Capri is most often associated with glitz and glamour, home to elegant designer boutiques and surrounded by luxurious yachts moored just offshore. But there is another side of the island, with a slower pace and calmer atmosphere, that offers the possibility of discovering the island from a more laidback, authentic point of view. For hiking enthusiasts or fans of history and art—or simply those looking for a quiet spot to spend a holiday relaxing—Anacapri and the surrounding countryside is ideal.
The town of Anacapri, in particular, is a sleepy, timeless that spot sits on the highest point of the island, thus its name. The municipality is set on the slopes of Mount Solaro, the peak of which offers spectacular views across the island and can be reached on foot via a moderately challenging hiking trail or simply with the chairlift (not recommended for those who suffer from fear of heights!)
Less expensive than the town of Capri, Anacapri is perfect for those who want a casual holiday far from the chaos of the crowds and nightlife for which Capri is famous. There is a wide variety of restaurants and artisan workshops in town making everything from leather sandals and fabric to ceramics, coral jewelry, and other local crafts.
There are a number of walking and hiking trails for every skill level that set off from Anacapri, in including the path to the Migliera Scenic Overlook and the Trail of the Forts.
A Thousand Steps to the Port
The famed Scala Fenicia (Phoenician Steps...though they were actually built by the Greeks!) sets off from Anacapri, running from the town center to the Marina Grande port below. There are 921 steep steps covering a staircase that stretches 1.7 kilometers (1 mile). We suggest taking on the steps only for those who are particularly fit, as they can be a challenge even if you are headed downhill.
Fans of art and culture will find plenty of treasures to explore in Anacapri. Take in the sweeping views from the house-museum of Axel Munthe, the eccentric and captivating Villa San Michele; as well as Casa Rossa, one of the most unique and fascinating buildings on the island. The monumental churches of Santa Sofia and San Michele Arcangelo are also worth a visit. The latter is known for its stunning historic majolica ceramic floor that depicts the Garden of Eden and "original sin."