Visiting Capri for years, a lot of people ask me if it’s overrated. They tell me they just went for the day and didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Too much hype. Too crowded. My answer to this question is always the same. No Way. Unless you have been at least one time for a few days or more, a day trip is never enough and here’s why.
1. Day Trips to Capri don’t allow you to experience the culture and majesty of the island. People come in droves on the hydrofoil ferry, follow the crowd to the funicular cable car up to the center of Capri, and spend just enough time to walk down Via Camerelle, visit the church in the main square, shop, eat, and fight the crowds to get back on the hydrofoil from whence they came. No wonder some people find it overrated. I’ve done day trips to Capri and week-long stays and can’t seem to get enough. The more I visit, the more I want to visit. I have never heard anyone who has been to Capri say, gee Donna, wish I had come for just a day. When you stay, the crowds leave at the end of the day and you are able to enjoy the splendor and serenity of life on Capri.
2. You Need Time to Explore -With two cliff side mounds that make up the island rich with history dating back to prehistoric times, you can easily stay for ten days and not experience all of it. There are so many jaw dropping sights, walking and hiking possibilities, and so many irresistible restaurants, I almost feel like it’s a waste to go for one day. Visiting the Blue Grotto, the fountain of youth, or climbing the mountain to the ruins of Tiberius’s once lively palace, hiking or taking the chair lift to the highest point of the island at Monte Solaro, learning about the scandal that surrounds the beautiful windy cliff road referred to as Via Krupp, or spending time being enveloped by the dark mysterious paintings of Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach inside the Certosa di St. Giacomo. These are sights to be enjoyed slowly. It’s impossible to be present if you are just checking off a list of to do’s.
3. Contrary to Popular Belief, it is Affordable to Stay on the Island– Many people believe the island is too expensive, the place where only rich people go to vacation. While it is not uncommon to see celebrities on Capri, most of the island is visited by people just like you and me. You can shop expensive or inexpensive. There is enough shopping to appeal to everyone. If you have the money to stay in one of the islands more expensive hotels, good for you. There are plenty to choose from, although my personal favorite is the Caesar Augustus in Ana Capri, and intimate relais chateaux perched 1000 feet above sea level. The same goes for people on a budget. There are B&B’s popping up everywhere, adorable less expensive boutique hotels, Airbnb’s and VRBO’s. I recently stayed off the beat and path at a small family owned affordable hotel, IlGiardino Del Arte. Treated like family in both, a return visit to either holds appeal. (Link-Video of IlGiardino)
4. It’s Easy to Get Around – Getting back and forth between Ana Capri and Capri is simple. Since there are only a few ways to travel, choices are easy. For just a couple of Euro’s, budget savvy folks can take the bus between the islands and the cable car from Marina Grande to the City Center. If you want to stay fit while eating rich Italian cheeses and handmade pasta, you can walk 921 stones of the Phoenician Steps which was, at one time, the only path between Ana Capri and Marina Grande. These are places less travelled, perfect for understanding how people navigated the island before roads, cars, and Vespa’s. Capri’s famous convertible taxi’s are the most popular form of transportation for tourists as the sea can be seen from almost any vantage point. This is an excellent for taking an afternoon drive around the island.
5. Getting to Know the Locals Will Keep You Coming Back for More – Over the years I have made some incredible friends, some who live on the island and some who work on the island and live elsewhere. Getting to know the locals is the gift that keeps on giving. You get to see people grow, experience the Capresan spirit on a deeper level and learn where the locals eat, shop and how they take time to enjoy life, a gift that is never regrettable. And when you return, they never forget you, always have a place for you whether it is in their hotel, at the dinner table, or on a boat ready to take you on a tour around the island. With each visit, it just gets better. Of course, this observation applies to nearly every place I have ever visited.