This is truly an island that was built for the Gods! Capri is an island that receives more than a million visitors every year; at the height of the season so many people are scattered around the island that even the residents go into hiding until the sun sets when, once again, they can reclaim their island.
I began visiting Capri over 30 years ago. My parents always made this one of their vacation stops every summer and I would find just enough time to take off from work to join them for a long weekend. For me, this was truly a vacation since there were, and still are, no cars on the island (except for taxis and public transportation). Since I was “living” in a car for my work, this was a brief respite from all the driving I had to do during the year.
At that time we all stayed at the famous Quisisana Hotel which has one of the best views in town, overlooking the Faraglioni Rocks and the Mediterranean. Today, unfortunately, the hotel is a haven for the new rich and “famous” and does not seem to attract the chic and stylish clientele they once had.
With Capri becoming more of a place not to be missed, many new hotels have sprung up or have had marvelous face-lifts to attract the clients who have either never been to this magical island or have made this trip many times and keep coming back; like the movie, “Same Time Next Year.”
As perfect as the island is, I have never thought about it being a place that would attract people for its exceptional food; the good news is that the restaurants have gotten better over the years, but this is not the reason that people visit the island.
We were very lucky last year as we were advised by our hotel (one of our favorites) that we should try a tiny restaurant, which is just off the beaten tourist track, has good food and one of the most unbelievable views on the island; it is called Pulalli Wine Bar. We were in Capri during the 2012 European Soccer Championships and wanted to follow what was happening that evening between Italy and Germany, so low and behold, the owner set us up at one of the few tables indoors, right in front of the TV. What luck eating, not by candlelight, but viewing the game we did not want to miss. Italy won and we had a really good meal to boot!
After the game was over, I asked the owner if I could take some photos from their most amazing viewpoint. This is what I want to share with my readers, just how “picture perfect” this place is. We also had a very good organic white wine which has proved to be very difficult to find in our wine stores; next time we will bring a case back with us.
The following day we took a boat tour with one of the boat services we use for our clients. My friends Julia and Costanzo took us on a boat tour that made Capri come to life the way that I had known the island many years ago. By sea is the most beautiful way to explore the island. The captain, Rafaelle, will take you anywhere you want to go and if you really want to treat yourself to a spectacular sight, try their cruise at sunset!
When planning a trip to this amazing resort, you should try to arrive at the island around midday, after all the day-trippers have arrived, and also try to avoid the main squares during the afternoon, coming up for air only after the groups have left. The stores stay open late so if shopping is your thing, you will have plenty of time to make purchases after dinner. The restaurants will be packed so make sure that you have reservations, otherwise you might not even be able to dine until after 11pm!
Some of my favorite restaurants are Aurora, where Mia and “Mamma” Lucia will try to fit you in (literally) as the place gets very crowded. Another reliable place to go is La Capannina, owned and run by Antonio and his lovely American wife Aurelia.
If you want to celebrate a special occasion (I did when I came here last year to celebrate my birthday) don’t miss Edode’. This is a bit more sophisticated than the usual trattorias on the island, but the food is very good and they do a great version of “Happy Birthday.”
One thing about Capri that has not changed over the years is the hospitality and warmth of the Caprese who will show you a wonderful time no matter wherever you happen to go on the island.