LA MINERVA - Capri
Getting around the island
Buses and taxis transport visitors along the one major carriageway linking Capri, Marina Piccola, the Port, Anacapri, the Grotta Azzurra and the Lighthouse. Those who know Capri, know that even the most isolated corners of the Island are completely safe to visit at any time of the day or night and that the whole island is practically crime-free, thus enabling travelers to visit the island independently and without the aid of a guide.
Those wishing to learn a little more about the history and natural beauty of the island of Capri, might like to enlist the services of a local guide to accompany them along some of the islandís lesser known pathways.
Things to see in Capri
Via Camerelle (2 minute walk from the hotel)
Heading in the direction of the Piazzetta, visitors soon find themselves on Via Camerelle, the most fashionable street in Capri; home to the bar of the Hotel Quisisana and any number of elegant boutiques selling all the best Italian and International designer fashions. In the evening the local paparazzi swoop in to photograph the celebrities unable to resist the street's appeal.
Piazzetta and historic center (less than 10 minute walk from the hotel)
Capri's Piazzetta is often described as "the world's most fashionable open air lounge", where the rich and famous can regularly be seen drinking an aperitif, sat at the tables in front of the bars beneath the clock tower. Coming off the Piazzetta, there are a number of twisting lanes and hidden passageways dating back to the medieval era and its is here that the locals do their daily shopping. This is also where some of Capri's best restaurants and traditional, family-run eateries can be found. Visitors dining at Fabrizio Arbace's Pulalli restaurant, located in the clock tower have an unbeatable view of the Piazzetta.
Via Tragara and viewing point (2 minute walk from the hotel)
From the hotel, heading in the opposite direction from the Piazzetta, with Via Camerelle to the left, guests soon reach Via Tragara. The peaceful Via Tragara is one of the most enchanting roads on the Island; home to a string of sumptuous villas complete with gorgeous gardens. After just over five minutes, at the end of Via Tragara, there is a panoramic terrace overlooking the Faraglioni and the Bay of Marina Piccola. In the evenings, soft lights illuminate the walkway, whilst the moon and stars do the rest. Just before they reach the viewpoint, visitors come across the elegant Brunella restaurant, renowned for the quality of its cuisine, the courtesy of its staff, and the beauty of the scenery which can be seen from the terrace where meals are served. From the Tragara viewing point there is a path leading down to the foot of the Faraglioni and the start of the Pizzolungo coastal walk .
Gardens of Augustus and viewing point (5 minute walk from the hotel)
Positioned directly above Marina Piccola and the Via Krupp, and opposite the Faraglioni, the Gardens are approximately 5 minutes walk from the hotel. During the day and especially in the summer months the gardens can be quite crowded, and the best time to visit them is without doubt at sunset, when the day trippers have left the Island, and the beauty of the gardens and the surrounding scenery can be enjoyed to the full. In the vicinity of the gardens, the Geranio restaurant serves delicious lunches and dinners in the shade of a pine wood with view of the Faraglioni.
Charterhouse of San Giacomo (3 minute walk from the hotel)
The Charterhouse of San Giacomo, with its cloisters dating back to the 14th and 16th century, houses a museum containing artworks by the German painter Diefenbach, who lived for many years on the island of Capri.
Faraglioni beach (25 minute walk from the hotel)
La Fontelina and Da Luigi, are the names of the bathing establishments at the feet of the Faraglioni. These are without doubt the most beautiful of all those on the island. Both can be reached on foot in about fifteen minutes by way of the spectacular pathway which commences at the Tragara viewpoint and enjoy a dream setting, dominated by the Faraglioni rocks and opposite the bay of Marina Piccola. Holidaymakers can easily spend the greater part of the day here, swimming in the sea, relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying the excellent cuisine served in the water edge restaurants. When the time finally comes to leave, those wishing to avoid the steep climb back up to Tragara can request the boat shuttle service to Marina Piccola where they can take a taxi or catch a bus to the Piazzetta.
