Sunday, 24 May 2015

Anacapri, a top spot

Capri, known as a resort for the rich and famous, seemed an unlikely destination for two people travelling with their tiny wardrobes of three t-shirts, two pairs of jeans and a shoe collection encompassing thongs (flip-flops), trainers, 'dressy' desert boots and the essential puffer jacket.
Capri port with the town Capri spreading over the hill behind.
But, when we read about the other Capri, Anacapri, the little village on the top of the island where B&Bs, not luxury hotels, are the main accommodation on offer, and walking, not clubbing, is the activity of choice, we thought it might be a lovely spot for a short spring break after the hectic pace of Naples.  And, our limited clothing choices might be less noticeable than down the mountain in the other Capri.
From the port we caught a local bus which zig-zagged its way up and over the steep escarpment of the island mountain to Anacapri, where we found gentler slopes of vineyards, orchards and olive groves going down to the sea.
Though it is also a tourist spot, albeit a second cousin to Capri town, Anacapri has managed to maintain its local village feel.  In the evenings when we were there, the locals took their usual passaggiata before dinner through almost empty little streets as most of the tourists had left for the night.  
During our three days we enjoyed some spectacular walks.
From the famous Villa San Michele, we took the path, which was mostly a series of stairs, down all the way to the port.  Definitely the best way to see the dramatic views of this beautiful little island.
Then once we reached the port we caught the funicular for a short ride up to the town of Capri.
Its streets are scented with their own fragrance, and even the stalls selling lemon granita look as though they come from the pages of Vogue Living. 
The town was in spring cleaning mode with workmen everywhere preparing for the opening of the summer season.   We stopped for a quick photo and then walked through the town down to the other side of the island, Marina Piccola.
Marina Piccola
More spectacular views and a delicious Caprese salad, as you do on the Isle of Capri.  
Wherever we walked from Anacapri it was always down. Luckily the buses traverse the island so sometimes, rather than climb back up, we enjoyed sitting in the sunshine while we waited for the next bus.  
On our second day we walked down the slopes from Anacapri to the furthest end of the island, Faro di Punta Carena.  In summer, this is the only place on Capri where the sun shines all day so it is a very popular swimming spot. At this time, although the water was sparkling and the sun was shining it was too chilly for us to swim. 
We had the place to ourselves, apart from the workmen preparing the concrete terraces for the rows of deckchairs that will be filled in the summer ready for the many who want to perfect la bronzata.
Walking back up to Anacapri there were reminders of spring everywhere with wildflowers and blossoms dotting the pathways and stairs.
A highlight of our stay was dinner at the Trattoria da Mamma Govanna, only a short walk out of town.  They had just reopened for the summer season but already the restaurant was half full. The freshest of fish cooked and served perfectly.  Could just be the best fish we've eaten in Italy. 
After a pleasant few days of walking in the sunshine, we took the ferry back to Naples and that evening we crossed our fingers hoping that the sea would be calm for our overnight ferry to Palermo.
It would be our first cruise, of only one night. Rather than catch the train from Naples to Palermo we decided that an overnight ferry trip arriving in Palermo at 8am after a good night's sleep would be the most comfortable way to travel. Speriamo!

Where we stayed:
There are lots of B&Bs in Anacapri but not many were open when we arrived in Anacapri.  We stayed in B&B that was okay but we wouldn't recommend it.   
Holiday apartment rentals in late March were difficult to find.  

Where we ate:
Trattoria da Mamma Giovanna
Via Chiusarano, 6
They offer a shuttle bus service for guests staying in Anacapri.  
It has a lovely verandah where we enjoyed the best baked whole fish we've eaten in Italy.  Moderate prices.  

Marina Piccola is the little bay where we enjoyed a delicious Caprese salad and fresh pizza but unfortunately we forgot to take a card from the pizza bar. 

If you can avoid eating at the port, do so.  We had another Caprese salad while waiting for the ferry and it was ordinary and expensive.  Silly us.

Guardando l'ora di passare un mese in Sicilia.  


  1. Your opening paragraph made me laugh Jen! Very impressive to be travelling so light. Nice to see another part of Capri where Jackie Onassis-Kennedy probably didn't go. Fond memories of the caprese salad too.

  2. Wow! Breathtaking scenery. I imagine you were happy with your decision to visit this place? I love it that chose this place over the more touristy Capri because of your limited wardrobe!