There is no denying the unique pull of ritzy glitzy preened and perfected Capri Town, the bustling micro-sized centre of the stunning Neapolitan island of Capri. But beyond the Dolce and Gabbana, the YSL and the Chanel is an island whose real gleaming star is its jaw-droppingly beautiful natural scenery. Capri’s unique landscape is owed solely to its vast mountainous geology. Capri Town for example is a good 20 minute hike up steep stairways that climb one of the island’s two main mountainous peaks and which leave very little room at sea level for a capital town. And it’s because of this wonderful craggy mountain geology that the island is characterised by a series of stunning natural phenomena – the blue lagoon, the Arco Naturale, and the rocks that jut out to sea like characters from mythology.
No sooner had we finished our lunch in Capri Town, we bumped into this breathtaking beauty, for mere metres out of the town’s quickly dissipating urbanisation, you are led out into verdant bucolic lanes which simply take your breath away. Of course today much of these areas are overtaken with luxury hotels, but even those maintain huge lush gardens, and the result is an island bursting with almost tropical greenery and the vibrant pinks of abundant bourganvilla.
However to see flowers at their best and some of the most amazing views of the island, we headed to the Giardini di Augusto, a small shady set of manicured gardens once owned by German steel industrialist Friedrich Krupp, but begrudgingly given up when he was forced to leave the island in shame after his romantic liasons with local fishermen came to light! Today the gardens are given over to the pleasure of tourists and locals alike, and what pleasure they provide. But the most dazzling aspect of these gardens was not what could be found within, but seen from their periphery. Views so stunning of the turquoise waters and rocky outcrops jutting out to sea below that only photos can really tell of their true beauty…
In the garden…
and the views from within…
From one paradise to another, we headed over to the other side of Capri Town, embarking on a walk which at times seemed mad in the searing heat of day, but which was happily broken with a welcome lemon granita enjoyed over lavish sea views, and made all the more worth it by the final destination: the Arco Naturale. I’ve seen some views in my time but this was just something else. A huge rocky arch jutting out to see forming a window onto a little glittering bay below. This huge mass of limestone rock looked to be teetering on a knife edge – at its thinnest point, large cracks could already be seen and it became clear that this natural phenomenon cannot last forever. But this transience made the sight all the more beautiful and we sat and admired it for what seemed like hours.
The Arco Naturale and taking a rest beside the view
Of course there were so many other stunning views seen on our day in Capri, although we barely saw a quarter of the island on our short visit. All too soon the last boat back to Positano was calling, but surely a future visit to Capri will be required. After all, the best things in life are always worth the wait.
Capri fades off into the distance as we head back to Positano
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