As a hot spot for the rich and famous, there is naturally a great deal to see and do on the beautiful Isle of Capri. From the beautifully mesmerizing Blue Grotto and the natural beauty of the electric blue waters to museums and historical sites scattered about the island for visitors to enjoy, there are countless new experiences awaiting travelers on the island.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN CAPRI
Capri hosts several annual festivals and major events over the course of a year. During the off season, from January through early spring, little tends to be going on around the island, but this changes around the time May rolls around and the weather gets warmer.
Every May 14, the people of Capri hold the Procession for the Feast Day of San Costanzo, a celebration dedicated to the city of Capri’s patron saint. This is a parade where the islanders wear religious garments and carry a statue of the eponymous saint from the center of town into Marina Grande, the main port area. The parade begins at the Church of Santo Stefano, located in Capri’s main square, the Piazzetta, and follows the major streets of Capri to its destination. After the parade, the statue of San Costanzo remains in the church at Marina Grande for a week, while the islanders celebrate with religious ceremonies, music, games, and fireworks. Anyone who visits the island during this week should be sure not to miss the festivities.
On June 13, the islanders also celebrate the Festival of Sant’Antonio di Padova, the patron saint of Anacapri. The celebrations in Anacapri are similar to those of Capri for the Feast of San Costanzo. The day begins with a procession in which a statue of Saint Anthony is carried through the streets of Anacapri. As the statue passes, locals stand on their balconies throwing rose petals and Madonna lily petals, which is the flower associated with Saint Anthony. Additionally, the small streets of Anacapri are filled with stands selling local sweets, toys, and home goods.
In early August, the people of Anacapri celebrate the Festival Internazionale del folklore, or the “International Folklore Festival.” This festival is attended by people from all over and from all walks of life, as the streets are filled with various activities and vendors selling food and other trinkets. A range of events and contests are held in the commune’s squares, and folk music bands and folk dancers fill the streets. Visitors to the island of Capri around this time should be sure to experience this festival.
Perhaps the biggest event held in Capri, however, is the event known as Settembrata Anacapri. Taking place during September, this event is a harvest festival that celebrates the island’s tradition of grape harvesting and wine making. Four separate neighborhoods in the village of Anacapri hold a contest as they harvest their various fruits, vegetables, grapes, and wines and go on to hold competitions in the town square. These include such things as float building, who can cook the best meal, who can make the more impressive handcrafted goods, and much more. Music features heavily during the Settembrata, as folk musicians and other performers play through the streets. This festival is attended by all sorts of people, including famous movie stars and directors, and even well-known politicians. Visitors to Capri should be sure not to miss this one!
At the end of the year, Capri holds its Hollywood International Film Festival. Held annually since 1995, this international film festival attracts artists, both Italian and international, as well as movie stars from around the world. Independent filmmakers and big budget Hollywood actors and filmmakers alike show up to enjoy the movies and festivities that the islanders offer. All kinds of movies are featured as artists and filmmakers present their works at this exclusive festival.
For those who wish to explore Capri and take in the island’s natural beauty, the island offers miles and miles of scenic hiking trails, including the incomparable Pizzolungo foot trail, where visitors can hike around the southern end of the island and view Capri’s breathtaking natural limestone formations, such as the Arco Naturale; a natural stone arch about 40 feet wide and 65 feet high that dates back to the paleolithic era.
Those visiting Capri would be remiss if they did not take the time to enjoy the island’s scenic beaches. Capri is well-known for having some of the most relaxing beaches to lounge on and soak in the sun or enjoy the refreshing waves.
The most iconic symbol of Capri, though, would be the Faraglioni. These stunning rock formations jut out of the blue waters of the sea and greet visitors as they approach the coast of Capri. To enjoy the best views of the Faraglioni and snap some remarkable photos, be sure to take a boat tour along the island’s coast. Standing at nearly 330 feet tall, these three rock formations are a must-see.
For more scenic views, head to the long stairway known as the Phoenician Steps. At one time, these stairs were the only way to travel from Capri to Anacapri and vice versa. The 921 steps are made out of stone and were most likely constructed by the Ancient Greeks.
The Philosophical Park, situated in Anacapri, is a unique site with a peaceful atmosphere. The park features numerous small paths along which visitors can read 60 quotes from international philosophers. Surrounded by nature and tranquility, this park offers the perfect respite for travelers.
