Capri is not just an island in the Gulf of Naples; it is a magnet for those who love beauty and worldliness. It represents the “Dolce Vita” of the Mediterranean, attracting those in search of a carefree lifestyle devoted to worldly pleasures since the epoch of Augustus, who designed a villa at the foot of Mount Solaro, and Tiberius, who built 12 magnificent residences.
In the 18th century Capri was one of the most popular destinations for the rich European aristocracy who undertook the Grand Tour and attracted poets such as Pablo Neruda, artists such as the painter Karl Wilhelm and writers such as Curzio Malaparte.
Capri has become an icon of “chic living” worldwide. No other place in the Mediterranean has such a strong and magnetic attraction, an attraction that stems from its innate elegance and its snobbishness, which appeals to everyone, from tourists who come here all year round to Hollywood stars. In summer, everyone comes here, from Beyoncè, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopes to Ben Affleck, Letitia Casta, Bruce Spingsteen and many others.
The Piazzetta (square Umberto I)
The stars who crowd the island in summer are often seen in the narrow streets and especially in the Piazzetta. Much of the island’s life revolves around this small, perched piazza, “a chiazz” as the people of Capri call it in their native dialect, which can also be reached by funicular from Marina Grande. At first it is hard to understand how a small square crowded with people and outdoor tables can be the island’s “living room” and one of the most celebrated places on Capri. Then you quickly understand the reason: it is a collective ritual open to all, where people go to be seen and to see who is there, a ” lounge” where you can breathe in a glamorous atmosphere made irresistible by the slow village rhythm. From the Piazzetta, or Piazza Umberto I as it is shown on the map, there are characteristic alleys and lanes full of designer boutiques and craft shops that are an excellent starting point for discovering some of the island’s jewels on foot.
The Faraglioni are the symbol of Capri, three rocky peaks about 100 metres high that rise up in front of the coast. The Faraglioni and, in general, Capri are a perfect “natural set” for television, advertising and film productions; in fact, over 60 films have been made there.
The Grotta Azzurra
Another famous natural site is the Grotta Azzurra, a dark cavity where the sea water is tinged with electric blue thanks to the presence of an underground cave that filters the sunlight.
During the summer, the island’s scenic coastline, full of coves lapping against the blue sea, attracts numerous yachts, celebrities and tourists from all over the world.