Written by mao90 on 31 Jul, 2012
Luigi was an amazing tour guide and he really made a difference for our tour of Capri. Hiring Luigi as a guide (which included a private taxi for our Capri day visit) was the best decision we made as we have visited the Blue Grotto…Read More
Luigi was an amazing tour guide and he really made a difference for our tour of Capri. Hiring Luigi as a guide (which included a private taxi for our Capri day visit) was the best decision we made as we have visited the Blue Grotto in half an hour compared with an average waiting of two hours, and being able to visit everything else in Capri in a matter of hours. Luigi was very friendly, funny, extremely knowledgeable and interacted amazingly with our two kids (9 and 10). Thank you again Luigi for making this day a special one for our family. We highly, highly recommend Luigi! Close
Written by lovethecaribbean on 26 Jun, 2011
La Minerva- we had a "light lunch" at our hotel by the pool. I had spaghetti with tomato and my husband had spaghetti with tomato and prawns. Fresh and delicious!Ai Faraglioni- We enjoyed this restaurant and the waiters were very friendly. I…Read More
La Minerva- we had a "light lunch" at our hotel by the pool. I had spaghetti with tomato and my husband had spaghetti with tomato and prawns. Fresh and delicious!Ai Faraglioni- We enjoyed this restaurant and the waiters were very friendly. I had roasted chicken and oven baked potatoes which were good. My husband had the steak tar tar, which they made tableside-- he has always wanted to try it and he thought it was great. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to think about him eating raw meat, and did my best not to watch him eat it!La Cisterna- located in a tunnel passageway, we happened upon this restaurant when we were looking for Da Gemma (which was closed that day). The owner of the restaurant was an interesting character. We had the mozzarella in carrozza (which I thought was delicious) as an appetizer, then split a margarita pizza. The pizza tasted a bit like NY style pizza, so my husband really liked it. I thought it was just ok. Funny, they had bottles of wine on the table and pictured on the wine bottles was the owner shirtless basking on the beach/rocks. However, I would not recommend this restaurant. They charge a bit less if you pay cash. We did not come across this in any other restaurants though. When it came time to pay the bill, they just write it on a piece of paper, and I think they rounded everything up. We ended up paying around 35 euros for one margarita pizza, a mozzarella appetizer, a water and a coke- not exactly the prices on the menu! We definitely had more expensive meals on Capri, but got more for our money elsewhere.Pulalli Wine Bar- Nice view from the top of the clock tower—definitely get a table outside if you can. The restaurant has a somewhat small menu, but was reasonably priced for Capri. We had croquettes as an appetizer-- they were not very good and cold in the middle. I had ravioli which was good but nothing special and my husband had spaghetti with clams which he thought was great.Il Saraceno Di Cafiero (in Anacapri)—We both had pizza here, I had margarita pizza and my husband had pizza with eggplant. Both were good.Il Geranio—this restaurant had a great ambiance, up on a hill with a nice view of the Faraglioni Rocks. We had zucchini fritte as an appetizer which I really liked, but my husband just thought was ok. For my meal I had brick chicken and baked potatoes. My husband had spaghetti with clam sauce. Both were good, but nothing special. Close
We took the ferry from Positano to Capri. We used porters to get our luggage to the ferry port in Positano and also from the ferry port in Capri to our hotel. I highly recommend this if you have bulky luggage. Expensive,…Read More
We took the ferry from Positano to Capri. We used porters to get our luggage to the ferry port in Positano and also from the ferry port in Capri to our hotel. I highly recommend this if you have bulky luggage. Expensive, but worth it to us. The ferry ride took less than an hour and was pretty smooth. When we arrived in Capri, the crowds were a bit overwhelming. I thought Positano was crowded during the day, but Capri was much worse! Lines for funicular tickets and to get on the funicular to get up to Capri town were crazy.We arrived Capri around 11 am and were luckily able to check into our hotel early. We checked in, had lunch at the hotel and then went out to explore Capri town. We visited the Augustus Gardens which were very pretty and had beautiful views of the Faraglioni Rocks. We then walked up the Punta Tragara. This was a beautiful walk to admire the high end villas and beautiful bougainvillea around every corner. There were also beautiful views along the way. Then you ended at a gorgeous viewpoint of the rocks at the end