Sung about by poets and portrayed by artists captivated by its charm, the island of Capri is a small paradise on earth that wins millions of tourists every year with its beauty and delightful climate in all seasons.
It is difficult, for those who do not know Capri, to imagine the emotions and amazement of the traveller who sets foot on this enchanted island for the first time. Rich in suggestive corners, natural wonders and original architecture, since the 16th century it has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for writers and artists, especially foreigners, enraptured by its magical beauty.
The island is a succession of caves and rocks emerging from the water. Among the symbols of Capri are the Faraglioni, three spires about 100 metres high embroidered by the action of the sea. The most famous of all the grottoes on Capri, however, is the Grotta Azzurra: illuminated by the sun through the refraction of water, the light acquires magical effects with every slight ripple of the sea surface.
Capri has all the appearance of an eastern town and has a layout that dates back to the 10th century, when the inhabitants of the marina moved to the inland heights to escape Saracen raids. Of particular interest is Piazza Umberto I, the famous ‘piazzetta‘, scene of Capri’s dolce vita. The ‘chiazza’, as the islanders call it, is made up of small houses with vaulted or terraced roofs overlooking narrow alleys with arches, porticoes and loggias.
The island preserves fascinating evidence of its distant past and is full of things to see. Definitely worth a visit: the remains of Villa Jovis, a grandiose palace built by the emperor Tiberius and made up of different rooms arranged on various levels; the Certosa di San Giacomo, a splendid 14th century building which currently houses a museum dedicated to the German painter Karl Diefenbach; Villa San Michele, built by the Swedish doctor-writer Axel Munthe, which preserves 17th-century furniture and antiques; and the Gardens of Augustus, a small green jewel set on splendid terraces overlooking the sea.
Charles Dickens wrote more than a century ago:
“In nessun luogo al mondo ci sono tante occasioni di deliziosa quiete come in questa piccola isola”.
And beyond the stages traveled daily by millions of tourists, there are glimpses of enchanting landscapes and mysterious streets where even today it is possible to find the quiet of which the famous English writer spoke!