The other side of the island of Capri


Anacapri is one of the two municipalities that make up the island of Capri. It sits on the highest reaches of the island and was once connected to the port below via a long flight of stairs that still exists today: the 921 steps of the Scala Fenicia (Phoenician Steps). This is the more laid back and less “glamorous” side of Capri, with a town center thick with artisan workshops, picturesque tiny squares, and stone-paved pedestrian lanes.

Whereas Capri town is known for its vibrant atmosphere and stellar nightlife, Anacapri is ideal for those who prefer a more relaxed vibe far from the tourist crowds, as well as for budget travelers looking for more affordable dining and accommodations. Regardless of where you choose to stay, no visit to Capri is complete without experiencing this side of the island!
Capri or Anacapri?

How to Get to Anacapri

First, you'll need to get to the island, which has just one port that is located in the municipality of Capri town (Marina Grande).

You can choose a hydrofoil or regular ferry to reach Capri from Naples or Sorrento daily all year round; in the summer months, you can also reach Capri by ferries that run from Salerno and a few towns on the Amalfi Coast.

Otherwise, you can book a private boat transfer from various ports along the coastline of Campania, or from the Naples or Rome airports.

Book a private transfer to Capri

Once your reach the port on Capri, you can continue on to the hilltop town of Anacapri in a number of ways:

Direct Bus Service

Direct buses run all day long (with departures that generally coincide with the arrival of ferries from the mainland) directly from the port in Marina Grande to Anacapri. The ride takes about 15 minutes and the main bus stop in Anacapri is in Piazza Vittoria (often called the “Monumento” stop by locals); the driver usually announces the stop upon arrival.

Bus schedules for Anacapri

Bus Connecting in the Piazzetta

If you don't manage to catch a direct bus, you can take a bus from the port to Capri town and connect near the famous Piazzetta for Anacapri.

Funicular and Bus

Capri's funicular service departs from the Marina Grande port and transports passengers uphill to the Piazzetta in Capri town in about 5 minutes, with no stops along the route. Once you arrive at the Piazzetta, continue to Anacapri via the public bus (about a 10-minute ride).


The easiest way to reach Anacapri from the Marina Grande port is also the most expensive: a taxi. The island's traditional open-air taxis make for a fun ride, but it will cost about EUR 25 to get from the port to Anacapri.

Sights in Anacapri

The center of Anacapri is rich in historic and cultural sights to visit. Most are located in the old town, which is primarily pedestrian-only.

Quartiere Boffe

This is the most historic neighborhood in Anacapri, a postcard-perfect district of flower-filled squares, whitewashed homes, and narrow, winding lanes. Many of the homes and buildings here still retain the traditional barrel vaults that were once common on the island.

Monumental Churches

One of the top sights in Anacapri is the Church of Santa Sofia, built in the 16th century and overlooking a pretty square with decorative benches. The Church of San Michele Arcangelo, a baroque masterpiece famous for its majolica floor created by the Neapolitan artist Leonardo Chiaiese that depicts Adam and Eve's banishment from the Garden of Eden.

Anacapri's Museums

One of the most unique museum collections on the island is located just a few steps from the Church of San Michele on Via Giuseppe Orlandi. The Casa Rossa, thus named because it is painted a deep shade of red, was the private residence of the American colonel John Clay MacKowen until the 1800s. The colonel amassed a large collection of archaeological artifacts during his years on the island, which he unearthed while adventuring along the walking trails that crisscross Capri. Together with this collection of ancient treasures, the Casa Rossa also houses statues found on the floor of the Blue Grotto and a number of 19th- and 20th-century paintings depicting the island and its lore.

If you continue walking towards Piazza Vittoria and take the flight of stairs up, you'll find a scenic path that leads to Villa San Michele and a panoramic overlook of the Bay of Naples. The villa is now a museum and was built by the Swedish physician and intellectual Axel Munthe when he lived on Capri. The villa and its idyllic garden and terraces offer dreamy views over the sea; the indoor rooms house a large collection of ancient artifacts and artworks amassed by Munthe during his time on the island.

The Ruins of Villa Damecuta

Villa Damecuta is one of the 12 Roman villas that the emperor Tiberius built on the island. Today, only ruins remain, surrounded by a cool pine wood.

The Blue Grotto

Not many visitors know that the most famous sights on the island of Capri – the beautiful Blue Grotto, named for the glowing blue light that filters into the cave from below the sea – is actually located within the confines of Anacapri. You can visit the grotto via a small rowboat; the line to board the rowboats is in the tiny harbor of Gradola, which you can reach by bus from Anacapri. You can also visit the Blue Grotto by sea from the Marina Grande port (large boats take passengers to the cave entrance, where you board the rowboats to enter the grotto).