of the walk. My husband walked down to the beach to check it out and I just sat on a bench in the shade and took in the views. My bum foot probably could have made it down to the beach, but I don’t think I would have made it back up! On our first full day we took a 2 hour group boat trip around the island. I would have liked to have done a private gozzo boat, but I just couldn’t justify the cost. I thought the group boat trip was nice and a good value. The views from the water were gorgeous and a nice compliment to the views we experienced from the island. We also had a stop at the Blue Grotto, and even though there were tons of boats around and people waiting to get in, we were able to get in there pretty quickly. The blue colors of the water were unbelievable! And the singing of the boatmen in the grotto just added to the ambiance. I personally loved the Blue Grotto experience and thought it was worth it, but my husband did not feel it was worth the cost. (the blue grotto was optional and an additional cost to the main boat ride). After the boat ride we went back to Capri town and explored a bit before heading back to relax on our wonderful hotel balcony. While I relaxed, my husband took the hike to Villa Jovis. He really enjoyed it and thought it was worth the hike.Our next full day was spent in Anacapri. We took the bus and were lucky to get seats as it ended up being jampacked. Our first stop was to take the chairlift to Mount Solaro. I really enjoyed this and the views going up were great. Unfortunately, when we made it up to the top, we were in a large cloud and there were only views from one side. I still thought it was worth it for the experience though. After taking the chairlift back down, we took the walk to Villa San Michele. I highly recommend this! Gorgeous place and the views were even more gorgeous! We spent a lot of time here just taking in the views. We then explored the streets of Anacapri and visited two of the churches.Capri TipsIf you’re going to take the bus to Anacapri, and you happen to be there early when the bus arrives the terminal, get on as soon as it gets there and just wait until the driver returns and gets going. The buses are small and get packed, and we were able to get a seat on the way up because we happened to get there just as the bus arrived. Same as I mentioned in the Amalfi Coast—explore the towns and walk up side streets because you never know what you’ll find. Close
Written by cflecker on 08 Sep, 2010
My husband had told me a lot about Capri in the weeks leading up to our visit, mostly telling me how much I'd love it. I believed him until we got off the boat, where there was a lot of boat exhaust, garbage in…Read More
My husband had told me a lot about Capri in the weeks leading up to our visit, mostly telling me how much I'd love it. I believed him until we got off the boat, where there was a lot of boat exhaust, garbage in the water, and tacky T-shirt shops. It was like New Jersey, but in Italian. "Oh," I said, feeling a bit let down. "Cool." "No. Come on," he replied. "We go up."We rode the Funiculare up to Capri proper, overlooking lemon trees and plants and the Mediterranean leading back to Naples. As we got higher, the smells of citrus and mint and flowers grew stronger. At the top, people moved through the square and birds flew overhead and all around was an expanse of green hills, sun-drenched villas and below, sparkling blue water.The town center of Capri is lined with boutiques, stands selling gelato and decorative tiles and postcards, and posh hotels. The avenues are filled with people shopping and browsing and meandering from one photograph-worthy sight to another. We moved with the crowds, eventually leaving most of the tourists beyond and moving into the residential area, which consists of stunning pastel-colored homes glimpsed behind garden gates and through heaps of flowers. It's difficult to imagine actually living in such a place, a place so staggeringly beautiful that it seems like a figment of the imagination. How does one do their grocery shopping in a place that seems like a postcard come to life? Unfortunately, my Italian isn't good enough to ask.The hike down to see the iconic Faraglioni stacks was invigorating, and the views just above the coast were simply incredible. The walk back up, though, was brutal, especially in the hot afternoon sun. Worth it, definitely, though I could have done without the half-naked man who insisted on showing off by jogging down... and then up. We toured the Giardini de Augusto, a small, delightfully shaded garden at the west end of the town of Capri. As evening approached and we headed back towards the center of town and the port below, my husband struck up a conversation with a local man (he's fluent in Italian, I'm fluent in smiling and nodding). After a brief exchange, the local lead us down a narrow, winding street off the main square, to a tiny gelato stand that presented me with the best pistachio gelato of the trip and of a lifetime. A quick stop on the shingle beach near the ferry dock yielded a pocketful of heart-shaped stones and a pleasant conversation with a visiting Pakistani doctor, his wife and sun... and what is possibly the greatest sign I've seen on my travels. Close
