NATURE | CAPRI

Three-quarters of the Island of Capri is virtual wilderness.

Be careful and strict custodians of the territory of Capri. Do not allow anyone to light fires, to damage nature and to leave waste. The environment in which we live is too precious a commodity to allow it to be damaged.
 

Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy.

 

The Island is  5 km or 3.1 miles from the closest Italian mainland.

 

The Isle of Capri consists of 2 towns

Capri with a population of about 7000 inhabitants 

Anacapri with around 6000 inhabitants
Both communities belong to the province of Naples (Napoli)

 

The area is 4.015 square miles or 10 square kilometers
(about the size of New York City's Central Park)

The highest elevation is 1,932 ft or 589 m

 

For most of the year, vehicles are prohibited from embarking for the island, with the exception of vehicles registered to residents.

 

An undersea aqueduct bringing fresh water from the mainland was completed in 1978.

 

Capri is famous for its magnificent scenery and the mild climate in which vegetation flourishes despite a general lack of water. The flora is among the most varied in Italy, and large numbers of migratory birds rest there for days.

 

 Already a place of leisure in Roman times, Capri acquired an elite clientele, particularly foreigners attracted by the wonders of Nature, in the course of the last century.

 

If you want to pronounce the name of the island like Italians do, you have to say KAH-pree.

Be aware that certain parts of the island is extremely busy with day-tripping tourists.

 

Consider staying on Capri for several days to learn about the island.

Walking/Hiking

Parks

Culture

If you want to join in protecting the sea and the environment of Capri,

please support these non-profit associations:

CAPRI È ANCHE MIA

The association CAPRI È ANCHE MIA (Capri is also mine) is always open to those who want to help us improve the island.

You can do it too. You can follow us during our Sunday work, you can become a member, or you can contribute with a donation.

Ours is a non-profit association: all the profits will be invested to buy material and tools.

Or to promote activities for the enhancement of nature and the environment.

We leave you our IBAN: IT67G 03359 67684 510700 199263

Help us to improve the island too.

For more information on donations, please contact: 338 6105371

https://www.facebook.com/caprieanchemia/

Il Circolo Legambiente sull’Isola di Capri

Support the fight for the protection of the environment on Capri

For information, membership and donations: 

http://www.legambientecapri.it/la-nostra-storia/

 

Monte Solaro is a mountain on the island of Capri in CampaniaItaly. With an elevation of 589 m, its peak is the highest point of Capri. 

It contains the "Fortino di Bruto", a blockhouse which was used in battles between Britain and France in the early 19th century.  It is characterized by its "sheer dolomitic slopes" which form an "unsurpassable partition" between the eastern and western sides of the island. Marina Grande lies at the foot of the mountain. It became popular with painters due to its "romantic situation, affording extensive and beautiful views to the NW of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Gulf of Naples". Up against the mount, there is a statue of Emperor Augustus who first landed on Capri.

The summit is accessible by walking by either the Passetiello, close to the town of Capri or by a path that starts from Villa San Michele, Axel Munthe, Anacapri. Both routes are suitable for walkers in decent physical condition. Notable sites include the Eremo di Santa Maria a Cetrella for its architecture, and the remains of the Fortino di Bruto, a military fort built during the Napoleonic Wars.

From the top of Monte Solaro, one can see both the gulfs of Napoli and Salerno.

Monte Solaro is also known as "The Acchiappanuvole" because of the crown of clouds that sometimes surrounds the summit. The phenomenon is due to changes in temperature between land and sea: the warm, moist sea air condenses on the ground and then is transported upwards by the wind. This characteristic is especially at dawn and creates dreamscapes.

If you have the chance to see the sunrise in this place you will enjoy the blanket of clouds thin out gradually. Like a silk curtain will open your eyes the spectacle of the town below you. Many small white houses in the style of Capri caressed by the first rays of the sun, will acquire slight golden hues. You'll see Capri awaken from sleep.

On the mountain top above Villa San Michele are the ruins of a fortress. They consist of a very highly located central section, in which Munthe built a simple sleeping accommodation called Villino Barbarossa, and the surrounding walls.

As the defensive fortification of Anacapri, the fortress dates from about the year 1000 and has undergone a series of reconstructions over the centuries. The historical name of Barbarossa refers to the Corsair Khair-ed-Din, who in the 16th century captured all of Capri several times.

Munthe also acquired the mountainside in order to create a sanctuary for migratory birds. The area is still a natural oasis today, watched over by the Capri Bird Observatory, which is located in the habitable part of the ruins.

