The sea, the sun and worldly life: for more than fifty years Capri has been a collection of all these elements, which recall that much loved and coveted Fellini’s sweet life. Its history and geographical position make Capri one of the most sought-after destinations of international tourism in our country, attracting – with its wonders – thousands of visitors every year.
The island of Capri
A few miles from the Sorrento peninsula, within the Gulf of Naples, stands the island of Capri. At the twenty-first place in size among the Italian islands, Capri is certainly among the most known and popular destinations of our country. Located in a strategic position, it is frequented every year by thousands of visitors who see it as one of the symbols of the summer “dolce vita” and a destination for all the characters of the world jet-set of the 50s of the last century.
Today, Capri continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations for all tourists who do not want to miss its natural wonders, but who do not disdain even a walk through the romantic streets of the island, which wind through typical buildings, breathtaking views and typical Campania culture.
The origins of the island of Capri
On a geological level, it seems that Capri was attached to the Sorrento peninsula and has detached over the centuries, still remaining quite close to the coast. For this reason, in fact, it is very common to spend a day on Capri for all those who stay near Sorrento, given the ease in reaching it with hydrofoils that depart very frequently. The stretch of sea that separates Capri from the mainland is also known as the strait of the “Bocca Piccola” because of its small size.
The island, surrounded by a cobalt blue sea, is known for its rugged coastline where coves and caves alternate with steep cliffs. The most famous of all the natural caves is the Blue Grotto, which takes its name from the particular color of the reflections of the water inside. Another representative element of the island of Capri are the Faraglioni, three rocky peaks located to the south of the island.
The Blue Grotto
Undisputed symbol of Capri, the Blue Grotto is a karst cavity located on the north-western side of the island. Thanks to the opening partially submerged by the sea, the external light is filtered and this creates the play of color that has made it famous all over the world. The red colors, in fact, are absorbed by the water that then lets pass only the shades of blue.
Another peculiarity related to this type of light refraction concerns the interior lighting. In order for the cave to be illuminated, in fact, the sea must be moved because, moving, the water would be able to reflect more light inside the grotta itself. Ironically, with the sea moving it is highly unlikely to be able to access the cave.
Another symbol of Capri, as mentioned above, are the so-called Faraglioni. These three huge rocks have three different names. The first, the one closest to the earth, is the Faraglione di Terra – or Stella -, the second is the one of Mezzo – or Saetta – and the third is the Faraglione of Fuori – or Scopolo.
The term Faraglione seems to derive from the Greek faros, or lighthouse. This would explain why, in ancient times, it was customary to light large fires on the sea rocks in order to indicate the route to sailors and warn them of the danger of collision.
The Faraglione di Fuori, the most rocky of the three, is known for being the habitat of the so-called blue lizard, a species made unique by the typical and singular coloring of blue.
If you talk about Capri , you can’t help but mention the famous Piazzetta, the symbol of the “dolce vita” of the island and defined by many “salon of the world“, also compared to the famous Piazza San Marco in Venice.
The Piazzetta, or Piazza Umberto I, is in effect the nerve center of the social life of Capri, made of cafes, bars and ice cream parlors where hundreds of people every day queue up to feel the protagonists, for a day, of that jet-A set so admired and that has inexorably marked the appearance of the island of Capri.