Written by Zhebiton on 08 Jun, 2010
The most amazing place that we discovered - is Capri. When I read in reviews about the fact that Capri - a paradise on earth, I thought it was exaggerated. But when we got to Capri, we realized that calling it a paradise, people underestimated!…Read More
The most amazing place that we discovered - is Capri. When I read in reviews about the fact that Capri - a paradise on earth, I thought it was exaggerated. But when we got to Capri, we realized that calling it a paradise, people underestimated! This was not even invented words in our rich and powerful:)Capri can be reached by boat 25 minutes, they go from the port of Sorrento. On Capri, the crowd dispersed immediately rushes to the cable car, which looks more like a toy train in the form of stairs, which stubbornly climbs a rope up in the town of Capri. Waiting for him is enormous. If you have a healthy heart and strong legs, you can climb up themselves by spinning the way, I think time will it take as much as the need to fried in a crowd of tourists waiting for the opportunity to take a train. But we choose the easier way.At Capri, two ports, one along comes a boat from Sorrento, Naples and somewhere else. Second on the opposite side of the island, it is amazing, the mountains surrounding it are delicious with its power and brightness. By the water is famous bend. We have not seen, but the seller in a shop proudly showed us a book of photos of houses Gorky and told that she was on the turn away from the coast of Italy side of the island.The streets are clean and shady Capri, every twist and turn to open these types that you lose not only the gift of speech, but also an opportunity to move:) I want to stay here and spend all the allotted years of life to you ... It is necessary to reach the villa of Tiberius (called Villa Jolly) and go on a murderous road hanging over the abyss, to the second city of Anacapri to the already very real "kanatka" rise above the heavens to the top of Monte Salar. Close
Written by rufusni on 19 Feb, 2010
We headed for the marina in Sorrento to get a ferry over to Capri reasonable early one morning - to be honest heading over we lounged and a bit of a snooze - to arrive at Capri and find ourselves in a bustling harbour. It…Read More
We headed for the marina in Sorrento to get a ferry over to Capri reasonable early one morning - to be honest heading over we lounged and a bit of a snooze - to arrive at Capri and find ourselves in a bustling harbour. It pays to do your homework before you come to find out what you do and how best to get there as there are several forms of transport. We started by heading up the funicular to the main village - while the queue looks very long it tends not to take too long before you can get on - its on odd system a set number of people are allowed on each trip.But when you reach the top the views are wonderful - but as you start to wander around you realise just how expensive and exclusive Capri is - the shops are a give away straight away, and were well out of my prices range. Even buying a coffee will cost you more than expected. The 'village' is busy with tourists pushing about in the narrow streets - but once you start to head away from the main square it starts to lessen. Unfortunetely I was feeling less than well and the ferry ride had not helped on the way over - so one of our group took pity on me and the other two headed off for some more strenous activity. We headed to the Gardens of Augustus which are a short walk - and have you looking over the other side of the island from whether we landed - and a view of Il Faraglione - three rocks in the sea- we watched as boats navigated between them. The gardens have several terraces with views towards Il Faraglione and also the Marina Piccola. The gardens tend to be busy due to the views, accessible and cost - free. But I did manage to find a bench in the shade of the gardens, and simply enjoyed the view. My friend, having got me settled, decided to walk down to the Marina Piccola - which has a windy steep road down to it - which while having spectular views she said was tough going in the summer heat especially coming back up.Meanwhile the other half of our four having done some wandering decided they wanted to see Blue Grotto and headed to find a boat - which was a fairly easy job. But the trip wasn't all too pleasant - there was a long queue of boats to get into the grotto and it got quite rough and