Capri What is known for

December 5, 2006


The road that climbs from the main town of Capri to Anacapri offers views of the Gulf of Naples, from the Sorrentine Peninsula to Ischia that are simply stunning. The drive takes less than 15 minutes, so if you want to savor the panoramas (and it’s not too hot), consider walking (it will take 45 minutes or so) and ponder the fact that for most of history, the two towns were linked only by Scala Fenicia, a staircase carved out of the rock cliffs. At Piazza della Vittoria, ride the chairlift up Mount Solaro for another sweeping view, then return to the piazza and visit the nearby Villa San Michele, the former home of Swedish author-physician Axel Munthe and now a tasteful museum.


After decades of foreign (mostly French) influence, the island’s kitchens have returned to their Mediterranean roots – fish seasoned with olive oil, squid (often prepared with a cheese filling and a tomato sauce), pasta with fresh veggies, ravioli (the island version features pasta made only with flour and water, served with a tomato sauce and fresh basil), and Capri’s trademark dish, insalata caprese, a classic salad of sliced tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, dressed with olive oil.


Capri traces the history of its first perfumes to the Carthusian monks in the 14th century. The ancient formulas were rediscovered in 1948, so the story goes, and are the basis for a series of distinctive scents from Carthusia Profumi di Capri (on Via Camerelle) including the jasmine-scented Gelsomini di Capri and Caprissimo, made from 25 of the island’s flowers.


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