WALKING | HIKING | CAPRI

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.

 

Walking 

Take one of the numerous public footpaths,  which the large majority of tourists will only see from their boat trips around the island. Some of these paths are very steep and you may need to walk up and down long stairs. The map you can buy for a small fee at the main tourist office in the harbor shows most of the footpaths.

 

Parks

Visit the parks: https://www.capridiem.net/parks-on-capri

 

Hiking 

Nearly the entire perimeter of the island is accessible for hiking. Few people, except local fishers and hunters, take advantage of these beautiful nature trails. Several abandoned forts are found along one of the paths and there are trails and paved descents that can take you all the way to the water's edge. This is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the island when the day tripping tourists flood the more populous regions of the island. Bring plenty of water and comfortable shoes if you do hike, you may be a long distance from the nearest road or bus stop.

Support the environment, make a donation to a non-profit Capri association 

http://www.legambientecapri.it/category/savecapri/

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

The Spectacularly Scenic Passetiello Path

A hike we really love is the “Sentiero del Passetiello”, the old path from Capri to Anacapri.
This is a path that any true lover of nature and walking should see at least once in his life …

Together with the 881 steps of the Phoenician Stairs, this was the only connection between the towns of Capri and Anacapri until the second half of the 19th century.

The Passetiello Path only takes about three hours to walk and is definitely among the most suggestive paths, not only because it is immersed in the Mediterranean bush, but also for the variety of the landscape and sceneries that you encounter.

Along the way, you will have to climb a high rock face along the rocky coast, until you reach the territory of Anacapri, in the Cetrella Valley; from there you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Faraglioni and Marina Piccola.

Be sure to wear proper shoes with good grip and preferably not shorts as the overgrown vegetation could be scratchy.
To tackle the walk in adverse weather condition or after a heavy rain can be dangerous, so don’t do it. Also, the walk is not recommended for people who suffer from vertigo, or has problems with heights, or haven’t a good balance.

 

For a detailed description in English and a map, follow the link below.

From the book Nabil Pulita – Riccardo Esposito:  GUIDA AI SENTIERI ED AI PERCORSI NATURALISTICI DI CAPRI ED ANACAPRI – Ed. La Conchiglia 

http://www.hiddencapri.com

The Sentiero dei Fortini (Trail of the Forts) - A trail of rare beauty offering views of turquoise bays framed by rocky cliffs

by Ugo Canfora

 

The Sentiero dei Fortini (Trail of the Forts), winds its way along the west coast of the island, the coast of Anacapri that stands out in sharp definition against the infinite expanse of open sea; it is one of the few parts of the island without a reassuring view of the mainland, which can always be seen from the eastern side. It is a route that embodies and encapsulates the essence of the island, with all its harsh and gentle features, through the three primeval elements that shape it: the surrounding, all-encompassing blue sea, the dolomitic rock that, in the space of a few kilometres, reveals itself as welcoming and pitiless at the same time, and the green of the Mediterranean scrub that adorns hills and rocks.

These primordial elements, like a sculptor’s raw material, have given form to and become the substance of the legend of Capri, an insignificant rock of unprecedented beauty that has held the balance of history, from ancient classical times to our own days. A history that chose those coasts to be the stage for some of its caprices: the medieval fortifications, the ‘Fortini’ in fact, kept watch for centuries, with varying success, for Saracen invasions, and have been destroyed, rebuilt and enlarged until, in the early 19th century, they became the defensive bastion for the British forces in the Gulf of Naples, and the scene of the “Capture of Capri” by the French army of Joachim Murat.

But for every big history, there’s also a little history: the history whispered to those who venture along the paths, rocks and walls corroded by the elements.

The trail lasts for a minimum of 3-5 hours and you can set off from two different locations: one from the Grotta Azzurra side and the other from the lighthouse at Punta Carena. If you start from the latter, you have a definite advantage in terms of ease, since you avoid the long steep climbs, while starting from the Grotta side gives the feeling of a “crescendo” that culminates with a well-deserved rest at the bay by the lighthouse at Punta Carena, from where you can admire the most beautiful sunset on the island.

The trail is not particularly difficult and it is fascinating at any time of year, obviously wearing the right clothing and suitable footwear, and taking plenty of water with you, especially in summer when the high temperatures and exposure to the sun can be a problem.

Starting at the entrance to the path just a few hundred meters from the Grotta Azzurra, near Punta dell’Arcera, after a short walk you come to the Fortino di Orrico, built on Punta del Miglio. It’s a stretch of coast high above the sea, fascinating both in the summer heat of August and in the face of the autumnal north winds, and it was here that the French troops landed, leading to the Capture of Capri. Looking out from the walls of the fort, you can see, not without some amazement, the cliff where the operations for moving the troops and logistical equipment took place. It’s difficult to imagine an easy way up that cliff, which is another reason why this maneuver by Murat’s army may be considered a little masterpiece of military tactics.

