Views from Capri (and a few handy tips and links)

The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island

I've had this post sitting in my drafts folder since the beginning of July and it now feels so long ago since we were in Italy that it could almost be last year rather than last month. With twelve of us flying over to Naples and then catching the boat to Capri, the fun started at check-in, and the excitement meant that the boys were wild from the get-go. Despite me perfecting the ability to convey a stern message of 'will you please calm down' through a tilt of the head and an unblinking stare before the flight had even left Manchester, it ended up being both a fun and relaxing holiday. Throw in daily ice creams and a trip to Sorrento to indulge in a bit of handbag shopping, and I'd say it was a very successful week. And we all know that that's no mean feat when travelling with a three and a five year old!

Capri is somewhere I've been visiting since I was two years old (yep, about a million years ago) as my aunt and uncle live there. It has a bit of a 'home from home' feel for me now, especially as the island is quite small. While I'm by no means an expert on island life, I wanted to share a few of my favourite places and things to do as it's all too easy to arrive, get off the boat, and then get lost in the throng of tourists heading in the same direction (inevitably to catch the funicular and head up to the main square, Piazza Umberto).

HOW TO GET TO THOSE VIEWS

So, tip one ... rather than elbowing your way through the masses to get a cramped spot on the funicular, get the bus up, instead. Yes, it takes a few minutes longer but it's so quiet in comparison and you'll get some stunning views over Marina Grande as you go. The bus stop is easy to find (to the right hand side of the main ticket office as you're facing it) and uses the same (and same-priced) ticket as the funicular. 

WHERE TO STAY

I know that most visitors to the island stop off for a few hours as part of a Mediterranean cruise, and that's a lovely way to see so many beautiful places on one holiday. However, I find that the island is at its show stopping best as dusk is approaching when it's bathed in a lovely golden glow. Hotels are not cheap but you'd never regret a night (or night out) in Capri.

For a simple but beautiful, little hotel, I can recommend Hotel La Tosca. I stayed there with friends and found it to be a perfectly located base close to the stunning Augustus Gardens (which you must also visit).

This year, we stayed at Hotel La Floridiana and it was the absolute best for a family. Small and friendly with generous bedrooms to comfortably fit four. It had a shallow pool and big breakfasts, both making the boys very happy. For little legs, it was a ten minute walk to the main square but past their favourite gelateria, Buonocore, so no complaints from them. Buonocore is a stone's throw from Piazza Umberto and you must hunt it down if you go, although you'll smell the fresh waffle cones before you see them ... they're delicious!

WHERE TO EAT

Having a drink in the main square and soaking up the ambience is a must but don't dine there. If pizza is your thing, pop through the archway to the left of Tod's, and walk a few metres to Ristorante Longano da Tarantino. It's cheap, cheeful, child-friendly and has great pizzas made to order in the wood fired oven. A little further up, is the more romantic Ristorante Buca di Bacco. Book ahead if you want to go because it gets busy and is only quite small. 

An absolute must, if you can fit it in, is Da Paolino (you'll need to take either a bus or a taxi to get there and then it's a short walked but easily found - just ask, everybody knows it). It's set amongst divinely-smelling lemon groves and while it might not be the best meal you've ever eaten, it's just the most charming and fun place to go for dinner (and a favourite of Tom Cruise, apparently).

WHAT TO DO

What to do is a tough one as it very much depends on your interests. My perfect day in Capri is a walk around the Augustus Gardens and down Via Krupp (if it's open, which it rarely is, unfortunately) followed by sipping on an ice cold lemon granita while window shopping along the rather glamorous Via Camarelle.

Top tip ... If your pockets feel full enough to amble along Capri's most exclusive street, keep your eyes peeled for visiting stars as you walk past the Grand Hotel Quisisana, although don't go waving at Alan Carr thinking you actually know him, you will only embarrass yourself and your family.

A boat trip around the island is a delight and spending a minute or two (sea permitting) in the Blue Grotto is an absolute must. Anacapri? People seem to flock there and take the chairlift up to the top of Mount Solaro but if you're short on time, while the views are amazing, I'd perhaps leave it for a second visit.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle and take a walk (ice cream in hand, obviously) through the back streets of Capri, head in the direction of Hotel Punta Tragara (a stunning hotel) down to one of the best views of the Faraglioni (the three rocks which rise up out of the sea). This is one of the nicest ways to spend an hour or two on the island. It's a walk we did with the boys a couple of times as the narrow streets are relatively quiet and they could run on ahead without causing any mischief or chaos. Head to the main square and ask someone to point you in the direction of the hotel and you'll find it easy enough.

On a side note, Capri signposts tend to take the style of ceramic tiles embedded in to the walls. Watch out for them! They're as informative as they are beautiful.

If I think of anything else, I'll add it to this post, so please do think about pinning it for future reference. As always, if you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Ciao!

The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island
The Ordinary Lovely: Views from Capri and a few handy tips and links for visiting the island