Located to the south of the Bay of Naples Capri has been a favorite getaway since Roman emperor Augusts arrived here. The Capri island has been home to emperors, poets, and artists alike. Capri is replete with natural beauty as well as some peculiar architectural specimens which might be considered by some as eccentric much like their respective owners.
Here are 15 must-visit places on Capri Island :
1. Villa Jovis
Built-in the 1st century B.C for Roman emperor Tiberius Villa Jovis sits on a secluded cliff which afforded the emperor his much-needed privacy and security. The largest of all the villas on the island Villa Jovis was built in sections that sat on different levels owing to the topography and were connected by passages and staircases.
2. Villa San Michelle
Built by Swedish physician Axel Munthe on the ruins of chapel San Michele, this beautiful villa sits at a height of 327m from sea level watching over the panoramic view of Capri Island. Apart from its beautiful architecture, the villa boasts of many artifacts from around the world, a prominent artifact is the marble sphinx that watches over the island from the villa’s gardens.
3. Villa Malaparte, Capri Island
“The day I began building my home, I didn’t think I would be creating a self-portrait”: these are the words of Curzio Malaparte, a writer, intellectual, journalist, and poet who built Villa Malaparte. The villa with its minimalist design on Capri Island is a fine specimen of Italian rationalist architecture. The red villa with cascading stairs sits on the edge of a cliff 32m above sea level.
4. Blue Grotto, Capri Island
Blue grotto exemplifies the fact that nature is a fine architect. The natural cave which can only be accessed by a rowboat has a mesmerizing play of light giving the waters a dazzling blue color.
5. Arco Naturale
The Arco Naturale is a natural arch that was formed after a limestone grotto collapsed, dating back to the Palaeolithic era the formation is about 12 meters wide and 20 meters high. The arch overlooks the Sorrentine Peninsula, especially Punta Campanella, and the islets of the Li Galli archipelago.
6. Monte Solaro
Wish to take in all of Capri’s picturesque settings a hike up the Monte Solaro would give you just that. At 589m from the sea level, this is the highest point on the island referred to as ‘Acchiappa Nuvole’ cloud catcher by the locals as a thick blanket of fog engulfs it at dawn. A statue of Emperor Augustus looks over the peak.
7. Certosa di San Giacomo
A Carthusian monastery built by Giacomo Arcucci on Capri Island in the year 1371. The complex follows late renaissance planning, geometrical designs, and cross vaults housed on Roman marble columns. Today, the Charterhouse belongs to the Diefenbach Museum and during the summer, functions as a venue for concerts and cultural events.
8. Piazza Umberto I
A public square considered the center of Capri since the Roman Empire. The piazza is known for its iconic clock tower as well as the church of San Stefano which was built in the 18th century. Today the square houses cafes, shops, and a meat market.
9. Casa Rossa, Capri Island
Casa Rossa was built on Capri Island between 1886 and 1899 by an American colonel John Clay MacKowen. The bright red residence is a confluence of various architectural styles from classical, Moorish to oriental, and medieval-style design elements. The organic residence has captivated visitors since its construction in the late nineteenth century.
10. Church of Sant’Andrea
Situated near the Marina Piccola and designed by famous painter Riccardo Fainardi Chiesa di Sant’Andrea is one of the most beautiful churches on Capri island. Built on the site of an old watchtower the altar on the church is adorned by a triptych that depicts the crucifixion of Saint Andrew.
11. Villa Lysis, Capri Island
Built-in the year 1904 by a Parisian count Jacques d’Adelswärd Fersen Villa Lysis is a luxurious residence much suited to the lifestyle of the nobleman. The architecture is a mix of Art Nouveau and neoclassical styles that attracted artists, intellectuals, poets, and writers visiting Capri who made it their socializing venue in the late 20th century.
12. Punta Carena
Punta Carena, the second tallest lighthouse in Italy was built in 1866. The location backed against a precipice with clear blue water stretching from Capri Island to Sicily makes it one the most relaxing spots where one can sit and enjoy the sunset.
- Punta Carena © flickr.com
- Punta Carena © wikipedia.org
- Punta Carena © dronestagr.am
13. Gardens of Augustus
A botanical garden that hosts rich flora in its various flower-decked terraces, the Garden of Augusts is a must-visit spot for all the landscape architecture buffs. The garden provides fantastic views of the Faraglioni rock formations, the Bay of Marina Piccola, and also the famous Via Krupp.
14. Via Krupp, Capri Island
Via Krupp was commissioned by German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp in the early 20th century to connect the Bay of Marina Piccola to the Gardens of Augustus. A series of hairpin bends cut through the rocks creating a walkway that traverses an elevation of 100m.
15. Local Architecture
Being discovered by early Roman emperors has brought in much influence of Roman architecture in Capri Island. A stroll through its streets gives a peek into the beautiful local Italian architecture.