Continuing along the trail, dotted with illustrative ceramic tiles providing information about the species of flora and fauna typical of the area, you come to a deviation in the path that leads to a rock called the Spiaggia delle Capre (Beach of the She-Goats). After returning to the main path, there is a sharp change of scenery, as the walk continues through a sequence of different wooded areas, until, having passed the Cala del Rio, you see in the distance the second fort, Mesola, standing out from Punta Campetiello.

Right at the foot of the fort, you’ll see a small inlet where there is an easy walk down to the sea, perfect for a refreshing dip before the last section of the route. The last part leads over a gorge that looks like a fjord, with a small bridge suspended over the Rosola stream, to Cala di Mezzo and then on to the Fortino del Pino (Fort of the Pine tree), the last of the three main forts if you don’t count the so-called “Fort of the Cannon”, a smaller one that overlooks the Cala del Limmo.

From here you can end your excursion by joining the main road that leads to the lighthouse at Punta Carena, a place of great beauty, where the breathtaking sunset is a reward for what is the more tiring of the walks, before returning to the center of Anacapri in the comfort of a bus or taxi.

 

Tiles that tell a story. A good reason to look around you as you walk along the Trail of the Forts is to see the many decorated ceramic tiles at different points along the route, illustrating the history, toponymy, and flora and fauna that are typical of this stretch of the Anacapri coast.

The majolica tiles, in the shape of books or the more traditional floor tiles, were made and decorated by Anacapri artist and master ceramicist Sergio Rubino, and draw on texts by the naturalist and writer Tullia Rizzotti as regards the botanical, geological and historical aspects, and zoologist Gennaro Aprea as regards the fauna.

For more information:  https://www.capri.net/en/s/towers-and-forts

Hire an expert guide to explore the paths of Capri

Luigi Esposito lives on Capri and is an expert guide and mountain climber. He speaks English and Italian. His company,

Capri Trails was born in 1996 to propose guided hiking excursions along the trails of the island of Capri. Moving away a few minutes from the historical center of the two local towns, you can enjoy breath-taking views walking among the local characteristic architecture and surrounded by the colorful Mediterranean marquis.

 

"The serious hiker can engage the zen-like, charming Luigi Esposito, a former La Scalinatella hotel staff member who now owns the mountaineering service Capri Trails. A hike with Esposito is an only-on-Capri experience." 

https://www.departures.com/island-capri-your-way/3

 

For contact : luigi.trekking@gmail.com  Cell:(0039) 347.3681699 tel/fax:(0039) 081.8375933

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=luigi%20esposito%20capri

CAPRI ISLAND - Very comprehensive new Guide - Now an English version on Kindle

Capri Island is the new guide that not only takes you to all the island's sites of unique natural beauty, but also features the history, art, architecture and aspects of local life-style that have made Capri one of the most famous islands in the world. You can access amazing art work, spectacular photos, authoritative texts, and an original selection of architectural gems through a visual layout impact that reflects the spirit and charm which have attracted and tied people to Capri through the ages: heroes of mythology, emperors, monarchs, pirates, writers, poets, painters... The CAPRI ISLAND guide has been produced entirely by experts on the places and history of the island: this is no mere compilation of information avaliable elsewhere on the web. There are 7 sections: 1. LOCATION 2. HISTORY 3. ITINERARIES 4. BY THE SEA 5. ART AND ICONOGRAPHY 6. HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE AND VILLAS 7. PERSONALITIES

The heart of Villa San Michele where, amid loggias, colonnades and vistas of deep blue sea, there is a botanical jewel with an ancient history

by Rossella Funghi

 

It was at the end of the 19th century when Axel Munthe, a Swedish doctor, and writer who came to Italy for health reasons and arrived on Capri, managed to acquire a ruined chapel dedicated to San Michele and the house next to it, with the inevitable vineyard attached.

In his head and his heart he had just one idea: to join them “with garlands of vines and avenues of cypresses and columns supporting white loggias, peopled with marble statues of gods and bronzes of emperors.” Little by little, he molded the terrain with brilliant instinct, helped only by Mastro Nicola and his three sons. He came to love the house very deeply: “The house was small, the rooms were few but there were loggias, terraces, and pergolas all around it to watch the sun, the sea, and the clouds.” Even today, faithful to Munthe’s dream, the house and garden greet visitors with the grand arcades of the loggia, with its marble busts and bronze statues, that give way to a long procession of white columns.

