As well as harbouring a wish to one day emulate the effortless style of the French, I have also long desired to visit the Italian island of Capri.
It’s the place I’ve always imagined those already graced with such style go to spend their summer holidays. But none of us are getting any younger, and I fear that the day I’ll be glamorous enough to genuinely fit in with the Capri crowd might never actually come.
So in the end I just decided to go there regardless, and I went ahead and boarded a boat to the famed island during my recent week long stay in Sorrento.
Capri is intriguing. Its stunning cliffs give it the cut of a completely unique diamond. And that’s what this island is – a jewel. It’s no wonder that Capri has been claimed by those who can afford to keep it their secret.
Fortunately the secret’s not so well kept that you’d never get to visit, but unless you can stretch to a full blown stopover, you’re unlikely to be there after dusk. And it appears that this is when the rich and famous emerge in their designer clad clusters; off out to drink in both spectacular sunsets and classic cocktails from sparkling seafront terraces.
A boat trip around the island will show you the sights – and they are magnificent. Raw natural beauty abounds. Then there are glimpses of exclusive beach clubs, of cliff-side mansions and secret grottoes. All laced with the riches of history.
You see, people have been coming here for a very long time; there’s evidence linking Capri not just to the Romans, but to the Ancient Greeks as well.
These days, it’s the island of celebrities and I admit I wondered if we’d manage to catch a peek of any stars during our day trip. In truth, we found it difficult enough to spot the sun.
It meant our day wasn’t quite what we’d hoped; those awe inspiring views were often shrouded by rain clouds. But we did have enough blue sky to highlight Capri’s beauty for a short while. And no matter what the weather, there’s always the option of sitting with a drink and watching the world go by.
For the record, a large beer cost €5.50 in the sky-high village of Anacapri, and the price was the same in a side street café bar just off the central piazza in Capri’s main town. Not exactly cheap, but a far cry from the €15 a drink horror stories we’d heard previously; proving yet again that it’s possible to make your money go further than you’d think, no matter where you are.
Although some of Capri’s secrets might still be safely guarded by millionaires and the Hollywood elite, remember you don’t have to be rich to take the ferry there and stroll the streets.
You’ll see what all the fuss is about, and you’ll get a chance to weigh up whether this is the island you’ll be headed for when those numbers of yours come up – just keep buying those lottery tickets…
The quickest way to get to Capri from Sorrento is by hydrofoil. The crossing takes about 25 minutes and will cost you around €15-18 each way. Check here for details and times of crossings as well as further info on getting around the island.
Have you been to Capri?