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Discovering Anacapri: a dream to be relived forever
anacapriYou are going to start your holiday in the Blue Island, and your heart already knows where to go: Anacapri, the upper- town of the island, far from the confusion and able to conquer you from deep inside your soul.
This small town, made of white houses and colourful doors, rises on the slopes of Mount Solaro and stretches toward the sea. Its natural beauty and the millennial history are waiting for you. But where to start discovering this treasure? Here it is a useful guide that helps you discovering Anacapri.

How to reach Anacapri
There are several ways to reach your favourite destination. You can get a bus from Marina Grande, where there’s the direct bus from Marina Grande to Anacapri. You can also choose to get the funicular railway from Marina Grande to Capri and then the bus to Anacapri. The bus station is near Capri’s famous Piazzetta. Finally, there’s another way to bypass the long queues: the taxi service.

Villa Axel Munthe and the Scala Fenicia
a. muntheOnce you have reached Anacapri, I suggest you go down to Piazza Vittoria, where your walk starts. What’s your first monument to visit? Villa San Michele. Walk toward the stairs leading through the Capri Palace Hotel and go in the direction of Capodimonte street.
This stretch of road, which is full of craft and gift shops, it will duconct you to the Villa-museum. The Villa belonged to the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe, who firstly reached Capri in 1885. The Villa is now owned by the Swedish consulate. The doctor decided to build its house on the remains of an ancient chapel dedicated to San Michele. The building houses historical artefacts of great value: sarcophagi, busts, Roman floors, marbles and columns. Inside the Villa you can visit the garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy, with plants and flowers from all over the world. sfingeLast but not least: caresses the sphinx on the terrace and make a wish, the legend has it that it will come true! Let yourself be enchanted by the breathtaking panorama of the Gulf of Naples.
scala feniciaThe path continues toward the exit, where you are conducted to the wonderful belvedere near the ancient gate of the town. If you walk through it, you will notice the begin of the Scala Fenicia that links Anacapri with Capri and Marina Grande. With its 921 steps in the past, the scale represented the only connection between the two municipalities. It was built by Greeks between VII and VI centuries BC. There are many steps carved in stone but don’t worry: beauty will repair you for every effort.

Mount Solaro and Cetrella
m. solaroNow you can go back and head towards the upper areas: Mount Solaro and Cetrella. There are two ways to reach these two locations: you can go by a walk through Caposcuro street and then taking a detour that you can find along the walk to Villa San Michele. seggioviaAlternatively, you can take the chair lift in Piazza Vittoria.
In the case, you will reach the highest peak of the island in just a few minutes. On top of Mount Solaro, you feel like the king of the island! With just a glance, you can embrace Capri, Ischia, Procida, the Gulf of Naples and Amalfi Coast.
From Mount Solaro, you can go to Cetrella, a valley with a fairytale taste surrounded by nature. Here, the brooms touch your ankles while the scents of the Mediterranean scrub tickle your nostrils.
In the meanwhile, you can stop to see the church Santa Maria a Cetrella. Religious services are still held in this hermitage, which was once a pilgrimage point for fishermen. Sailors used to pray to the Virgin Mary before setting sail in search of coral.
c.m.Along the way, you can take a look at the house of McKenzie, once the home of the Scottish writer Compton Mackenzie. The building has been recovered by the association “Amici di Cetrella” and it is opened to the public on special occasions.


Promenade in Giuseppe Orlandi street
At the end of your excursion, you are in Piazza Vittoria again. At this point, you can start youranacapri promenade in Giuseppe Orlandi street, the pedestrian street that goes through the city centre.
Let yourself be guided by the scent of bougainvillaea and give a look at the unique craft shops. Don’t go away without buying exclusive gifts such as handmade Capri sandals and ceramics. You can also stop in one of the many restaurants and cafés where you can traditional recipes from the local cuisine.