they felt a little seasick - they wished that they had headed as soon as they had got off the ferry before the hoards had arrived! To get into the grotto meant getting off the motor boat into a row boat which some of the others on the boat didn't realise- and an American couple did throw up quite a fuss that they weren't going to get into a dinky rowboat. But the grotto was apparently lovely, and I was a little disappointed in not feeling up to too much.Meanwhile, we had decided lunch sounded good - but having wandered around the village the prices looked too high, and we decided to take the funicular back down to the Marina Grande to see if we could do any better there. And prices were lower than above - but still expect higher than normal - we sat one of the restaurants on the harbour and ordered a light lunch even if it was mid-afternoon - it was more pleasant to sit down there with a breeze and watching boats come and go than some of the places in the village above crammed into some corner. We decided to head back at that point - our cohorts did some further exploring - but we got back on the ferry with the plan to go and lie beside the hotel swimming pool. This time we stood out the back of the ferry, and hung over the side enjoying the breeze. It gave us a chance to enjoy the views of Capri as we slipped away, and then Sorrento and the Bay of Naples as we headed for port.It was a lovely day trip - but its worth planning what you want to do while there - which we really hadn't. Also try and take an early ferry to make the most of the day. Remember that Capri is more expensive - so its worth taking some snacks and drinks with you, especially plenty of water in the summer. Close
Written by jorisc on 13 Aug, 2007
It takes you about one hour and a half to travel by boat from Amalfi to Capri and it will cost you approx 14 euros (one way). Honestly, if you only have a couple of days to spend at the Amalfi coast, don’t go! You’ll…Read More
It takes you about one hour and a half to travel by boat from Amalfi to Capri and it will cost you approx 14 euros (one way). Honestly, if you only have a couple of days to spend at the Amalfi coast, don’t go! You’ll arrive in Marina Grande, a busy thorough fare from where taxis, buses, and boats leave to all destinations. You can take the funicular railway to Capri (our walk but it’s a steep climb). The central square gives a good idea of what you may expect: so crowded that it’s not even worth looking for a free place on one of the terraces. Most people in Capri seem to come only to do some window shopping or to watch the rich and famous walking around (we didn’t recognize any one but there were plenty of haughty people who never sweat, wear sun glasses at midnight and pretend that they don’t notice the tourist they have to share this island with).
The best to do in Capri is to walk. Leave the square (if you turn your back at the church, walk straight on, and leave the square through a narrow arch in front of you) and follow the directions for the Arco Naturale. Once you’ve seen it (and it’s really worth the walk), retrace your steps to the restaurant near the arco, and turn left, immediately after the restaurant. Now you are on a nice footpath with excellent views on the see, the 3 rocks that are characteristic for the island and the villa Malaparte. You’ll also pass a large grotto and finally you’ll arrive back in Capri. It’s a beautiful walk, and after 10 minutes you’ve left the tourist crowd behind. You can take the bus to Anacapri for another walk and for a visit to Axel Munthe’s Villa Sanmichele that surprised us most agreeably (nice house, great garden, splendid views). Strange enough you’ll meet a lot of fellow tourist on your way to it, but in the villa itself they all disappeared. We did not see the Grotto Azurra but we walked down the Phoenician steps all the way down from Anacapri to Marina Grande. A nice walk but nothing compared with other walks we did at the Amalfi coast.
A final warning: everything they say about expensive prices at Capri is true. I don’t mind paying a little more for a beer in Italy, but 7 euros for a Heineken albeit on a terrace is not really cheap.
Written by KJP on 01 Dec, 2005
I learned while visiting Capri that the word "beach" is relative. In Capri’s case, take a narrow strip of rock, fill it in with a few truckloads of pebbly sand brought over from the mainland, sprinkle in a few umbrellas amid a bit of outdoor…Read More
I learned while visiting Capri that the word "beach" is relative. In Capri’s case, take a narrow strip of rock, fill it in with a few truckloads of pebbly sand brought over from the mainland, sprinkle in a few umbrellas amid a bit of outdoor furniture, and voilà! Oh and, by the way, no extra charge for the frothy mixture of seawater and fuel from the ferries and pleasure boats lapping up on shore.
