Capri, an island to walk

Capri is not only an island of sweet life and worldliness, but also an amazing world of nature, with many opportunities for walks on the beautiful scenic paths that cling to the rock and stand out in the blue.    An experience not to be missed  that we invite you to share with us.[/caption]

One of the most beautiful and complete routes, because it brings together all the island must-haves, is, for example, the one that leads from the Piazzetta to the Arco Naturale and then, through the Pizzolungo, to the Belvedere of Tragara, overlooking the stacks, to finally return to Capri.

All in just about 3 hours and we recommend to you the coolest moments of the day. From via Le Botteghe, one of the most central streets that branch out from Piazzetta, you reach the so-called quadrivio della Croce, which cuts into the pedestrian circuit: on one side, north, there is the Tiberius side with the climb to Villa Jovis; on the other opposite part, that of Matermania with the Natural Arch and the Pizzolungo, one of the most exciting and spectacular paths.

Going along via Matermania, follow, on the left, a small paved and flat road that, going through the silent houses of Capri, reaches the ancient staircase that leads to the Arco Naturale – Natural Arch, a mammoth bridge of rock suspended on the water and vegetation, whose vault reaches 12 meters. A giant wrapped in an ancient silence, which marks one of the most unique glimpses of the island.

Back on your own steps, you climb the staircase that opens to the left and leads to the first stage of the path of the pizzolungo: the Grotto of Matermania, which the Emperor Tiberius turned into a cool and spectacular nympheus.

Continuing on the steps shaded by the holm oaks, you arrive down to the sea along the path of the Pizzolungo. Passed House like Me, the red and eclectic house dwelling overlooking the sea of the famous writer Curzio Malaparte, you can see the rock of the Monacone, which raises its bulk among the waves of a crystal clear sea.

A little further on, the three stacks, symbols of the island, appear instead: their names are Star, Lightning and Scopolo, on which a singular blue lizard lives. But just before arriving at the Belvedere of Tragara, with its fantastic views of Marina Piccola, you are impressed by some verses by Pablo Neruda, who sojourned here from exile, carved in the rock and dedicated to the exuberant island nature: <<Capri reina de roca en tu vestido de color amaranto y Azucena >>. From here, the centre of the island is only a few tens of minutes walk to the enchanting via Tragara, built in roman times, bordered by villas and lush gardens.

Anacapri, the enchanting village on the top of the island, is also an ideal base for pleasant excursions in the nature. In addition to the beautiful path that leads to the Blue Grotto and the Lighthouse of Punta Carena or the exciting Path of the Forts, to the west, you can climb by the chairlift to the Monte Solaro (only 12 minutes), the highest viewpoint, 589 meters above sea level, and enjoy a dream panorama on all Capri and the two gulfs: that of Naples with the Sorrento Peninsula and that of Salerno with the Amalfi Coast.

From here, you can continue through the Valley of Cetrella, covered with brooms, along a path in the beaten ground that winds through fragrant Mediterranean scrub. Before reaching the hermitage, you will find, on the right, the house of the Scottish writer Mackenzie, a small mountain cottage, restored by the volunteers of the association Amici di Cetrella and transformed into a centre for studies on the island fauna and flora.
Continuing a little further along the dirt road, we finally arrive at the Hermitage of Santa Maria a Cetrella, the protector of the island fishermen, a charming convento, founded in the fourteenth century by the Carthusian friars, and laid on a balcony-belvedere of rock overlooking the sea. A truly unique setting, where the sun, the wind and the dazzling colours of summer dominate. The oldest part of the church is marked by two aisles with cross vaults and a small bell tower. Between 1614 and 1619, the whole building was partially renovated with the addition of the sacristy and some service rooms. Climbing up to the first floor terrace-churchyard leads to a breathtaking view on the entire southern side of the island.
The return to Anacapri is no less beautiful and exciting: you walk among bushes of broom and wild orchids, running along the ruins of the Castle Barbarossa, which takes its name from the Algerian corsair Kheir-Ed-Din, who conquered it in 1535. Today it is an ornithological station for the observation and study of migratory birds from Africa to Northern Europe, the last piece of wild environment, before arriving at the confluence with Via Capodimonte, with its tourist shops, a few steps from the central Piazza Vittoria.

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