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How would ideal vacation look? Would it have azure blue waters? Breathtaking views? Picturesque villages, exclusive beach clubs, and delicious local cuisine? If you answered yes to these, your dream destination sounds a lot like Capri, the craggy island just off the south coast of Italy. For over 2,000 years it has been the playground for some of the world’s most famous individuals, from Emperor Tiberius to Graham Greene, Noel Coward, Jackie Onassis, and Sophia Loren, who have all flocked there to sample the island’s easy-going glamour and laid-back charm.
In recent years this island has become a favorite with day-trippers who hop onto the hydrofoil to enjoy the isle’s many cultural delights for an hour or two, yet the island’s evergreen elegance hasn’t diminished.
One of the joys of a Capri vacation is having a meal accompanied by one of the most incredible views on the planet. As the main village of Capri is several meters above sea level, many of the restaurants you can visit have open-air terraces with almost 360-degree views of the sea. It’s these views which seem to make the local cuisine and traditional dishes like Ravioli Caprese and Torta Caprese (chocolate and almond cake) even tastier.
Some of the most popular eateries with panoramic views are Villa Margherita and Terrazza Brunella, where freshly caught seafood, such as grilled octopus, is served daily. Hidden away in a back street in central Capri is Gennaro Amitrano. It’s a tiny restaurant serving mouth-watering five-course chef menus and tasting menus to a rapt culinary audience.
To sample one of the region’s most popular dishes – pizza – look to Pizzeria Aurora, for a five-star experience. It also is the best place to people watch: Beyoncé has even been spotted there. If you have room, don’t forget to go to Gelateria Buonocore for a scoop or two of their mouth-watering gelato, with tempting flavors such as lemon tart, biscotti or chocolate hazelnut.
Though the island only measures four square miles there are many things to see. Take a stroll around Capri village, where you can enjoy an aperitif in the famous central square, and take in views of the Faraglioni stone formations from the Belvedere Tragara, a short walk away from the square.
During her time in Capri Jackie Onassis always picked up a pair of the island’s iconic leather sandals at Canfora, which is something you can experience for yourself if you pop into the store that is still on the Via Camerelle. Designer boutiques, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Gucci are all close by.
For culture fans, a 10-minute trip on the Monte Solaro chairlift will take you to Anacapri, known as the island’s ‘upper town’. It’s here you will find the Villa San Michele, the former home of Swedish psychiatrist and author Axel Munthe, which houses many beautiful ancient Roman and Greek sculptures, as well as large ornamental gardens. Nearby is the Certosa di San Giacomo, a former medieval Carthusian monastery, which has been partially restored and offers pretty views of the sea alongside its original frescos.
Set on top of Mount Tiberio is the Villa Jovis, Emperor Tiberius’ former palace. At over 1,200 feet above sea level, it is the island’s largest Roman villa and there is still much to see within the ruins.
If you prefer to take your sightseeing offshore, rent a boat to explore the island’s rocky coastline, including the island’s legendary Blue Caves, which used to be Emperor Tiberius’ private bathing pool. If you go after the tour boats leave in mid-afternoon you can get the place to yourself. Another reason to rent a boat is to reach the La Fontelina Capri beach club. It’s an exclusive beach club set within the island’s limestone cliffs with a reservation-only restaurant. It can only be accessed by sea or via very steep steps, so it’s never too crowded. Speak to your Luxury Retreats concierge about boat rentals, or taking day trips slightly further afield, as Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello are all a boat ride away to the main coast. The ancient archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum are close by, too.
Capri’s innate beauty lies in its legendary views and with many Luxury Retreats villas perched high up in the hills, your vacation home will have some of the best vistas the island has to offer. All you have to do is decide who to share it with.
There is nothing so romantic as a Capri honeymoon . Perhaps it is the colors of the local landscape and the sea; cobalt blue, zesty lemon yellow, bougainvillea pink, and lush, tropical green. Or maybe it’s the dramatic scenery, with villages perched on top of hillsides, sparkling seaside cave grottos, and mini beach coves to discover and make your very own. It might just be the Luxury Retreats villas that really deliver on the 24-hour romance modern honeymoons require.
With views overlooking Capri’s iconic Faraglioni rocks or the islands of Ischia and Procida, a Luxury Retreats villa boasts incredible panoramic views, while still being close to beaches such as the Marina Piccola. If the walk down to the beach is just too much, the villa’s pool terrace with sun loungers and alfresco dining area, all set within picturesque gardens with marble fountains, is just as decadently relaxing.
The open plan interiors help to make relaxation a breeze at any time of the day. Enjoy lounging in the expansive living rooms with antique fireplaces at the end of the day, while your beloved fixes supper in the state-of-the-art kitchen. All king-size bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, with dressing areas and a private terrace to make waking up each day a total pleasure.