both.
To explore the 17 km shore of Capri you can either go around the island with your own boat or with an organized tour where you get everything explained. See the info/activity section of our web site for information how to book a boat or a trip.
The Blue Grotto
Now, what is about the famous blue grotto? First it is really worthwhile to see – it is magic – if you are in the cave alone or with only few at the same time. This is possible if you go there after 4 pm. Then the boat people who row tourists into the cave are gone for their well deserved leisure time and counting their tips they got from the tourists. Now you can swim into the cave – if the waves are not too high. But you should know, that it is officially forbidden, though many do it. If you join an official visit, it is still magic, but be prepared that it will be very crowded, even noisy and the visit is short. First you crawl from a larger boat to a smaller boat, which brings you into the cave. The guide in the boat tries hard to find a reason to get a tip for the few minutes ride.
When you arrive in Marina Grande you have two choices to get to Capri, the main town of the island: Either by cable, car or bus. I would recommend this only if there are not too many people waiting at the ground/bus station. We prefer to take a taxi. The town of Capri itself is nice but I would not spend too much time in the centre as it is very crowded in the in the season – unless you want to have a coffee on the famous Piazetta or invest your money in one of the numerous luxury shops in the streets leading to the Piazetta. The last one in my view a waste of time unless you have an unforeseen, urgent need – like buying an engagement ring, calm the temper of your wife/husband with a nice gift. Not surprisingly there are luxury shops like Bulgari and others, which you find in every metropolitan city.
But can avoid the crowds easily. The laziness or to be fair most often time constraints of the tourists help us. Only few people walk further than a couple of 100 m from the cable car station. Therefore, walking a bid further let you enter a calm world with natural beauty, nice villas and spectacular views.
The Arco Naturale
I recommend you discover this with a nice walk to the Arco Naturale – the natural arch which you see above, combine it with lunch in the restaurant Le Grotelle (see the restaurant section). To go there takes you about 30 minutes of easy – not steep – walk. Afterwards visit the arco naturale and if you are fit for a very nice walk, return in the direction of the restaurant and the take the path going down. You pass the cave “Grotta di Matermania” with remains from the Romans, then walk around the slope of the hill, then pass the futuristic red villa Malaparte and the famous Faraglioni islands, which you can see from the Amalfi coast. Later the path leads along gardens and nice villas till you get back to the Piazetta of Capri. Total walking time is about 2 hour 10 minutes.
Also a nice walk leads you to the Villa Jovis built for a Roman emperor in a very exposed position on a rock. You start again the piazetta and follow the signs. Not so spectacular but very nice and you can visit the remains of the antique villa.
Villa San Michele
Another proposal is to take a taxi to Annacapri – the second town on Capri higher up in the mountains. There is the museum villa and gardens of San Michele, dreamed up and built in the first halve of the last century by a Swedish physician Axel Munthe. He had a remarkable personality with many outstanding skills. He was author of the world bestseller “The book of San Michele”. It is written like an autobiography, but as we know today a lot is fiction and describes how the author wanted that the world sees him. Nevertheless it is a book worthwhile to read. In any case I would visit his fabulous villa, which is today a museum, built in a very, very panoramic position. Open all year and every day. See the opening hours in the link and see there the web site of San Michele.
When you have time left and weather is good, go to the ground station of the chair lift, which takes you to the summit of the Monte Solaro within 12 minutesThe 360-degree view from the top is breath taking. Below your feet you see Capri and the Faraglioni islands, further outside the Amalfi coast till Praiano on one side and Sorrento, Napoli and the Vesuvius on the other side and to the north the islands of Ischia and Procida. The lift is operating all year.
For more information about Capri see following web site: Capri