Beach + Island

Our Favorite Islands

by Bob Payne

The island: Capri, Italy

The goods: The perfect island for swimmers tired of sand getting into everything. Capri is essentially a mass of limestone rock off Naples, surrounded by clear, usually calm waters. It's been known for celebrity sightings since about the time of Caesar Augustus, but even if you miss Naomi Campbell or Catherine Zeta-Jones, the typical afternoon-long lunches will confirm that idleness can indeed be a virtue.

Be sure to: Visit the Blue Grotto, a sea cave illuminated by sunlight that turns the water sapphire blue. Give the oarsman of your rowboat a big enough tip so that he will sing.

Best beach: What few sandy swaths you can find are practically umbrella-to-umbrella. Drop a few bucks instead on one of the waterfront clubs, such as La Fontelina, on the southern coast. You can slip into the water from their rocks and order a Prosecco to be waiting upon your return.

Perfect season: Late spring and early fall, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds of July and August are pleasantly absent.

Call it home: Grand Hotel Quisisana, which is so popular with the glitterati that you'll likely be considered an A-lister by association.

Grand Hotel Quisisana
Tel: 39 081 837 0788
Doubles from $460

La Fontelina beach club
Tel: 39 081 837 0845
Day entry for $18

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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