It had been decided by powers greater than I am capable of mustering that some female bonding was in order, and this meant a day of La Dolce Vita at the beach for the ladies in our traveling party. The remaining significant others thought it would be a really good idea to spend the day getting drunk down at the yacht club near the marina. The logic behind such thinking escaped me, but that’s neither here nor there. Fearing the effects of too much limoncello, I realized that the sublteties of white porcelean can be examined up close and personal back home just as easily as they can in Italy, and decided to leave the imbibing to the professionals. This meant that yours truly had, at his disposal, the better part of a day of unbridled freedom in Bay of Naples proper.
So, what will it be, then? The Blue Grotto? Was there enough time to go back to the mainland to see Pompeii? After brief contemplation, a glance at my watch, and a cursory check of the ferry schedules, I grabbed a jacket and my camera, rode the funicular down to the Marina Grande, and bought a hydrofoil ticket to Sorrento. The small town of Positano and a photo-op of the famed Amalfi Coast was the order of the day.
Truth be told, a day trip from Capri to Positano presents one with a few logistical hurdles. Hydrofoils run from Positano to Capri in the morning, with return trips to the mainland occurring from mid-afternoon until early evening, but not the other way around. Departures to Sorrento, on the other hand, occur more or less every half hour, all day long. Consequently, the journey involves taking a boat to Sorrento, followed by two bus rides for the brief but thrilling drive to Positano.
Upon arriving at the porto of Sorrento, it’s a simple task to locate the buses and the kiosk from which one can buy a ticket to Positano. The first bus ascends hairpin turns of the steep hill from the port to the rail station. From there, it’s a matter of disembarking and waiting, amidst a relatively large crowd of others with the same idea, for another--bound for Positano and Amalfi.
On this particular day, there were probably enough people waiting at the rail station’s curb to fill three busloads to Positano. Either by luck or by correctly gaming where the next bus would stop and open its door, I was fortunate to get on the first one. After slowly rumbling through the streets of Sorrento, the bus groaning in protest as we gained elevation, the town gradually gave way to the bay and craggy rock, and we were headed south down the winding, impossibly narrow ribbon of pavement chiseled into the rugged coastline towards Positano.
Along the way, I learned, one should expect at least one confrontation that goes something along the lines of, "My bus is bigger than your car; you must get out of my way or throw your transmission in reverse and back down the hill before I peel the sheet metal off the side of it like a grape, you clumsy fool." You get the feeling that these incidents occur with such regularity along this route that they have somehow been factored into the bus timetables.
Shortly after we were extricated from our first tight squeeze, a second, utterly hopeless looking endeavor was before us, this one involving our vehicle and another bus. This second altercation was ultimately resolved with mere centimeters to spare, and only after considerable maneuvering on the part of both drivers. I silently vowed to raise my next glass of birra to honor the skill and determination of these two men.
On the move once again, the town of Positano swung in and out of view as we careened down the mountain. Then the bus lurched to a stop, still high above the water and the center of town below.
At this point about half the passengers got off, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Was this the only stop in Positano, or would there be another down by the shore? If I didn’t get off now, would I be going on to Amalfi? At the last minute I decided to jump off, concluding that whatever distance there was to be traversed between here and Positano’s waterfront was more a vertical question than a horizontal one.
The bus sped off, the roar of its engine and a cloud of diesel left in its wake. I took my cue from a small group of other visitors, whom, unlike myself, seemed to possess at least some semblance of a clue where they were going. I picked up a small street that wound its way down the mountain, one hairpin turn after another, and started walking.
Within minutes, the group that had exited the bus gradually scattered, and I was left in relative solitude. I stopped frequently to take pictures, and took notice of all the mundane things one takes for granted in everyday life, but are somehow more interesting when placed in the context of a foreign country: derelict cars, billboards, little shops, flowers on a window ledge.