INDOOR ACTIVITIES IN CAPRI ITALY
For those who feel the need to get out of the sun for a while, Capri offers many museums and other historical sites to explore. Visitors can experience a stunning example of modern architecture, for example, at the Casa Malaparte on Capri’s eastern slope. The famous building is only about a half hour’s walk from the Piazzetta, and was constructed by the famed Italian architect Adalberto Libera in the 1930s.
There are also numerous art museums to be found across the island. For those interested in modern art, one should check out the “Studio Lab” or the “White Room,” where many pieces from famous modern artists are featured. Or, for those more interested in more classical, religious art, one cannot pass up visiting the Church of San Michele in Anacapri and viewing the massive mosaics of Adam and Eve.
Scenic Villa San Michele was designed by Axel Munthe, a Swedish physician, on the site of an Ancient Roman villa. In addition to the villa’s characteristic beauty, inside it holds some true artistic treasures. Examples include Ancient Roman temple decorations, medieval paintings, mosaics, frescoes, statues, and more. Not to be missed are the adjacent gardens, which feature camelias, rose bushes, hydrangeas, cypress trees, and more.
Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio is one of the main museums of the island and an important cultural center. The goal of the museum is to protect the history and origins of the island. Once inside, visitors can admire fossils, minerals, and archeological artifacts that were discovered on the island.
Visitors interested in history should also make an effort to take in the Villa Jovis and view the ancient history of the island. Here, the Roman Emperor Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from 27 AD until 37 AD, and it remains one of the most fascinating and intact Roman Villas in the country.
For those who prefer a more active scene, there are no shortages of beach resorts, dance clubs, and other nightlife hot spots scattered around the island. When the sun goes down on Capri the party is only just beginning!
Capri plays host to a multitude of designer shops and boutiques. When visiting Capri, if one feels the need to scratch that shopping itch, one should take a stroll down Via Camerelle to see exclusive designer boutiques of the fashion industry.
The island of Capri is also famous for its handmade sandals. Be sure to stop by a sandal shop and take some time to visit with the skilled cobblers. When a visitor enters a sandal shop, the cobbler will measure the visitor’s foot before making a pair of custom, handmade sandals.
Another product made right there on the island that visitors love to pick up is a bottle of handmade perfume. Capri has a tradition of making perfume that dates back to the fifteenth century, when monks would use a variety of herbs and flowers to produce exotic scents and fragrances.
And, of course, do not miss the chance to sample some of the local limoncello lemon liqueur, and perhaps purchase a bottle to bring home with you.
FAMILY & KIDS
For the budding scientist of the family, visitors should make an effort to see the Gardens of Augustus. These botanical gardens offer a view of the natural world that is sure to captivate the minds of those fascinated by botany, as well as offering a stunning view of the island and many places to rest and enjoy the natural beauty of Capri.
The Marina Grande area is home to a public beach, which is the largest on the island, offering plenty of space for families to unwind, lounge in the sun, and enjoy time in the water.
The island of Capri features several historic forts that overlook the sea and offer remarkable panoramic views. Examples include the Pino Fort on the western side of the island as well as Mesola Fort, which is one of the main forts in Anacapri, and Orrico Fort, which features a landing area that in the past was used by several of the island’s conquerors, including the Aragonese and French. The forts offer a unique way to interact with history while admiring all the beauty that Capri has to offer.
The best views though can be enjoyed while riding the panoramic chairlift up Mount Solaro. Along the way, it is possible to catch glimpses of many surrounding geographical features including the Faraglioni, the Gulf of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, the island of Ischia, and the Gulf of Salerno. When the ride concludes, enjoy the view from Mount Solaro, which is the highest point on the island. As you take it all in, be sure to snap some unforgettable family photos!
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES IN CAPRI ITALY
When visiting Capri, one would be remiss if they did not take a boat trip to the famous Grotta Azzurra, or Blue Grotto. This natural marvel of the world has been renowned for its beauty since Roman times and is the most famous site on the island. The Roman Emperor Tiberius treasured this location so much that he had statues arranged around the cave during his reign, three of which have been recovered from the bottom of the sea floor. Visitors to this amazing place marvel at the electric blue, clear waters and the way the sunlight dances off the cavern walls. And of course, one can also take a boat trip out to the Faraglioni, which are massive natural rock formations that are treasured by the islanders and foreigners alike and offer a stunning natural view.
With its lively festivals, rugged natural beauty, hiking opportunities, historic villas, fascinating museums, and world-famous Blue Grotto, the small island of Capri offers plenty of activities for travelers of all ages. Simply put, a vacation to the picturesque shores of Capri is a dream come true.
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So sorry for the delay in reaching out to you, but being away for 10 days has put me way behind.
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