Capri, the blue island, is a Mediterranean magnet for celebrities, jet setters and global nomads alike. It's inhabitants are Caprese first and Italians second. Everything about Capri's lifestyle and pace reinforce it's unique beauty and appeal to such a well-travelled tourist. On a recent jaunt to the tiny island, i met a unicorn. A beautiful Caprese -- Anna Chiara Della Corte -- born in the town of Capri, "on the south side by Marina Piccola, the little bay from where you can see Farraglioni Rocks."
I compare her to a mythical creature because meeting someone raised in this particular paradise, is a unique and rare happenstance. As any self-respecting tourist and travel writer would do, I took it upon myself to pepper her with questions. The result is this carefully crafted insider's guide to Capri. You're welcome!
Best views on the island?
Pizzolungo, the footpath which hugs the southern coast of the island, offers a succession of quite amazing views of the sea, the Sorrentine peninsula and the Faraglioni.
Most romantic spot for a picnic?
Cetrella, near Monte Solaro, the hightest point on the island, a magical place, reachable by foot or by chairlift. Unparalleled views of the gulf of Naples.
What are three things that every tourist must experience on the isle of Capri?
1. A boat tour to explore the colourful sea caves
2. Have a coffee or an aperitif in the Piazzetta and relax while watching the parade of people come and go (it truly is like out of a movie). Then walk through the little paths that lead to the historic centre of Capri (or Anacapri)..and just get lost!
3. Discover the magnificent Villas of Capri where the Emperor Tiberius used to live more than 2 thousand years ago (Villa San Michele, Villa Jovis and Villa Damecuta)
Buonocore, especially for the waffle bowls. Or try the home-made ice-cream at L'Olivo. Best granita in town is at Bar Caso, in piazzetta (a little secret!) (Piazza Umberto I, 4 80073)
Best place for a casual lunch?
Bistrot Ragù, on the terrace of the Capri Palace, traditional Mediterranean cuisine with mesmerizing views.
In spring and autumn: Edivino, part home part restaurant with a bohemian atmosphere. They serve the best "pasta alla genovese" on the island and have a cozy garden for al fresco meals. You can even dine in a real bedroom while lounging on the bed.
What and where to buy the best souvenirs?
For sandals, Capritouch,
For handcrafted treasures Eco Capri,
For timeless classics (they just turned 110 this year!) La Parisienne,
For the best knitwear in town, Le Farella,
For the best Italian sportswear (the owner was the fist tailor of Capri).Laboratorio Capri
Anacapri or Capri?
Capri during the low season, Anacapri in high season, to avoid the crowd and chaos.
Favourite beach club?
Da Luigi ai Faraglioni, for the location, you are just beside Faraglioni rocks, the sea is amazing and there is always a pleasant breeze.
L'Olivo has the most impeccable service and food, you know you and your date will be well taken care of and pampered - nothing more romantic than this.
Downtown Capri, I would suggest Villa Brunella, near belvedere Tragara.
Favourite workout studio/class or where/how do you work up a good sweat?
Put on your most comfortable footwear and go for a jog by belvedere la Migliera along the Via Migliera footpath. Discover the stunning coastal path that winds past Capri's ancient block houses, amidst vineyards and woodlands with views of the sea peeking through at every turn. You must swim at the lighthouse to refresh yourself and complete your workout.
Where is the best place to grab an aperitivo with friends?
Bar degli Artisti, at Capri Palace, they have more than 50 kinds of gin & tonic! And you are surrounded by beauty and artworks.
Best place for a celebratory dinner ?
Il Riccio beach Club & restaurant, excellent service, sublime views and flavourful fresh food.
Best bar for a dance party?
Number One (for 70s and live music) Via V. Emanuele 55 and Number two ( disco-elettro), Via Camerelle, 1.
Best coffee on the island?
Piccolo Bar, in Capri square.
Do you have any secret non-touristy places you love to go or things to do?
Villa Lysis, once the residence of count Fersen, a stunning art nouveau style villa with breath-taking views and lots of cultural events ( readings-open-air theatre- exhibitions..) A real gem nestled in the rocks, on the north east side of the Island.
Where to cure your hangover?
Try a croissant at Bar Alberto (by the Piazzetta), they start serving them from 1 am (my favorite one is filled with white chocolate).
What is the quintessential hotel you would recommend to out of town guests?
This would have to be the iconic Capri Palace Hotel & Spa - the attention to detail and the level of pampering bestowed on their guests is beyond. Surrounded by contemporary art, lush gardens and plush rooms, it is discreet luxury at it's finest. It feels like a true hideaway and isn't that the purpose of a holiday? With a Michelin starred restaurant and an award-winning medical spa, it provides a true escape from the everyday.
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