After spending some time in places outside of Praiano, like Amalfi, Capri, Positano, Ravello and Sorrento, I became enamored with the town of music, Ravello and for my friend, it was Positano. Of the remaning choices of Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento, I enjoyed our trek though Amalfi the best. Remember that this reflects my personal bias. Sorrento and Capri are both beautiful towns in their own right. Even though we visited in May, a shoulder season, both places were crowded and very commercialized. Sorrento is awash in souvenir stores. I’d bet that despite the throngs of tourists, most peoples love Capri.
This is what lonely Planet writes about Sorrento: “An unashamed resort, Sorrento is nonetheless a civilized and beautiful town. Even the souvenirs are a cut above the norm, with plenty of fine old shops selling the ceramics, lacework and intarsio (marquetry items) that are famously produced here. The main drawback is the lack of a proper beach: the town straddles the cliffs overlooking the water to Naples and Mt. Vesuvius.”
So, if you want to take advantage of some better quality souvenir deals, this is your place. There are numerous ways to reach Naples from Sorrento and thus, if you plan to tour Naples for more than a day, then using the town of Sorrento as a jumping point, could be the best option, while still retaining longer but easy ways to access the Amalfi Coast towns by ferry and bus systems.
We arrived in Capri in the morning by ferry from Positano. Immediately, we were approached by boat agents to do a tour around the island which would also give us priority status in the line to see the Blue Grotto. And so we gave into temptation. The tour by itself was worth it but I was not impressed with our priority wait time before we were picked up by a driver with a rowboat to take us into a cave. It just so happened that there were many other tour boats with passengers who also had priority. So we all waited…and waited.
Capri is stunningly gorgeous with the top tourist attraction being the Blue Grotto. It is worth viewing if you have never seen it before. But even in May, it took us up to three hours before we got into the cave for a five minute tour. Our attempt to get a leg up by taking a boat tour around Capri was not successful. I cannot imagine how more brutal this waiting will become in the middle of summer when the heat and crowds are worse.
At the end of the day when the boats are no longer operating, there are peoples who will jump into the waters to swim in the grotto, even though it is against the rules.
At the harbor level, there is a sign pointing to stairs indicating this is the way to the town’s center. Pay no attention to it. There is a funicolare (cable cars) which will transport you from sea level to the town center high up in the hills. Around the harbor, there is a booth which sells the tickets for the cable cars.
The center of Capri is the Umberto Piazza. There is a tourist office nearby, where you can obtain a map, directions and advice.
The main section of Capri was literally wall to wall peoples that walking ended up making you feel as if you were navigating through an obstacle course.
An optional plan would be if you were to take a bus from the Umberto Plaza area to Ana Capri (another section of this same island), where this town still has fashionable stores, places to eat but it is not as congested.
With this local Ana Capri bus line, you can get on and off at a whim. There are ample bus stops but be sure to wave so that the driver knows to stop, and to push a button for exiting. Then you can pay to get back on it. (Fares are less than 2 euros/ remember to keep some coins)This same bus will take you to where you can take steps down to the Blue Grotto or Grotta Azzurra. At the bottom of the steps, you will have to step into a rowboat with a driver. There is a floating ticket office where you can purchase a ticket before entry.
Lonely Planet’s commentary about Capri:
“Welcome to a legendary idyll: Capri’s beguiling combination of fabled beauty and hedonism has charmed Roman emperors, Russian revolutionaries and Hollywood stars for decades. It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal – a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafes, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.”
“Already inhabited in the Palaeolithic period, Capri was briefly occupied by the Greeks before Emperor Augustus made it his private playground and Tiberius retired here in AD 27. Its modern incarnation as a tourist centre dates from the early 20th century.”
“It’s also a hugely popular day-trip destination and a summer favourite of holidaying VIPs. Inevitably, the two main centres, Capri Town and its uphill rival Anacapri, are almost entirely given over to tourism, with the high prices that predictably follow.”
“But explore beyond the swish cafes and designer boutiques and you’ll find that Capri retains an unspoilt charm, with grand villas, overgrown vegetable plots, sun-bleached, peeling stucco and banks of brilliantly coloured bougainvillea. All of this overlooks the deep blue water that laps into secluded coves and mysterious grottoes.
Grotta Azzurra – The Blue Grotto Capri – Capri http://www.capri.net › Sight Caprionline.comHow to Reach the Blue Grotto. By boat: 10 minutes from Marina Grande or as a stop during a tour of the island. By bus: from Anacapri, 50 meters from Piazza Vittoria. On foot: follow Viale T. de Tommaso, Via Pagliaro and Via Grotta Azzurra (3.5 km).
Capri, walking from Anacapri to the Blue Grotto for a swim – Slow Travel http://www.slowtrav.com › Italy › Postcards An Unexpected Swim in The Blue Grotto … And once inside the cave looking out, the water is every bit as breathtaking as people say…
Villa Eva – Budget hotel in Anacapri – Capri Italy www.villaeva.com/en/inde…The place to be in Capri if you want to feel less like a tourist and more like an islander. Villa Eva, the Capri you weren’t expecting…
Anacapri and around | Italy Heaven http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/campania/capri-anacapri.html Anacapri, on the island of Capri, is the quieter neighbor of chic Capri town. A very different face of the island, it is good for walking, and cheaper …
Capri or Anacapri: Which Town to Stay In On the Island … – Walks of Italy http://www.walksofitaly.com › Home › All Articles › Amalfi coast/ Sep 30, 2013 – The island of Capri boasts not one, but two, beautiful towns: Capri and Anacapri. … The streets in Capri town are constantly vibrant, but you’ll find plenty of quiet alleys in Anacapri. … Both towns boast gorgeous views, but the view from Anacapri’s Monte Solaro …
Capri – – Nina ninafood.com/capri/25th April 2015. My second book is all about the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. … Ristorante “Giorgio Al Cucciolo”, Via La Fabbrica, 52, 80071 …