Thursday, 13 April 2017

Capri - The Ocean Break

Arpino, our little medieval village just south of Rome, is the the perfect starting point for exploring Italy. It is conveniently located close to Rome, Naples, historical sites, national parks, mountains and the coast line including Sperlonga, Amalfi and Capri. This time we drove our little Fiat 500 (what else?) to Naples to catch the express ferry to Capri. We were excited to check out this beautiful island that has attracted both Roman emperors and the global jet-set scene for over two thousand years.

Capri - an iconic destination.
Capri - also called "the gardens of Eden"

Less than 3 hours after leaving our house in Arpino we checked into Relais Maresca Hotel on Capri, one of the oldest and most iconic hotels on the island, located in the marina with stunning ocean views. As always we prefer to travel off-season and we actually arrived on the very day when most of the hotels and restaurants started to open up for the season so it was still pretty calm and tranquil. Many tourists visit Capri over the day so when the sun set we had this charming island (almost) to ourselves.

Welcome to Relais Maresca! 

We enjoyed our beautiful terrace suite with amazing views.

Capri is a pretty small island so you can walk, take the convenient cable car that connects the harbor with the main town or catch a taxi (they are all cabriolets!). There are basically three main parts on the island: Capri town, marina grande and Anacapri.
View over the marina.
Capri is absolutley stunning with very dramatic sceneries, lush nature and the most beautiful ocean views wherever you turn. There is a reason why this tiny island has attracted so many royalties, celebrities and tourists over hundreds of years.
Different shades of blue, local fishermen doing their thing.

Capri is best explored on foot, walking the charming and narrow streets, or by boat which gives you the opportunity to go around the island and experience the dramatic cliffs and enchanting caves. 
We took a very beautiful tour around Capri in a private Riva boat.

The famous blue grotto was simply spectacular.
Dramatic cliffs everywhere! And the little house below them belongs to the Swarowski family.
And beautiful caves everywhere too!

2,5 hours in a private boat takes you around the island and gives you tine to explore all the caves and sights.
A word of warning; Capri is not cheap! In fact, even for luxury travellers like ourselves, we found it very expensive. So stay away if you are on a budget. For instance, two small cappuchinos at one café we visited were 14 Euros! (In Arpino we pay 2 Euros). But if you are willing to spend some cash, there are so many great restaurants and beautiful luxury hotels here.
Capri main piazza with the cool clock tower that you can hear ring every fifteen minutes.

We went to some excellent restaurants both in the marina grande and Capri town. Since it is expensive wherever you go we suggest you aim for the nicer upscale restuarants that offers the best value for money and stay away from the over priced joints. The fish is extremely good, the local wines are nice and Capri sure attracts a fun crowd. As always try to avoid peak season, it can get really crowded.
Enjoying an ocean front lunch at Lo Zodiaco, a nice fish restaurant in the big marina.
Ocean views from the terrace restaurant of Relais Maresca.

Luxury hotel Quisiana has both a great casual pool side bistro and an amazing fine dining restaurant.

Beauty everywhere!

Where to stay
-Hotel Quisiana (The iconic luxury hotel on the island)
-Hotel Relais Maresca (Charming hotel with the best ocean front location and suites with terraces)
-Tiberio Palace (It does not get more posh)
-La Minerva (A bit outsode town but very nice)
Where to eat:
-Villa Brunella, la Terassa restaurant (Best view over the sunset and excellent food)
-Rendez Vous (fine dining restaurant of Quisiana)
-Lo Zodiaco (stylish fish restaurant in the marina)
-Villa Margeritha (a beautiful terrace and a nice restaurant)
-La Colombaia (easy going but pricy pool side restaurant if Quisiana)
What to do:
-Hire a private Riva boat with a skipper and go around the island
-Take scenic walks
-Shop the unique Capri collections of the global luxury brands
-Go and hang out on the posh beach clubs around the island
-Visit Villa Elise (to admire the terraced gardens)

All the luxury brands have small shops on Capri and many of them create unique Capri collections sold only on the island.
This Dolce&Gabbana t-shirt is part of a unique Capri collection that is only sold in the little D&G store on the island. Of course we had to get them!
Beautiful sunset #1 (as seen from our suite at Relais Maresca)
Beautiful sunset #2 (as seen from the Villa Brunella terrace restaurant).
Capri was a very nice experience and we will be back soon again. After 3 days on this beautiful island we both feel energized and ready to head back to Arpino and celebrate Easter.
See you on the other side of Easter!

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