On some mornings, the rays of the sun filter through the branches of the trees, lighting up a spectrum of greens that are a compendium of every possible shade from the most delicate to the most pronounced. The lizards warm themselves against the velvety green of that moss. A fluttering of wings, a rustling in the grass, the sound of running water, a different kind of shade that outlines the lawn. Sit on one of the stone benches and listen to the breathing of this green heart. The birds that Munthe loved so much will make you a gift of their beautiful song.

 

 

Twenty years at Villa San Michele. “Our greatest satisfaction came when it was awarded first prize in the private gardens category of the ‘The Most Beautiful Garden in Italy’ competition a few years ago,” says Raffaele Scarpato, who has been looking after the garden at Villa San Michele for twenty years. Before him, his uncle Antonio was the careful guardian for twenty-five years and it was from him that Raffaele learned many secrets of the trade. 

 

Read more from the link below.

The Prehistoric Majestic Grotto of Ferns

Photo by Gianni Catugno

 

I still want to warn that going to the Big Cave and the Felci Cave is not a walk as to go to other areas of Capri ...

Here is a constant danger of falling stones along the path and also not to underestimate the very wild wilderness that has practically covered the path leading to the caves ...

SO BE CAREFUL !!! ⚠️⚠️ Warning by Gianni Catugno October 21, 2017

 https://www.facebook.com/gianni.catuogno?fref=gc&dti=477794065635842

The Grotto of Ferns dominates the underlying Marina Piccola and represents one of the most important prehistoric sites of the Capri island. 

As soon as you enter you’ll have a feeling of something magical and mysterious, almost ‘religious’.

Situated on the south-east coast of the island, the Grotta delle Felci (Grotto of ferns) provides important archaeological evidence of an uninterrupted inhabitation and ritual and religious activities of the site starting from the prehistoric period.
Archaeological excavations have unearthed from the surface level the remains of ancient civilizations stone amulets decorated with magical and religious depictions as well as modern pottery and Roman and Bronze Age ceramics.
Below the surface level, other strata provided material from Bronze Age (1700-1000 BC), while further down Neolithic (4000-3500 BC) findings were discovered.

Grotto of Ferns retained its sacred role for the whole of the prehistoric age as findings also included a large, precious flint dagger from the Aeneolithic age (3500-2300 BC) and richly decorated Bronze Age vases.

This is an itinerary that well blends the beauty of the landscape with the historic importance of places.

The walk starts from Due Golfi  (just a short walking distance from “La Piazzetta” of Capri).

Bibliography:

GUIDE TO THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS OF THE ISLAND OF CAPRI – available (not always) at the tourist office of Capri – PDF online: Guide to Capri

Nabil Pulita – Riccardo Esposito:  GUIDA AI SENTIERI ED AI PERCORSI NATURALISTICI DI CAPRI ED ANACAPRI – Ed. La Conchiglia 

We have great news!
The lost and forgotten path going from Arco Naturale to Vanassina has now reopened, thanks to “Associazione Percorsi e Sentieri Isola di Capri”, a non-profit organization in Capri whose aim is to protect the ancient, historical paths of the island from forgetfulness and misappropriation of territory by private people.

 

The path goes through a large area that in the past was used to grow hay. The hay was stored in caves, some of them still visible, located in the area. One of them is “La Grotta del Fieno” that is visible not only from the path itself but also from “La Piazzetta delle Noci”. Unfortunately, the cave is no longer accessible (no, don’t even try to go there! it’s really dangerous!!!).
The area of the path is wedged between the natural arch and the cliffs of Mount Tiberius and once upon a time was crossed by a series of paths that allowed reaching the Sementella beach situated near the stack of Matermania from the top of Vanassina (about 250 meters above sea level).

 

Click on the button to keep reading...

http://www.hiddencapri.com/

Villa Lysis - “A Shrine to Love and Sorrow”

A place to visit, maybe in a day with unpredictable weather, when it’s not recommended to take a steep path, is Villa Lysis 

 

The villa was built with a romantic imprint by the eccentric Baron Jacques d’Adelsward Fersen in 1905 close to where the Roman emperor Tiberius had built his Villa Jovis two millennia earlier.
Architecturally, the house is mainly in an Art Nouveau style with Neoclassical elements; the style might be called “Neoclassical decadent.” 

The villa was formerly called “La Gloriette” (read about the adjacent park) but subsequently took the name of Villa Lysis, in reference to Plato’s Socratic dialogue “Lysis” discussing friendship or, according to modern notions, homosexual love; but everyone knows it as “Villa Fersen”.

The villa was “Dedicated to "the youth of love” and the Latin inscription above the front steps “AMORI ET DOLORI SACRVM”, “a shrine to love and sorrow” highlights Fersen’s Romantic view of himself.

Read more, click on the button below...

www.hiddencapri.com

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