The Blue Grotto on Capri

A Trip to the Peak of Mount Solaro

From Anacapri's main square, you can take the chairlift up to Mount Solaro. This lift fits one person per seat and makes the trip to the top in about 12 minutes. There are panoramic views over the island during the ascent to the peak, which is both the highest and most scenic spot on the island. From Mount Solaro, you can take in 360° views over Capri, Naples, and the entire bay, as well as walk and hike the trails that crisscross the mountain slopes (like the path that leads to the remote Santa Maria hermitage in Cetrella or the path that leads downhill all the way to the Piazzetta in Capri town). We highly recommend visiting the mountain peak, unless you are afraid of heights. If you don't want to take the chairlift, there are also trails that lead to the top of the mountain.

Trails around Anacapri

Anacapri is the ideal starting point for those who love walking and hiking. There are trails of varying lengths and difficulty that set off from town, including those that head to the Belvedere della Migliera and Cetrella hermitage. We also recommend the trail of the forts that begins near the Punta Carena lighthouse and ends near the ruins of Damecuta. This spectacular hike winds its way through the Mediterranean countryside with unforgettable views over the sea surrounding Capri. Experienced hikers can also take the Scala Fenicia down to Marina Grande.

Beaches near Anacapri

Keep in mind that there are no real beaches in Anacapri, either pebble or sand. This doesn't mean, of course, that there is no place to swim in its turquoise waters. The two most popular spots to take a dip near Anacapri are Gradola and the Punta Carena lighthouse. You can reach both these locations by bus from the center of Anacapri in about 10 minutes (they are along two different bus routes, so make sure you catch the right bus!). Both have cement platforms in lieu of a beach, where you can sunbathe or access the nearby coastal rocks to dive into the sea.

Beach Clubs in Anacapri

If you like to sunbathe with the comforts of a lounger and umbrella, you can head to the beach clubs that are located at both bathing spots near Anacapri: Lido del Faro, Antonio, and beach club Il Riccio. They all have cafés, restaurants, and services. There are also free public areas in both Gradola and Punta Carena.

To get in and out of the water, you can use the metal ladders anchored directly to the rocks along the coast. The more adventurous can also dive straight in, but follow the lead of the locals and only dive where you see others doing the same. The water is deep at both Gradola and Punta Carena and it can be dangerous to swim with the sea is choppy and the red caution flag is up.

Sightseeing Breaks on the Beach

The Gradola beach is near where the rowboats set off for the Blue Grotto. We recommend arriving first thing in the morning to avoid the long lines and save on the cost of a boat transfer to the grotto from the Marina Grande port. The Punta Carena lighthouse, located just a short walk from the bus stop, isn't open to the public but its base is an ideal spot to admire the sunset. There are also ruins of an old fort around the lighthouse but use caution when taking the trail as there are steep, unprotected drops towards the end.

Dining in Anacapri

In Anacapri there are several restaurants that offer local specialties. Here are a few suggestions you're sure to enjoy:

Columbus: This is the perfect place to try traditional island fare, for either a quick lunch or a more leisurely meal on the upper floor terrace. Many products are locally sourced and come from the family's garden.

Da Gelsomina: This is a must for anyone who wants to taste true down-home Anacapri cooking and also discover a little-known part of the island. It's located in the southwest part of the island known as the Migliera, which is a pleasant half-hour walk from the center. Alternatively, you can request the restaurant's shuttle service.

La Zagara: This restaurant, located inside the Casa Antonietta Hotel, offers diners the unique experience of enjoying a meal under the lemon trees. The menu boasts traditional dishes with modern creative twists.

Where to Stay in Anacapri

Staying overnight in Anacapri is a good idea for stays of two or more nights. You can easily travel anywhere on the island by local bus, which runs until late, and the town of Anacapri itself also has a lot for you to do and see. Anacapri offers a wide selection of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to family-run B&Bs. To browse what's available, have a look at our suggestions for hotels in Anacapri.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Blue Grotto: hours, tickets and prices
  • Getting there: by shared boat from Marina Grande, or by bus (Anacapri - Grotta Azzurra line, get off at the terminus of Gradola and take the stairs that lead to the entrance of the Grotto)

  • Ticket price: Euro 18 (11 for the boat service, 7 for the entrance ticket); children under six years: free; EU citizens under 18 years: Euro11 (they pay only for the boat); EU citizens between 18 and 25 years: Euro 15.

  • Opening & Hours: 9 a.M. - 5 p.M.

Notes: Cash only. Closed on December 25th and January 1st. In case of wind and rough sea it is not possible to enter the Grotto, to verify that it is open we advise you to call the Motoscafisti di Capri pier at 081 8375646 from 9 a.m. . Swimming in the Grotto is forbidden.