Nothing closes out the summer holiday season like a visit to Capri. With epic mountain and seascape views and buildings perched perfectly into the hills, it’s a magical place and definitely worth a visit.
Capri is known for being ultra-exclusive, touristy, and filled to the gills with celebrities at peak season. Thankfully, during our visit, we didn’t have to deal with any of that. The truth is, Capri is an island that isn’t utilizing its few natural resources left and survives almost exclusively off tourism.
We’re not judging because we know Calabria has its own Problems with a capital P. However, doing the work that we do we couldn’t notice there weren’t really any farms or animals on Capri which left us wondering how the locals eat and drink. After a visit to our friends at Capri Michelangelo, we learned a lot about the ways in which Capri has changed over the past 70 years.
Where Is Capri?
Capri is an island in the Tyrrhenian sea, located off the Sorrento peninsula. You can see it from Sorrento and other towns located along the Amalfi coast.
How To Get To Capri
It’s about a 25-minute ferry ride from Sorrento to Capri and is very easy to access. If you’re staying elsewhere on the coast, don’t fret. You can catch the ferry from most towns along the Amalfi coast. It’s a super fun ride and the views are gorgeous.
Approaching Capri is so special because you can see the mountain jutting out from the sea at a sharp angle and the town is tucked so perfectly into the hillside. Really important, be mindful of the ferry schedule as the ferries usually only run from 8:00am to 4:00pm and if you get stuck on the island you’re sort of stuck. But there are worse places to be.
We recommend purchasing round trip tickets when you get to the ferry terminal and triple checking the schedule. Italians are late for many things but never for coffee, lunch, or the ferry.
Do You Need A Car?
Absolutely not. Most locals don’t even have one on the island. You can walk, take a taxi or take the bus.
When To Visit Capri
Anytime from May to September! Capri is a seasonal town and shuts things down around mid-October. We went to visit in late September and it was still quite crowded. Next time we might try for the first week of October.
When Not to Visit Capri
Do not visit Capri during the month of August unless it’s your personal mission to immerse yourself in absolute chaos. Unless that’s your thing. We aren’t here to judge.
Let’s be real, Capri is a tourist destination. This is how the island has marketed itself since the 60s so most businesses survive off tourism. The population with no tourists is about 14,000 people.
When summer hits it balloons, but not just because of folks staying on the island. There are also dozens of ferries taking thousands of people to and from Capri every single day. So as you can imagine, it can be a lot.
Is Capri a Seasonal
Yes, Capri is a seasonal place like Sorrento, Positano, and Calabria. This means the island essentially shutdowns from October to March. It’s fun to visit cities like Rome or Verona in the off-season. However, the Amalfi coast, especially Capri, is not like that.
It’s not a place you can visit in the fall and just ‘wing it’ especially since all the hotels will be closed. However, Capri is lovely to visit in the fall and winter if you’re visiting friends.
The locals get the island back and actually many leave entirely for an extended holiday or to find work elsewhere. This is a popular practice in tourist destinations in Italy, especially the south where it can be challenging to find year-round work.
How Long Should I stay?
5 days, 4 nights if you really want some peaceful and quiet island time. Otherwise 3 days and 2 nights to just spend a bit of time on the island. We always recommend slower traveling.
Capri is a place you go to relax and do nothing. You walk, eat, swim, and just enjoy. It’s a place to be present and at peace. Honestly, we could spend weeks on the island exploring and hanging out with the shop owners. The people of the island are really lovely and most do speak English.
What To Eat in Capri
When you visit Capri eat Caprese food. We actually found out during our visit to Holly and Gianluca at Capri Michelangelo that the island abandoned agricultural work in 1960s.
As you can imagine our jaws just about dropped when we heard this. What about Caprese salad? Caprese wine? Caprese olive oil? Well folks most things are brought to Capri from mainland Italy. This includes water, gas, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, wine, and meat. Capri is not a small island and there are a lot of people to feed, especially during the summer so this is quite the feat.
Great, so what should you eat in Capri? You should still eat Caprese food. Just because Capri doesn’t grow its own food doesn’t mean they forgot how to cook. Many of the Caprese residents have their own homegrown garden produce that they share with their families, whether from a garden vegetable plot or a terrace garden, but unfortunately not enough to feed the countless travelers (which can almost double the island’s population in the peak months).
Much of the food that reaches the island is from the region of Campania. And in case you forgot Campania has some of best food in Italy. Campania has lush hillsides that are fantastic for many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and wine.
In addition, just a 40-minute drive away is the lovely town of Gragnano, AKA the city of the pasta. There are much worse places to eat. We didn’t have the pleasure of eating out because we had lunch with Gianluca and Holly at their cooking school, where they grow their own fruit, vegetables, and herbs in their villa garden but the restaurants looked great.
Try caprese salad of course. But hold the balsamic unless you want all the nonnas to roll over in their graves. It will likely be made with mozzarella di bufala which is a bit more sour, lighter and has a softer texture than regular mozzarella made with cow’s milk.
We also highly recommend Ravioli Capresi which are stuffed with Parmigiano Reggiano, caciotta cheese and marjoram and topped with a sweet cherry tomato sauce and basil. SO GOOD. Last, try torta caprese.
Leave Your Garbage At Home
Do not bring anything disposable to Capri. Everything that enters the island must exit the island. This includes your hand-dandy plastic water bottle. We recently learned there is actually a fine for bringing rubbish such as single use plastic onto the island. Unfortunately, that’s only if they catch you. Bring a reusable water bottle if possible or purchase water once you get onto the island.
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