Casa Rossa and San Michele’s church
casa rossaStep by step, wrapped in the light chatter of the locals, your attention will be drowned to a house very different from the others. Its walls are painted in Pompeian red and its contours recall those of a fortress: it is Casa Rossa.
Characterised by different architectural styles, it was the home of the American colonel John Clay MacKowen until 1899. The military arrived in Italy right after the Civil War and he enriched its villa with historical artefacts found during his inspections around the island. Casa Rossa is now a museum – run by the association Kaire Arte – in which permanent exhibitions are set up and statues salvaged from the seabed of the Blue grotto are displayed. During the Roman era, the statues adorned the famous cave used as a nymphaeum by the emperor Tiberius.
But the surprises are not over yet. Following the street, turn right. You will find another monument: San Michele’s church, that stands on the homonymous square. san michele -chiesaThe building was designed by the architect Domenico Vaccaro between XVI and XVII. But what’s so unique about this building? It conserved the earthly paradise depicted on a majolica floor. The work represents the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise. The author of this unique masterpiece is the Neapolitan artist Leonardo Chiaiese. The sensation? Pure wonder!

Santa Sofia’s church and Le Boffe
s. sofiaNow move towards Giuseppe Orlandi street and resume your walk: you can admire Santa Sofia’s church with its three-clocks bell tower. This baroque-style building is the main religious pole of the town. This structure was built during the XVI century and houses the statue of Sant’ Antonio, patron Saint of Anacapri. maiolicheThe church towers over Piazza Armando Diaz, while all around the square there are marble benches decorated by the ceramic master Sergio Rubino. If you want to go back in time and discover the ancient area of the town, take the stairs on the left-hand side of the church. boffeThe stairs will conduct you at “Le Boffe”, a maze of typical alleys that formed the ancient part of Anacapri. Piazza Boffe fills with colours and joy during “Settembrata” and the Procession for the Feast Day of Sant’ Antonio. Also, the name “Boffe” comes from the characteristic shape of the houses, in Italian called “a botte”, that means “barrel vaults”, it referred to the particular shape of roofs. The peculiar geometries built by Anacapri’s master builders influenced important architects such as Edwin Cerio and Roberto Pane.

Belevedere of Migliera and the Philosophical Park
miglieraDon’t be afraid of getting lost in the countless lanes of the town, you will always come out in Giuseppe Orlandi street! From this point, you can reach the furthest areas such as the Migliera, an astonishing walk that gives you a beautiful sight directly above the sea. Here you can admire the Golf with the Punta Carena lighthouse as a backdrop.
Before going there, give yourself a break In the Philosophical Park, willed by the Swedish Gunnar Adler-Karlsson and his wife Marianne. It is an oasis of peace in the greenery reserved to reflection and divided into small paths. Each path has the name of a current of thought, so during the walk you will discover hidden parts of yourself.

Villa Damecuta and the Blue Grotto
damecutaTalking about areas far from the city centre, you can’t miss Damecuta, Blue Grotto and Punta Carena lighthouse. For visiting these places, you have to take dedicated buses that start from Piazza Della Pace, alongside the main street. Do you want to go to the Blue Grotto? Ask the bus driver to stop before Damecuta. Here you’ll find a footpath overlooking the west coast of the island with one of the most fascinating panoramas: your gaze rests on the sea, and from time to time, it caresses the contours of the island. At the end of the path, you are greeted by a pine forest which preserves the remains of one of the twelve imperial villas of Tiberius. The ruins were discovered by the archaeologist Amedeo Mauri between 1937 and 1948. And yes, the emperor enjoyed an exceptional view: the entire Gulf of Naples. You can admire it too and imagine the feelings that the Roman nobleman felt.
g. azzurraNow it’s time for the Blue Grotto, known all around the world for the picturesque colours of the water inside it. You can reach the Grotto by bus, it is the last stop. For visiting it, you have to lay down in a small rowboat, when the sea is calm. Once inside, let yourself be enveloped by its magical blue shades due to sunlight that passes through the water and is reflected by the rocks.
The cave was discovered in 1826 by August Kopisch, the painter Maler Ernst Fries and the Caprese fisherman Angelo Ferraro. And what if you want to take a dip ? Close to the Blue Grotto there’s Gradola beach embraced by rocks, where the sea is increasingly blue.

Punta Carena Lighthouse
faroThis is our last stop to discover Anacapri for ending this daydream. For reaching it from the Blue Grotto, you have to go back to the bus station and take the bus to “Faro”. Here you will find a bay with a descent to the sea shrouded in rocks. You feel like being in a lagoon where beauty ever ends, and time never stops flowing. This lighthouse is the second most important in Italy, right after Genoa, and it is located on a promontory that remembers a ship’s hull. Do you know why this place is so important? faroFor its endless and spectacular sunsets: the sun falls asleep into the waves and the rocks turn golden. It is during these moments when you understand that you can never truly say goodbye to Anacapri.


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