Punta Cannone viewing point (25 minute walk from hotel)
Punta Canone (canon point) got its name from the old canon once used to protect the Island. Located on a cliff, directly above the sea and approximately 15 minutes from the Piazzetta, this is one of Capriís most beautiful viewpoints, offering a spectacular view of the Gardens of Augustus, Marina Piccola and the Faraglioni. Despite this, the Punta Canone viewing terrace is rarely crowded and the walk to reach it is particularly suited to those is search of a little peace and tranquility. At the start of the walk, just meters away from the Piazzetta, there is the much celebrated Da Gemma restaurant where, in our opinion, the pizza chef Silvio makes the best pizza on the whole of Capri.
Villa Jovis (1hour walk from the hotel)
On the summit of Tiberio, which can only be reached on foot (or in exceptional circumstances using the electric carts normally employed to transport luggage), lie the beautiful and remarkably well conserved ruins of Villa Jovis. Villa Jovis was the residence of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, successor of Augustus. From these rooms Tiberius ruled the Roman empire, communicating with the mainland by way of signals from the lighthouse, the ruins of which are still clearly visible. From the top of a 300 meter high precipice, directly above the sea, an unforgettable view, encompassing Ischia, Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi, and the Li Galli can be seen. According to the accounts of historians of the era, many of which were not supporters of Tiberius, it was from this precipice that the emperor delighted in throwing the occasional slave into the sea below. The walk to Villa Jovis is a particularly scenic one and traverses parts of Capri which have a rural charm. Along the walk, visitors will come across the historic La Savardina restaurant, where typical Island fare is served in one of Capri's most beautiful gardens.
Natural Arch and Via Pizzolungo (duration of entire walk: 1hour 30 minutes)
Without doubt one of the islandís most beautiful walks. Although there is a short cut which from the hotel leads to the area of Matermania by way of Via Cercola, guests will probably want to commence the walk from the Piazzetta, following Via Longano to reach the Natural Arch, one of natureís wonders. Itís well worth timing your arrival at the arch around lunch time in order to enjoy a meal of traditional Caprian specialties at the Grottelle restaurant: a charming eatery, from the terraces of which a beautiful view of the Amalfi Coast can be seen. A flight of approximately 400 steps leads down to the Cave of Matromania, which contains artifacts dating back to Ancient Roman times, and on, along a magnificently panoramic coastal pathway, past Villa Malaparte and all the way to the terrace and viewing point of Tragara. From here, guests can head back to the hotel, without having to retrace their steps.
Marina Piccola (10 minute bus or taxi ride from the Piazzetta)
Situated almost directly opposite the Faraglioni, Marina Piccola is the most photographed of all the island's bays. A number of famous bathing establishments are located on its beaches. During the summer season, and particularly in the central hours of the day, the bay tends to be crowded.
Via Tuoro and viewing point (10 minute walk from the hotel)
Running parallel to Via Tragara, the quieter Via Tuoro, also lined with impressive villas and gardens, leads to yet another viewpoint from which to see the Faraglioni. After the first viewing point, a series of steps leads up to another even more beautiful one. From here, a well trodden dirt track leads to the area of the Natural Arch and the Piana delle Noci.
Things to see in Anacapri
(30 minutes away from the hotel: by foot to the Piazzetta and then by bus or taxi)
From the Piazzetta of Capri, the other important town on the island, Anacapri, is only a ten minute taxi or bus ride away. In the high season, the journey by bus (price of tickets Euro 1.40 per person) can entail waiting in long queues before boarding.
Making the trip by taxi (cost of journey approximately Euro 20) is a valid alternative.
A piece of advice: those who decide to take the bus to Anacapri and are eager to experience some of the most spectacular views, should try to sit on the right hand side of the bus!
Passengers should get off at Piazza Vittoria, usually announced by the driver with a simple "Anacapri!".
Villa San Michele - Axel Munthe Museum (5 minutes walk from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri)
Built almost directly above the sea, opposite the bays of Naples and Salerno, the villa was the residence of the celebrated Swedish writer and physician, Axel Munthe, author of "The History of San Michele". Set in beautiful gardens, the house still contains many of the antiquities collected by its first owner. In the summer, the gardens provide an enchanting venue for a series of extremely well attended classical music concerts (performed as the sun sets). Entry to the villa costs approximately 8 Euro. There are a number of small shops selling souvenirs and traditional craft items along the pretty little lane leading to the Villa.
