In celebration of our Memorial Day La Dolce Vita sales event, I wanted to take moment to travel down memory lane with you all and revisit one my favorite Italian locations- Carpi!
My first time visiting the Amalfi Coast I made the mistake of only doing a day trip to Capri. Though I enjoyed my time, I highly encourage people to stay on Capri to really experience its many treasures. Do not make the mistake of doing a day trip from Positano and just stopping in Capri, staying on the island will offer you experiences you can't otherwise get- trust me!
Upon arrival at Capri, we immediately jumped off the boat to swim in the cerulean blue waters at the bottom of the towering cliffs. It was such a beautiful entrance to the island. The first beach we went to was more of a beach club, and it was the lovely Trina Turk that recommended it to me. It's called La Fontelina, and when I got off the boat, I was not only in complete awe of the beautiful umbrellas and view, but also of the gorgeous people.
It's nearly impossible to summarize all the amazing things there are to do and see in Capri in a pithy way but I'll try.
As you head through the town, you'll want to work your way to the street of Via Tragara. This sun-dappled, tree-lined slice of heaven features breathtaking views of the island and the tiny port of Marina Picola. Bring your camera to get some great snaps along the way. Speaking of, here's a true Behind the Scenes moment, I'm literally taking the 'Afternoon in Capri' photograph in this snap shot.
As you reach the end of the street you will see the giant and iconic Faraglioni rocks that jut from the sea like two sentinels, guarding the island. It's also at the end of this street where you will find my absolute favorite hotel in the world, Punta Tragara. Made famous by Slim Aarons, who shot bare chested on the terraced pool steps, this hotel features the most stunning views of the island, from high atop the rocks, to the sparkling sea below. Built into the side of a mountain, the rooms are often split level, sometimes with low ceilings and little unexpected nooks; this hotel is as quirky as it is glamorous. I strongly recommend booking several months in advance- there are couples I've met here that have stayed at the hotel the same week every year for 20 years! You'll also want to make sure you get a room with a view of the rocks- though a little bit more expensive, it's an unforgettable site to enjoy.
Just next to the hotel, you'll find a set of steps that are long, windy, and take you all the way down to the base of the island facing the rocks, and the two (in my opinion) best beach clubs in the whole country: Da Luigi and La Fontelina. I recommend splitting these into two separate days if possible so you get the full experience.
For Da Luigi, I recommend spending half the day there, arriving early in the morning as this club faces east. Park yourself at a day lounger and soak up the sun and sea. After taking a dip in the sparkling water, grab some lunch.
For the second half of the day I recommend that you arrange with your hotel a gozzo boat- these are classic Capri boats that are small, but with motors, that can take you on a dreamy tour all the way around the island. You can walk over to La Fontelina and get picked up by your captain at their dock.
Cruise around to the various grottos, including the easily accessible Green Grotto. and the world famous Blue Grotto. You'll have to pay a small fee to enter the Blue Grotto with one of their assigned boats, but it's well worth the experience to see the shockingly blue water in the afternoon sun. I also love to take a stop in Marina Picola and do some quick shopping or grabbing a gelato. Bring a bottle of bubbles on board, and sip them as you sail around the entire island, ending back at the gorgeous Faraglioni rocks.
At La Fontelina, with it's iconic navy and white umbrellas, you'll want to make a booking weeks in advance by emailing them. This insures you will get a spot at the club to lay, as well as require you to lunch at one of their two daily seatings at noon and 3pm. Get there early in the day! Even though when you arrive many umbrellas and chairs will not yet be taken, some families will reserve a particular spot for an entire week or more, and show up during the day at their leisure. Though there is no typical "beach" here, the club is outfitted with relaxing chairs and day beds for you to lay on and day dream while you sip on rose and gaze out at the exquisite sites before you. Take a dip in the warm aqua waters to cool off- and don't leave until the club closes so you can watch the sun head over the island.
Capri is a small slice of heaven on earth. The volcanic island is incredibly steep and only has a few beach clubs which are set on the rocks with very small- almost non-existent beaches. The island has numerous natural stone arches and dozens of magic sparkling caves that attract people from all over the world. Taking in the enchanting views by boat is highly recommended for a more peaceful and calm experience since it gives you the feeling of space and privacy. However, the views from Capri itself are arguably just as special in a completely different way...
Another great way to spend a day is to catch a taxi over to the fantastic club Lido del Faro on the tip of the island. The club is positioned right next to the lighthouse here, and is always teeming with locals. The younger, braver kids will be jumping off the cliffs into the waters below and having splash contests.
Make sure to at least spend one night dining in Anacapri, it has some truly remarkable places to eat, including the Michelin-starred L'Olivo. You'll be driven in one of the classic Capri open-air taxi's and get outstanding views of the setting sun along the ride to dinner.
Honestly, I love Capri so much, I've written a Travel Guide exclusively on it. I really can't get enough! And now as you finish your tour of the beautiful Italian coast, you can head back inland to explore Rome, or take the ferry to Naples and grab a slice of their world-famous pizza before jetting off to home, or wherever your wanderlust takes you next.