As my descent continued, one thing became clear: the outskirts of Positano might be quaint, but this is one touristy place. Unassuming houses gave way to restaurants catering to tourists, and a maze of shops, displaying all manner of t-shirts, gifts, clothes, and tsatskeh. The waterfront was lined with restaurants filled with vacationers enjoying their lunch hour. A variety of boats in varying degrees of seaworthiness were strewn across the pebbly shore.
I stepped into a restaurant for a couple of slices of pizza and a beer (paying silent homage to my two bus driver heroes), then spent the next hour or two wandering around, taking pictures here and there. Nothing I saw dissuaded my conclusion regarding the high tourist quotient.
Eventually it was time to go back to Capri, and I began the long, arduous climb up the mountain to the bus stop. Once again I stopped frequently to look back, admire the scenery, and take a few more photos.
I have to admit that while the beauty of the Amalfi coast lived up to (or even exceeded) my expectations, the town of Positano did not. I suppose I expected something at least slightly more...genuine. It’s apparent to even the casual observer that while Positano may have once thrived as a fishing village, tourism had supplanted the fishing industry as the main driver of the local economy a long time ago.
The journey back to Capri was largely uneventful. I found the bus stop easy enough, and there was no roadway stare-down as seemingly hopeless or time consuming as the one with the two buses had been. Once we reached the train station in Sorrento I opted to walk down to the port rather than try to figure out which bus would take me there.
The hydrofoil ride proved to be noteworthy, if for no other reason than some ominous looking weather was rolling in as we departed. At one point, a very nasty looking waterspout seemed to be bearing down on our port side as the storm swept over us. While I never felt that our boat was in any real peril, I will say that it is somewhat unsettling to be on board such a vessel while a few of the other passengers are screaming in fear. But that’s a story for another day.
Capri has been inhabited since the paleolithic age, when it was still attached to the mainland. The Greeks were the first in recorded history known to occupy the island, which presumably gets its name from the Greek word for wild boar, "kapros," rather than the…Read More
Capri has been inhabited since the paleolithic age, when it was still attached to the mainland. The Greeks were the first in recorded history known to occupy the island, which presumably gets its name from the Greek word for wild boar, "kapros," rather than the Latin word for goats, "capreae." Numerous fossil remains found on the island confirm that it was once the Island of Wild Boars.
After the Greeks, Capri fell into the hands of the Romans. Caesar Augustus was the first luminary known to have fallen spell to Capri’s charms. He visited the island in 29 B.C., and was so smitten that he struck a deal with the city of Naples in order to acquire it, giving up Ischia, a much larger island, in return. Tiberius, his stepson and successor, ruled the Roman Empire from 27 to 37 A.D. from Capri, using a lighthouse to communicate with the mainland. During his reign, Tiberius embarked on an ambitious building program, constructing twelve villas for himself in honor of the gods of Olympus. The remains of the Villa Jovis, the most magnificent of the twelve, can still be seen.
After the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D., Capri once again fell under the control of Naples. Due to the frequency with which numerous dynasties gained—and subsequently lost—power in Naples, Capri usually managed to stay out of the political fray on the mainland, although this presented a whole other set of problems, not the least of which was marauding bands of pirates. Left by Naples to fend for itself when under attack, Capri’s population, forced to flee the coast, sought refuge on the high plateaus in the center of the saddle-shaped island. This largely crippled the local economy, which relied largely on fishing, but also led to the settlement of the towns of Capri and Anicapri around the beginning of the thirteenth century.
The island’s fortifications were eventually completed by the French, although Bourbon power was restored in 1815 after the fall of Napolean. Finally, Capri was ready to emerge from hibernation. Its rugged natural beauty, favorable climate, and rustic charms began to attract visitors, and its first hotel was constructed in 1826. Soon after, it became a favorite hangout for writers, artists, poet laureates, and travelers from Britian, Germany, and the United States.
