• Friday, October 30, 2020

Villa Verde Capri

Capri - More Than Just Pants
July 20, 2011
By , Founder and Editor-in-chief

You’re on a boat, and if you’re lucky, it will be to Capri. More than just the pants that Jackie-O made famous from the little shop Le Parisienne on the island, Capri is surreally beautiful. You arrive to Capri by boat via Positano, about an hour away.  Alternatively, the journey to Capri can begin in Sorrento, which is 40 minutes away, and Naples, an hour by high-speed hydrofoil. Fresh off the boat, a taxi ride has never been so cool, in an open-air excursion car that picks you up at the docks for about €20, and whisks you to the center of town.  It feels pure Hollywood, with your hair blowing in the wind as you’re chauffeured up winding roads that drop off to stunning sea views.

Capri is all about chilling on the Mediterranean during the day, shopping up a storm in the afternoon and reveling in a rockin’ social scene at night.  Come one, come all: This is where the jet set and tourists collide. It’s almost a certainty that you’ll spy a tour group gawking at the legendary Quisisana, one of the grandest hotels in the world. For first-time visitors to Capri – and for those who like to drop some coin – the central Quisisana is the place to stay. The historic hotel features gorgeous common spaces, including a pool scene with plenty of eye-candy and a terrace café. The sea-view rooms are pure quaint luxury, though a bit on the smaller side for those accustomed to Dallas-size accommodations. The aptly named restaurant Rendez-Vous is exactly where you’ll want to have a seductive encounter over a bottle of red and the Capri ravioli, a fresh cheese ravioli in tomato sauce that’s anything but mundane.

If you’re looking for a boutique experience, try La Scalinatella, which is just a short walk to the Piazetta. As luxe as the Quisisana, but far more intimate, this is where the discreetly wealthy stay. The more gently priced Hotel La Palma is as central as Quisisana, and has comfortably basic rooms and a large terrace for beverages day and night.

Besides chillin’ like a villain by the pool, hop on a private boat for a day excursion around the island. Skip arranging it via your hotel concierge, which will add a steep premium, and head down to the marina via the funicular in the center of town to negotiate a private ride. It will run you around €150 for a two-hour ride around the island, or €250 for the full day. You’ll hit all the highlights – including the green and blue grottos – though give a miss to the touristy excursion that goes into the blue grotto which is formaggi - aka as cheesy as it gets - and will require you to change into a smaller boat.  We recommend the day excursion, because it includes the prime swimming spots. Capri isn’t beachy, so this is your only way to access the water directly. The day trip will also get you to Il Riccio in Anacapri for a superb lunch of freshly caught fish on the terrace.  It just doesn’t get much better than this. 

Enjoy early evening drinks in one of three cafes in La Piazzetta, the main square in Capri. For a chic scene, head to Le Capri, a popular celeb stop after a hard day of leisure – just look at all the wall photos of the famous and infamous who’ve stopped in. Snack on the perfectly thin-crust pizza, which is as delicious as the scene. 

Come nightfall, dine at hot-spot Villa Verde, opting for a coveted table in the garden.  Tomatoes are everywhere, from the welcome tomatoes waiting for you as you sit down to nearly every delicious dish. The owner believes the juicy vegetables are an aphrodisiac – and you will too.  A simple arugula-and-tomato salad tastes like an exotic entree, as does a dish of Mediterranean mussels in fresh tomato sauce. The people-watching is equally memorable: Don’t be surprised to find yourself sipping wine next to Jay-Z and Beyonce, and be ready for paparazzi flashbulbs.

Capri may be tiny, but the nightlife isn’t. Get on the guest list for Number Two for a lesson in living a life of total excess, and if you still have more party in you, pop in to Le Clochard before ambling home in the warm island breeze. You’ll certainly want to cancel any morning meetings, and push that spa appointment back until late afternoon. 

For your second day, relax in Anacapri. Get there by excursion car, and tuck into a midday meal of stuffed zucchini blossoms and pasta soup at the homey Materita. Top off the meal with a prosecco or three at the romantic Capri Palace. The Anacapri shops tend towards kitschy, but standouts include Mik Mak for high-quality men’s attire and handmade loafers; Noah’s Arc for linens; and Pizzi e Merletti for handmade children’s clothing that you’ll want to pass on for generations.  Speaking of generations, make sure to stop by L’Arte del Sandalo Caprese di Antonio Viva, where sandal-making is taken to a high art. They’ve been hand-crafting sandals since 1958,  in every color and fashionable style imaginable. At the nice price of €45–55, you’ll be tempted to buy one of each.

By this time, you’ll be ready for a pick-me-up. Refuel over coffee or gelato at the Blue Capri. If you’d like to stay the night in Anacapri, this is the place to do it. Blue Capri is the most stylish boutique hotel on the island, with modern rooms and hi-tech amenities like iPod stations, which even the other luxury hotels don’t have.  Blue Capri is the younger affluent choice to lay your head – the refreshing opposite of the traditional grand hotel.

Head back into town, to eDode, a chic restaurant among the very tempting shopsfor your afternoon ritual of snacks and beverages. For dinner, it’s time for carbs: Feast at Aurora, for the best linguini and vongole you’ll ever have, and fish carpaccio with toasted pine nuts. Sop it all up with their splurge-worthy bread.

To change up your night scene, groove to live music at Anema e Core, followed by potent cocktails at the club Bye Bye Baby.  

On your last day, outfit yourself in some Capri duds. Fill up on a big old brunch at the Quisisana’s poolside restaurant La Colombaia, and then resign yourself to the fact you’re going to do some major damage on today’s shopping excursion. At Le Parisienne, where Jackie-O bought her Capri pants and started a worldwide trend, stock up on several pairs, plus gorgeous hand-painted silk shirts. Other highlights are Snobberie for lingerie, Bellora for linens and duffle bags, and Fiore for hats and classy clothing, and Laboratorio Capri and Sud Gallery, for chic and modern threads. If you really want to go all out, browse Bilancion, where the cashmere is the plushest, but so are the prices. Or, try the gentler-on-the-wallet Amina Rubinacci for gorgeous gifts for Mom. Bring the scent of Capri home with you by spritzing on the signature Capri fragrance at perfumeria Carthusia. 

Shopping works up an appetite. Get your sugar rush with fruity gelato at R. Buonocore, where the line’s out the door and the waffle cones are made fresh.  Sample Capri chocolates at the family-run La Capannina Piu, a quaint fine foods store, which is also where to buy all your souvenirs for friends and family.

For your last night, keep it simple with fresh homemade noodles and red sauce at the homey Da Grottino. Later, sip cocktails on the Quisisana terrace taking in the last of the prime people watching scene. Capri is the good life, and luckily you’re the one who gets to live it.