Lay of the Land
Seen from the Naples ferry, Capri rises from the sea in two peaks, like an uneven, slanted letter "M." The lower, eastern side of the island holds most of the main sights—including, at its highest point, Villa Jovis. From Marina Grande port (the embarkation point for visiting the Blue Grotto), the funicular zips visitors up in five minutes to charming, chichi Capri town (confusingly, the island and the main town have the same name); buses and (expensive) taxis ply the same route. Anacapri, the island's second town, which serves the rural west, is divided from the rest of Capri by the forbidding rock wall of Monte Solaro, traversed by a single white-knuckle road. Be aware that the whole of Capri town and the eastern part of the island is a pedestrian area; porters on electric trolleys can be engaged to take one's luggage, but they are not licensed to carry passengers except the disabled or infirm. And don't even think of bringing a car over: Nonresident traffic is banned, and you'd never find a parking space anyway.
WHEN TO GO
To avoid crowds, visit Capri in early or late summer, when the temps average around 70 degrees. Spring and fall are slightly cooler hovering just above 60 degrees. In April and early May the island is carpeted in spring flowers, while in October the water's still warm enough for a dip. Rates are lowest in the off-season, but be warned that most hotels, restaurants, and tourist facilities close down from November until Easter.
HOW TO GET THERE
Naples-Capodichino is the nearest airport. Buses and taxis transport arriving visitors to the ferry docks for transfer to Capri (39-081-789-6111; www.gesac.it). But high rollers with no time to spare can take a helicopter direct from the airport. The 15-minute flight costs about $2,000 one-way for up to four adults. Contact Sam Helicopters (39-082-835-4155; www.capri-helicopters.com).
Ferries and hydrofoils depart from Naples and Sorrento. Hydrofoils are faster and more frequent—and also more expensive. In summer, book Sunday departures to the mainland well in advance. Also of note: The last boats leave Capri around 9:30 p.m. daily in summer, so those attending evening events should plan an overnight stay. From Naples, Molo Beverello dock offers the most frequent crossings. From here, the hydrofoil ride takes 45 minutes and costs about $35 round-trip. Contact NLG-Linea Jet (39-081-552-0763; www.navlib.it), SNAV (39-081-428-5555; www.snav.it), or Neapolis (39-081-428-5111) for more information. From Sorrento, the trip is shorter. Hydrofoils operated by Linee Marittime Partenopee (39-081-878-1430) and Caremar ferries depart hourly from the dock near Piazza Tasso in Sorrento and take only 20 minutes.
Naples's newspaper, Il Mattino, and the local pages of national newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica publish updated timetables of all crossings; hotels and tourist offices also have schedules. Visit the tourism board Web site (www.capritourism.com) for more complete information.
Most of Capri's sights can be seen by boat, bus, or cable car, except for Villa Jovis, which is a 30-minute walk from the center of Capri village. Bus and funicular service is frequent and cheap (less than $2); taxis cost much more.
Capri has many beautiful car-free walking routes. The paths to Villa Jovis and the Arco Naturale are all well paved and maintained; walking shoes are advised on the steeper parts of Monte Solaro.
There are three tourist offices on the island: in Capri town (Piazza Umberto I; 39-081-837-0686), in Marina Grande (Banchina del Porto; 39-081-837-0634), and in Anacapri (59 Via G. Orlandi; 39-081-837-1524). You can also find useful information on their Web site (www.capritourism.com).View Italy Factsheet