Capri is enchanting – an island of blue grottos, limestone cliffs dotted with wild flower, crystal clear coves and colossal turquoise skies – a world apart. This wildly romantic paradise has welcomed auteurs and their muses from Godard and Bardot, to Shavelson and Loren. Perhaps it is the light. Or the island uniform of white linen paired with dark shades, that makes everyone appear to be a movie star. Whatever the secret is, more than a half a century later, this island retreat shines brighter than ever.
Visit in … September when the crowds have left and enjoy a Capri lemon drop (limoncello with subtle hints of lavender) under cobalt skies. The mid September temperatures are perfect for a stroll around the dreamy pergolas and floating gardens of Villa San Michele in the soft Autumn light.
Why not …. dive into the blue. Formerly the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius who ruled the imperial seat of the Roman Empire from Capri during 27 AD, the Grotto Azzura can only be entered at low tide, when laying low in a teak bottomed boat under the command of a capable oarsman. Once inside the sunlight creates ethereal shadows whilst grotto nymphs lurk in hidden corners and the air is filled with the echo of ‘Il Sole Mio’.
Stay at …. Tiberio Palace. This chic hotel built on the site of a19th century palace is just steps away from the piazzette and boasts expansive views over the deep-blue Tyrrhenian Sea, stretching beyond to the Sorrentine Peninsula. The vaulted ceilings and typical Caprese alcoves contain La Dolce Vita artefacts which can be admired from bamboo chairs and art-deco sofas.
And relax…..in the Sodashi Spa and chose from a menu which includes only natural ingredients from the earth and sea. The mineral facial seems most appropriate in this marine environment. Emerge bright and fresh faced before opting for a dip in the gorgeous indoor, outdoor pool perched high above the ocean.
Wear ….Caprese sandals or go barefoot. Wander amongst Oleander bushes and pink bougainvillea lines and get lost in the winding streets beyond the Piazza.
Go local ….Capri is home to traditional farming communities and alongside million dollar villas, sit rustic farms. Terrazza Tiberio serves simple Mediterranean flavours using local ingredients such as parmigiana flowers stuffed with sun ripened tomatos and parmesan pearls and the wholesome verdure tortino with salsa.
Take a boat … with little in the way of sandy beaches, sunbathing in Capri is done movie-star style on the rocky outposts that make up the beach clubs. Or find a teak sailing boat and drift about with toes trailing into the deliciously cool water.
Experience the nightlife …Tiberius was a fan of both drinking wine and astronomy and was said to never make a move without consulting the stars. Forget rubbing shoulders with the stars and head to a quiet spot on the terrace to contemplate the night sky. Surely an emperor could not be wrong.