By the end of the Russian-Japanese war of 1905, the great exodus of Russian intellectuals cemented Capri’s role as a place of literary and political refuge. Many luminaries have spent time on Capri, including D.H. Lawrence, Axel Munthe, Hans Christian Anderson, Maxim Gorki, Noel Coward, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemmingway, and Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda. Neruda, the Chilean exile who lived in southern Italy in the 1950s, published "The Captain's Verses" during his 1952 stay in a white Bungalow overlooking the cliffs, and is portrayed in Michael Radford’s fictional 1994 film, Il Postino.
Today, the writers and poets are mostly gone, having been supplanted by waves of well to do vacationers, mostly from Europe and the United States. While somewhat of a luxury playground for affluent travelers toting Gucci shopping bags, Capri still offers glimpses of its tranquil, rustic past, although these pleasures must be sought out by the visitor. Capri still closely guards some of her secrets.
Unless you’re already on the Amalfi coast in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, or Salerno, Naples provides the most efficient ferry and hydrofoil route to Capri. The porto at Sorrento is your best option among the Amalfi coast ports, offering more than twenty departures to the island…Read More
Unless you’re already on the Amalfi coast in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, or Salerno, Naples provides the most efficient ferry and hydrofoil route to Capri. The porto at Sorrento is your best option among the Amalfi coast ports, offering more than twenty departures to the island every day, compared to three or four for the others.
To get to Naples from Rome, we used TrenItalia’s EuroStar line, which offers nonstop service that will get you from Rome’s Termini station to Naples in a shade under two hours. If you use a local route, add about fifty minutes to your journey. You can purchase tickets online and check schedules and fares at the TrenItalia web site. Keep in mind that you’ll want to go to Naples’ Stazione Centrale, which is also known as Garibaldi, since it’s located adjacent to Piazza Garibaldi. Garibaldi is the quickest route to Molo Beverello, which is the larger port and consequently offers more frequent ferry and hydrofoil departures to the island than its smaller counterpart, Mergellina. This handy timetable lists ferry schedules between Capri and the Italian coast.
So your train has rolled in to Naples. Here’s where the fun starts. Step outside the Stazione Centrale and what do you see? Several words come to mind, with gridlock, chaos, and mayhem leading the way. The traffic jam that seems to perpetually engulf Piazza Garibaldi borders on mind-boggling: I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Accompanying this visual state of confusion is a symphony of honking horns. Naples has the dubious distinction of being even more chaotic than Rome, which is saying something. But don’t dismay, I’ll help you get through this.
You have a couple of options. You can hire a taxi, which should be easy enough: you’ll see dozens of them lined up just outside the station. How long it will take for one of them to actually get moving, however, is anyone’s guess. If you choose this option, be aware that a common taxi scam in Naples is to overcharge tourists for the ride from the train station to Molo Beverello. It is about two kilometers; use only officially licenced taxis, and, if possible, negotiate the fare in advance.
Another option, and the one we chose, is to hop on one of the orange city buses. There’s also a major bus stop at Piazza Garibaldi, just west of the train station. Look for a group of orange buses. The R2 line will take you where you need to go. Bus tickets are available at the magazine kiosk at the northwest corner of Piazza Garibaldi, opposite the train station. If you’re tempted to freeload, keep in mind that there was an official checking tickets on board one of our buses. Purchase your €1 ticket and be done with it. Buy two for each person: you’ll use the second one on your return.
Now that you’ve bought your bus tickets from the magazine kiosk and you’re on the R2 bus, your next task is to figure out which bus stop you’re looking for. This is really quite easy, since there’s a major landmark working in your favor, the 12th century Castel Nuovo, also known as il Maschio Angioino. When the castle comes into view, disembark at the next stop. From there, it’s a short walk to the port. The biglieteries from which you purchase your ferry tickets are clearly marked.
Travelling by hydrofoil from Naples to Capri takes about forty minutes and costs €12. There is a small additional charge for each sizeable piece of luggage. Ferries take about twice as long, and cost half as much (€5.60).