Every week

Every Thursday from April to October, the San Michele Foundation organizes guided tours to Monte Barbarossa.

  • April and October at 4 p.m

  • May – September at 5 p.m

During the hour-long walk, participants can discover more about typical Mediterranean plant life, hear about the history of Castello Barbarossa, and find out about current research into migratory birds.

Spring and autumn

In the spring and autumn, visitors can also see the ornithologists at work. They ring birds and talk about migratory birds. From the fortress ruins, you can also enjoy a dazzling view down towards the town of Capri with the Sorrentine Peninsula in the distance. Sign up for the walk a day in advance at the latest by telephoning Villa San Michele (+39) 081 8371401 or in person at Villa San Michele’s museum shop. In the event of rain, the walk will be canceled.

Icons of Capri |The Faraglioni rocky peaks and the Monacone rock.

The famous Faraglioni. Immortalized in hundreds of postcards, they made Capri famous in the world. These are the famous Faraglioni, rocky peaks that impressive propagation from the southeast waters of the island and for centuries have tasted the imagination of artists and literati. They are distinguished from each other according to their respective positions. 

 

The first of the three rocky peaks is the so-called Faraglione of Earth, which draws its name from the peculiarity of being the only Faraglione, still united to the mainland. With its 109 meters high it is the tallest of the three. The second rocky peak is called Faraglione di Mezzo and is characterized by the presence of an impressive natural tunnel, sixty meters long, passing through it in its entirety. The third, on the other hand, is slightly lower than the Faraglione of Earth, is called Faraglione di Fuori just because it stretches out to the sea.

 

Though over the centuries they have set themselves as undisputed symbols of one of the most beloved islands of all time, not everyone knows that there is actually a fourth lesser known, called the Monacone. It seems that it should be named after some correlation with the Mediterranean monk seal that populated the waters around the island until 1904, the year when the last specimen of that population was killed near Palazzo a Mare. It is an islet that represents, geologically, the continuation of the Sorrentine peninsula and extends beyond the three most famous Faraglioni. Although tricky and unlucky with its three "companions", the Monacone rock would be the only one to have been inhabited as evidenced by the remains of ancient Roman walls considered, without an apparent motive, the remains of Masgaba's tomb, architect of Augustus. However, a different theory means that they represent, instead, the remains of a basin to salt fish or to raise rabbits. The Monacone rock share with the Faraglione di Fuori a nice feature, representing the only habitat of the rare blue lizard, a very special subspecies of the country lizard.  Sources: Wikipedia

 

Article from Vesuviolive.it Deborah Santoro (translated by google) http://www.vesuviolive.it/cultura-napoletana/141602-capri-faraglioni-lo-scoglio-del-monacone/

 

Capri's blue lizard is a reptile present only on the Faraglioni of Capri. A legend? A myth? No, the magic of reality.

Foto: Luigi Esposito, Capri

 

Capri's blue lizard. For some, it was just a legend, for others a myth, but in fact, the blue lizard exists and is a reptile present only on the Faraglioni of Capri where he found his habitat.  Born scientifically as podarcis sicula coerulea is characterized by a peculiar blue / green color on the throat, the belly, the hips, the subcoding and a blackish pigmentation of the back. Capri's blue lizard is naturally present only in this area, and those who have seen it speak of an elegant body, flat tongue, and eyebrows with rounded pupils. According to scholars it is an insectivorous animal and very lively, so it is not unusual to witness the fights between males.

But the real news of this blue lizard is that it has become so famous in the last period that it even reaches the BBC, as the Republic reports. In short, this species, along with the lizards of Licosa (in Cilento) and Vetara (on the Amalfi peninsula), will appear on the pages of the magazine "Discovery Wildlife". They became so famous thanks to a study by Federico II of Naples, coordinated by Domenico Fulgione and Gabriele de Filippo, conservation biologist and photographer, member of the IUCN Education and Conservation Commission (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).  The purpose of these researches, carried out within the project "Look at Campania - Biodiversity for 2020", intends to deepen the knowledge of these specific species in some areas of Italy. Through the BBC's international showcase, scholars will also be able to expose the Inverse Insular Syndrome theory, according to which "the environment of small islands, highly unpredictable, favors evolutionary strategies that intensify resource investments towards reproduction, aggression, and Sexual competition ". Indeed, Capri's blue lizards are certainly among the most aggressive and its particular color may depend on this aspect.

