The Naples Capodichino Airport offers connections to all Italian cities and major European destinations with traditional or low-cost airline companies. From the airport the Alibus shuttle service takes you directly to the port of Naples.
The Central Station of Naples is well connected to all of Italy. For times consult the Trenitalia site. When you reach the station you must continue by taxi or bus to Beverello Wharf to board.
You can reach Capri by ferry or hydrofoil from either Naples or Sorrento. From Naples is available either at the port of Mergellina or Molo Beverello; however, it is much more convenient to depart from Molo Beverello because of the greater frequency of departures and larger selection of ferries and hydrofoils. From Naples, the ferry takes about 80 minutes, the hydrofoil takes about 40 minutes. From Sorrento, the ferry takes about 40 minutes, while the hydrofoil takes about 20 minutes. The schedule changes frequently; call the individual companies or the tourist office for more accurate times.
History and Culture
According to the Greek geographer Strabo, Capri was once united to the mainland. This has been recently confirmed both by geological surveys and archaeological findings. Capri consists of two plateaus, separated by a fertile plain. The city was inhabited since very early times. The first findings of human settlement were already discovered during Roman age. The island has been inhabited since the 8th century B.C., when the Greeks and Phoenicians settled there. However, the first person to really appreciate Capri was the Emperor Tiberius, the man who took control of Rome after Augustus. In around 30 A.D., he built a series of villas at Capri, the most famous of which is the Villa Jovis, one of the best preserved Roman villas in Italy.
After the end of the Western Roman Empire, Capri returned to be a dominion of Naples, and suffered for various attacks and ravages by pirates. meaning that the population had to move away from the coast, seeking refuge on the plateaus that rise up in the center of the island. This caused a sort of crash in the island’s economy, which primarily relied on fishing, but also led to the creation of the two urban settlements of Capri and Anacapri (1200).
In January 1806, French troops occupied the island. The British ousted the French troops in May of the same year. Capri was turned into a powerful naval base (a Second Gibralter”), but the building program caused heavy damage to the archaeological sites. Joachim Murat conquered back Capri in 1808, and the French remained there until the end of the Napoleonic era (1815), when Capri was returned to the Bourbon ruling house of Naples.
In the 2nd half of the 19th century, Capri became a popular resort for european artists, writers and other celebrities. John Singer Sargent and Frank Hyde are among the prominent artist who stayed on the island around the late 1870s.
Churches and Museums
Church of San Costanzo
This pretty little Byzantine style church was probably built before the year 1000 and is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Capri, Costanzo. The church is painted in white throughout and is located near Marina Grande, in a very attractive setting.
Charterhouse of San Giacomo
The Charterhouse’s foundations date back to 1371 and it is believed that it was built on the remains of previous Roman buildings and the sixth villa of Tiberius. It is a splendid example of Capri-style architecture and was built in the 14th century by Count Giacomo Arcucci, adviser to the queen of Naples, Joan I of Anjou. Today, this is home to a museum holding a number of large statues from the Roman Age which were recovered from the sea floor of the Grotta Azzurra, cave in 1964. It also contains a number of canvases by the German painter Wilhelm Diefenbach. The Charterhouse is also the current site of the Communal Library and has recently undergone further restoration work.
Historical buildings and monuments
This is the most imposing of the 12 villas built on the island by Emperor Tiberius in around 30 A.D. Villa Jovis overlooks the sea from the top of Monte Tiberio, with a truly spectacular view that embraces the entire Bay of Naples. The Villa covers around 7000 m_ and has several floors. The enormous cisterns, located at the center of the complex, are considerable and were used supply the emperor and his following with rainwater for drinking and bathing.
Of Byzantine origin, the castle became famous in around 1500 because of Barbarossa, the Saracen pirate responsible for violently sacking the island. The castle stands at around 400 meters above sea level.
Villa San Michele
The Villa San Michele was built around the turn of the 20th century, by the Swedish physician, Axel Munthe, on the ruins of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius’ villa. Its gardens have panoramic views of the city of Capri and its marina, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Mount Vesuvius. The villa and its grounds, sit on a ledge at the top of the Phoenician Steps, between Anacapri and Capri, at 327 meters above sea level. San Michele’s gardens are adorned with numerous relics and works of art dating back to ancient Egypt and other periods of antiquity.
Places of Interest
The Blue Grotto
About 3km northwest of Anacapri is one of Capri’s great tourist attractions, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), which can be reached either by boat from Marina Grande or by the Via Pagliaro (3km) from Anacapri. This, the most famous of Capri’s caves, was carved out of the rock in prehistoric times by the constant battering of the sea, and as a result of the sinking of the land is now half-filled with water. The entrance, only about 1m high, can be negotiated only by small boats when the sea is calm. When the sun is shining it is filled with an extraordinary blue light (at its best from 11am to 1pm). Punta Carena This spot is located at the westernmost tip of the island and is home to a lighthouse, the second most important lighthouse in Italy after that in Genoa. The jagged rocks overhanging the sea, the luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation and the lighthouse itself make Carena Point one of the most beautiful spots on the island.
Piazza Umberto I is otherwise known as the legendary “Piazzetta” which, from the white columned terrace of the funicular railway, opens out on to a fabulous view of Monte Solaro. The Piazzetta is the center of the island of Capri for tourists and locals alike. The town hall is on one side of the Piazzetta, opposite the flight of steps. In the courtyard of the town hall there is the trunk of a column and a fragment of a circular marble base, discovered in the 1920’s during the construction of the port, and probably belonging to the Villa Augustea of Palazzo a Mare. The Piazzetta was the center of local life, where vegetable and fish markets were held and, where, very infrequently considering the rarity of the product in times past, meat was sold. It was not until 1938, when the young Raffaele Vuotto decided to place a few tables in the square, that the Piazzetta began to take on a more fashionable appearance. From that moment onwards the Piazzetta became the focal point of island social life, which had previously been carried out predominantly in the town’s hotels and in private houses.
- Festival of Sant’Antonio – July 4th
On July 4th every year, the patron saint of the town of Anacapri is celebrated with a large rustic festival.
- Festival of San Costantino – July 30th
On July 30th every year, the patron saint of the town of Capri, San Costantino, is celebrated.
- International Folklore Festival – August
During the 1st week of August, Anacapri plays host to a range of events in its squares, featuring musical bands and folk dance companies.
- Settembrata Anacaprese – September
A large rustic festival for celebrating the grape harvest: 10 days of celebration dedicated to the island’s typical produce, including shows, competitions and games.
- Capri Film Festival – December
Every December since 1991, Capri has hosted an international festival dedicated to the cinema. The event attracts Italian artistes, Hollywood stars and independent filmmakers keen to present their works in this exclusive location.