The Isle of Capri, with its colours, fragrances and spectacular natural beauty, has drawn millions of visitors over the last hundred and fifty years to this limestone outcrop less than ten kilometres across: tourists in love with Italy, aristocrats, discerning vagrants, film stars, politicians and intellectuals. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Capri has acted as magnet and focal point for a large segment of Italian and international politics and culture, as well as offering a way of exploring a legendary landscape and its wealth of delights.
We learn from the works of Tacitus and Suetonius about the Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius, who chose this tiny piece of land as their abode, building grand villas and living a life of luxury and pleasure.
Capri’s legendary status has been created by those who came to its shores. From Roman emperors to occupying American forces during the Second World War, from the British Navy which patrolled the Tyrrhenian Sea to protect the Bourbons of Naples to Murat’s French soldiers sent to Capri by Napoleon.
During the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s, the Grand Tour brings French and German tourists to the island and the world of Italian culture adopts Capri as a cult location. Capri’s fame spreads across the world as a result of the large numbers of German, British, Russian and French celebrities: writers, artists, journalists and politicians.
The charm of its legendary status, the dramatic cliffs, the deep blue sea, the elegance of the Piazzetta and the shops that line the lanes, the nightlife tinged with the moon’s silvery light, the famous hotels and the breathtaking walks, these are Capri’s visiting card and offer a rich and varied style of tourism.
In contrast with the wordly atmosphere of Capri there is the discrete and muted charm of Anacapri, more intimate and less visibile but no less atmospheric. The stark wild beauty of the scenery, the silent white lanes of the old town centre winding through bougainvillea-covered walls and the unspoilt tracks lining the coast make this place, so dear to the heart of Axel Munte, a delightful discovery.
Dozens of establishments keep alive the tradition of hospi- tality for which the island is famous. The charming hotels with their quaintly unusual rooms and their private pools, their designer interiors, modern and refined, and the opportunities their salons offer for an invigorating wellbeing session, or small whitewashed Mediterranean villas with sweeping arches and terraces overlooking the sea.
Then there are the restaurants, well-skilled in combining simple natural ingredients to produce surprising flavours and variations, and the transport services, together with an enviable climate, will guarantee an unforgettable holiday. Today, the legend of Capri, its heritage as a place of tourism and its traditions of hospitality are recognised across the world and thousands of tourists are drawn to this unique place.
Capri, wild yet at the same time delicate, with its fame and its magic, will continue to draw whoever is in search of that special place, welcoming and exciting, rich in history and tradition, elegant yet outlandish, a unique island, whim of the gods.