 

This article is from -http://www.vesuviolive.it/ultime-notizie/100767-la-lucertola-azzurra-esiste-solo-a-capri-ma-perche-ha-questo-colore/  (Google translate)

To read a fascinating article by Marilena D'Ambro in Italian.

Fauna | Flora

Photo: Pietro Belli

Naturalists, biologists, and zoologists from all over the world have spent time studying the fauna of Capri. The island is home to a variety of small mammals, numerous bird species, including migratory ones, a number of amphibians and a considerable quantity of invertebrates including mollusks, arthropods, and insects.

 

Capri is home to the Mediterranean bush, the Arboreal Euphorbia, and the Ilex Wood. The native inhabitants on the island include quails, robins, peregrine falcons, woodcocks, blackbirds, geckos, red goldfish, conger eels, sargos, groupers, mullets, and the blue lizard of the Faraglioni.

 

The marine fauna

Naturally, the marine fauna is of great importance, with the waters around the Island of Capri full of rich and diverse fauna and where it is possible to observe a host of mammals, fish, reptiles and invertebrates.

 

The flora

The flora of the Island of Capri is comprised predominantly of Mediterranean shrubs. The shrubs and trees on the island tend to have small leaves with a thick waxy layer, which reduces to a minimum the loss of water during the hottest hours of the day and protects the plant from drought and from the sun's rays. In the Island of Capri one can find examples of mastic tree, myrtle, arbutus, heather, cypresses and the occasional oak tree. 

 

The Blue Lizard (Podarcis sicula coerulea)

The Lucertola Azzurra or Blue Lizard is one of a list of reptiles, which populate the Island of Capri. Noteworthy characteristics are its blue scales "like the sea and the sky of Capri" and its habitat, which is restricted to the Faraglioni stacks and the Monacone stump. A fine example of animal camouflage, its color makes the lizard both less visible and less appetizing to predators. Zoological studies have demonstrated that the Blue Lizard is identical in all but its color to the Green Lizard, which lives on the rest of the Island of Capri.

 

The Peregrine Falcon (Falcus peregrinus)

The Peregrine falcon is a bird of prey with a compact, smooth form and short tail. There are only a few pairs of these birds of prey left on the island of Capri. The hunters of Capri distinguish them by their territories, and thus we find the falcon of Tiberio, of Cala Marmolata, Tuoro and Capodimonte.

 

Cuttlefish (Totarodes sagittatus)

Of all the marine invertebrates it is obligatory to mention the cuttlefish. The locals spend many a summer night fishing for this highly rated sea inhabitant the flesh of which forms the basis of a number of typical island dishes. Cuttlefish are chephalopoda belonging to the omnastrephidae family, similar to calamari but with a different form of fin. In addition to the common cuttlefish there are the flying cuttlefish, which escape their predators by leaping out of the water. At Capri the Cuttlefish are divided in to Black Cuttlefish and Veracious Cuttlefish, according to the species to which they belong.

 

Broom (Spartium junceum)

The Broom flowers on Capri each year from May until June. On the island there are various species belonging to the Broom family, such as the thorny Chamaecytiscus spinescens and the Cytisus scoparius or Common Broom with intense yellow flowers. There is a very special relationship between the broom plant and the two districts of the island, Capri and Anacapri: in Capri it is called the "flower of St. Costanzo", Costanzo being the patron saint of the island, honored on May 14th, when the broom is in its period of maximum flowering; in Anacapri it is called the "flower of St. Antonio", after patron saint of Anacapri, because here it flowers later on in the year, towards mid-June, when the celebrations in the Saint's honor are held.

 

The herbs

Herbs are, arguably, the most important gastronomic characteristic of a country's cuisine. On Capri one can be quite overcome by the pungent scents of the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, it is the habit of every housewife to cram her windowsills with terracotta pots filled with herbs. The typical herbs of Capri are basil, with medium sized green leaves, marjoram, and oregano, with small dark green leaves, parsley, and thyme. They all have an extremely intense perfume.

 

The lemons

It is believed that citrus fruits arrived in Capri in the tenth century, and they have characterized the colors and perfume of the island ever since. The lemon, originally used as an ornamental plant, was subsequently used for its superb juice and the essential oils extracted from its peel. Famous throughout the world, the lemon liqueur "Limoncello” is best served chilled. The lemon of Capri, known as "femminiello", has a long elliptical form and medium dimensions. The first fructification occurs in October, producing the juiciest fruits of the year. In March the light yellow lemons, called "bianchetti" ripen, and in June the green "Verdelli" are ready to be picked. This type of lemon has been awarded Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I) status and can be cultivated, using rigorously organic farming methods, exclusively on the island of Capri and along the Sorrentine Peninsula.

