Hot & Cold Capri

Capri is a storied island off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s played host to Roman nobles and an array of artists and celebrities throughout its history. Today, Capri is a popular tourist destination.

Capri is reached easily by boat from various towns of the Amalfi coast (like Sorrento and Positano, for instance). You will likely arrive in Marina Grande, the main port of the island. While there are lots of accommodations on the island, it’s perfectly possible to get a fair taste of the place on a day trip as well.

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Above: Marina Grande on Capri

Most people choose to visit the island during the summer and enjoy the warm, Mediterranean paradise. However, those who visit when when the weather is colder are treated to the peace of this magical island.

Here’s your year-round travel guide for Capri, Italy.

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Above: Inside the Blue Grotto

When the weather is warm, the top thing to do is visit the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra). Is this the most touristy thing to do when on Capri? Yes. And it’s not easy or inexpensive. But you must absolutely not pass it up.

Getting into the Blue Grotto really requires three boat trips. First, there’s the boat trip from the mainland to Marina Grande. Then you’ll have to book a tour and hop on a smaller boat over to the northwestern side of the island. And finally, you take a small row boat that gets you into the grotto. Making your way into the grotto is no easy feat. You and your guide will wait at the mouth of the cave until the sea allows you to enter. Once inside, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Clear, celestial blue water glows from below you; dark, staggering cave walls tower all around; playful guides and travelers sing songs that fill the cave. If the timing is right, you can even hop out of your boat and take a quick dip in the calm water.

Once you’re back in Marina Grande, you will have some time left to explore. Hop on a bus and head up to the main part of town, also called Capri. Here you’ll find tons of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries. Make your way through the narrow, winding streets over to the Gardens of Augustus (Giardini di Augusto) to enjoy the botanical wonders and sea views.

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Above: Chairlift to the top of Mount Salaro

When the weather is cool, you are presented with the opportunity to see the island in its more natural state. Without the tourists, you can see it nearly as the locals do.

Start by treating yourself to a panoramic view by visiting the top of Mount Salaro, which is best reached by chairlift. To get there, take the bus up to the town of Anacapri. The station for the chairlift is on Via Caposcuro near Piazza Vittoria. The individual chair chairlift transports you to the top of the mountain in just a few minutes, passing local homes and small hillside farms along the way. Once at the top, you’ll find stunning views of the surrounding sea and the island below (photos can hardly do it justice). It becomes clear why this island has attracted so many for hundreds of years.

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Above: Pizza break in Anacapri

Once back down in Anacapri, spend some time exploring the town. There are plenty of charming restaurants serving up delicious food, as well as local shops to peruse. Take your time to linger over a long meal, enjoying the indoor warmth and friendly locals. If you’ve still time left, pop over to the town of Capri and do a bit of exploring there (the Gardens of Augustus are pretty in the cold too, after all).

547537_10101237056934896_1729938969_nAbove: Winter on Capri

This is all to say, make sure to take an opportunity to visit Capri, no matter the season. While the warmth brings blissful sea adventures, it also brings the crowds. When you choose to brave the cold, you’ll find a tranquil island wonderland. Hot or cold, take the time on Capri when you can. Buon viaggio!

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