Church of San Michele (5 minutes walk from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri)
The Church of San Michele is situated in the historic center of Anacapri. This small church is famous for its magnificent floor in majolica dating back to the 1700's, work of the master of majolica Leonardo Chiaiese, and depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the earthly paradise. Visitors are asked to make a small donation.
Monte Solaro chairlift (in Piazza Vittoria)
Using the chairlift to Monte Solaro visitors can comfortably reach the highest point of the island, traveling above the vineyards and gardens of Anacapri. From the summit of Monte Solaro the view is simply breathtaking; encompassing the whole of the island and, in the distance, the islands of Ischia and Procida and the bays of Naples and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Galli. Chairlift tickets cost approximately 7 Euro.
Migliera (20 minutes walk from the center of Anacapri)
From the center of Anacapri a leisurely twenty minute walk leads to what has to be one of the island's most beautiful viewing points. Positioned directly above the sea on the cliff top, from the Migliera viewing point, visitors enjoy a spectacular view of the south western coast of the Island, from the lighthouse to the Faraglioni. Close by, at the "parco filosofale" visitors can follow a route through the woods, punctuated by boards bearing the maxims of the world's greatest philosophers. At the da Gelsomina restaurant, a simple eatery with a magnificent view of the sea and the neighboring island of Ischia, is known for its good food and wine and for its wonderfully panoramic swimming pool. On request, the restaurant provides a shuttle service to and from the center of Anacapri.
Faro (15 minutes taxi or bus ride from center of Anacapri)
Located on the most south west point of the island the Faro (lighthouse) of Punta Carena, is one of the tallest in Italy. It towers above a beautiful bay with its own bathing establishment. Here some of the most beautiful sunsets, with the sun slowly disappearing behind the nearby Island of Ischia, can be seen. In the height of summer, the restaurant is also open in the evening, its tables lit by candlelight, the stars, and the intermittent blinking of the lighthouse.
The Blue Grotto (can be reached from the sea but also over land by way of a 10 minute bus or taxi ride from the center of Anacapri)
The Grotta Azzurra is one of the natural wonders of Capri that no visitor to the island will want to miss. Named after the intense blue of the light which penetrates through an underwater fissure and fills the sea cave with beautiful reflections, the Grotta Azzurra or Blue Grotto is, in fact, a major tourist attraction. Close to the entrance of the cave, there are a number of restaurants and a bathing establishment. For further information, go to the Minerva - Boat Trips page.
Sentiero dei Fortini (15 minute bus or taxi ride from the center of Anacapri + duration of walk approximately 150 minutes)
This, arguably the most beautiful walk on the whole Island, connects the area of the Grotta Azzurra with that of the Faro by way of a pathway tracing the western coast of the island, passing by a series of old blockhouses built to defend the area from enemy attack. The walk covers extremely varied terrain, passing through stretches of dense vegetation, across rocky crevases, along paths which almost seem to touch the water and others which lead into the countryside. There is even a hanging bridge to be crossed. The panoramas and the vegetation are incredible and nature lovers should be sure not to miss this walk, along a pathway once used by fishermen and hunters, now made accessible to all who wish to experience its beauty.
The route to follow is indicated by dots of red paint and tiles. Although the walk is relatively easy, you will need comfortable walking shoes and a supply of water. It is best to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
Damecuta (10 minute bus or taxi ride from the center of Anacapri)
The site can be reached by bus or taxi along the road to the Grotta Azzurra, on the northwest side of the island. At Damecuta, the ruins of an Ancient Roman villa and a spectacular view of the coast can be seen.
Other natural walks on the island
For those who love walking, Capri has any number of beautiful pathways, many of which unknown to the greater public and which we list below for your your reference:
- the Passetiello (from Capri to Anacapri)
- The Funno (from beneath the Via Pizzolungo as far as the sea)
- The Phoenician Steps (from Villa Axel Munthe to the area around Marina Grande)
- The pathway which unites the Migliera with the summit of Monte Solaro
- That which from the Migliera leads to the Lighthouse
- The Via Krupp
- The Lo Capo pathway (from Villa Jovis to the sea)
and many more.