 

Grapes and wine

Wine making on the island of Capri has truly ancient origins, dating back to the Greeks. The Romans used to drink wine diluted with water, and in the seventeen hundred, the wine of Capri was compared to the finest wines of the Campania region, such as the Lacrima Christi produced in the area of Mount Vesuvius. In the nineteen hundred, the island's wine was highly praised by Pablo Neruda and Axel Munthe. Authentic grapes of Capri are the "Uva Rassa" and the "Ventroso". The Rassa grape is typical of Anacapri, and grows under the olive trees, in areas subject to drought and wind: the branches of grapes are small and the skin of the fruit is thick and bitter. It is used to give body to the wine. The Ventroso grape takes its name from the area of Capri where it is most densely cultivated; it has medium sized bunches of grapes; the grapes themselves are white with a black speck in the center. The grapes are eaten as fruit.

 

Olives

The Olives of Capri derive from plants similar to those which can be found on the Sorrentine Peninsula, with small fruits especially well suited to those areas subject to drought. From these olives excellent oil is made, which was at one time exported, representing a major source of income for the population.

(Credit photo: Luigi Esposito, guide, and hiker)

Il Circolo Legambiente sull’Isola di Capri

Since 1980, year of its foundation, Capri's Legambiente has functioned as lively social forum for those islanders passionate about environmental issues and, in particular, the preservation of Capri's delicate ecosystem. 

Differentiated waste-disposal, recycling, eco-sustainable development, these are just some of the activities which Legambiente Capri promotes, via its educational programs and direct intervention. 

Not surprisingly, the protection of the coast and the marine environment are arguments close to Legambiente Capri's heart.  

In 1993, a woodland fire caused serious damage to the flora and fauna of Capri. Since 1995, as part of its forest fire prevention program, the island's Legambiente association has regularly recruited groups of volunteers to clear the island's footpaths and Capri's various archaeological sites, an activity known to dramatically reduce the number and the entity of fires.

 

Constantly active up to the present day, Legambiente has been interested in the territory of the Island of Capri and the right relationship between man, his needs, his environment, and sustainable development. 

Their active work has been invaluable for the preservation of Capri.

 

 Please visit their website and join their newsletter and support them by making a small contribution.

(Language: Italian)

SMART ISLAND

The Capri Municipality joined the "Covenant of Mayors" in 2015, an initiative promoted by the European Commission with the aim of involving the European Cities in the path of energy and environmental sustainability by following the Kyoto Protocol objectives. There is also an ongoing pilot project named “Marina Green" at the Capri touristic port, aimed at the development of sustainable mobility, energy savings and reduced emissions. In particular, new services for tourists and boats moored are provided: bike sharing, electric cars and free wi-fi; points for the waste batteries and waste oil recycling; water rationalization and energy savings.

 

The three main commitments of Capri Municipality for next years, regarding environmental issues, are:

  • reduce CO2 emissions by 2020 of 20%;

  • prepare an action plan on sustainable energy including the creation of an inventory of emissions;

  • involve citizens in the process through events on energy efficiency issues.

In particular, the municipality plans to identify solutions to optimize energy efficiency of public lighting and transport. There are several initiatives in the framework of the sustainable mobility: three electric shuttles within the port, allowing the removal of all private cars and scooters inside the area, and the bike-sharing service with 15 free bikes available for tourists in three different areas of the port. Capri is also a virtuous island for the separate collection of rubbish service management. In fact, Anacapri Municipality has obtained the certificate of excellence by 2015 from Legambiente and “Comuni Ricicloni” for exceeding the 65% of sorting waste. The City of Capri reached 53% of garbage segregation in the year 2014. These results are attributable to strong citizen awareness campaign implemented by both municipalities. As part of the project “Marina Green" implemented in the tourist port of Capri, 6 bins for waste collection were installed.

 

ENERGY

Capri is an island still not connected to the national electric grid, using the energy from a diesel power plant installed on the island. The island energy consumption is estimated around the value of 4700 kWh per year, mostly concentrated in the summer period. There is a project of Terna, named "Insula”, aiming at connecting the island to the national electricity grid through a network of submarine cable technology. The cables will provide the power connecting Capri with Torre Annunziata. There are also several projects focused on using renewable energy sources, especially solar energy, by installing solar panels on public and private buildings. Finally, 40 lanterns with low consumption LEDs lights will be installed, as part of the project "Marina Green", in the touristic port of Capri.

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