Thursday, February 12, 2015

Capri with Kids!

This past September, we visited Capri (and Sorrento and Positano, but that is a separate post).  It was fabulous, and easily one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited.  We were visiting during the last week of September, and I think that there could not be a better time to visit.  It was not very crowded and the weather was perfect - hot enough to enjoy the beaches and pools but cool enough to walk around comfortably.  A truly wonderful trip.

Why Capri?
Capri from the Ferry
We decided to do a week-long trip to the Amalfi Coast, and planned on seeing Pompeii.  We bought plane tickets into Naples, and started to plan.  The one tip that kept coming up in our research was that everyone wished they had more time in Capri, as most people do Capri for just a day trip.   So, we decided to spend two nights in Capri.

How to get there?
We flew into Naples, arriving late at night.  We stayed at a small boutique hotel named Fresh Glamour Accommodation.  This funky little hotel is in a very central location.  That being said, we felt that Naples was not super nice and a bit difficult to navigate.  I am certain there are awesome sights to see in Naples, but we did not see them.  Instead, we went to the ferry terminal and caught our ferry to Capri!

Anacapri vs. Capri
After some debate, we chose to stay in Anacapri, the smaller town on Capri.  This was the BEST CHOICE EVER.  The entire island is spectacularly beautiful, but as far as a place to stay, Anacapri is much smaller and more authentic than Capri.  It seems less touristy, and is easier to explore.  There are taxis and busses that go between Capri and Anacapri, and most Anacapri hotels provide transfers to the ferry terminal.

Where we stayed
We absolutely loved our hotel in Anacapri.  Hotel Villa Ceselle is beautiful, in a convenient spot, has gorgeous grounds, very helpful staff, and a delicious breakfast.  Our hotel room was two stories and had a back garden.  It is paradise.  The hotel is affiliated with another hotel with a gorgeous pool, where we spent a fabulous afternoon.  Our kids swum, explored, and tried their best to catch lizards.

We really enjoyed exploring the town Anacapri on foot.  There are countless delicious restaurants, shops (including a pet store that had chipmunks for sale), an adorable playground (with a wine cafe conveniently placed across the street), and lots of side streets with villas and views.  It is truly a delightful spot.

The Blue Grotto
The tiny entrance to the Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto is perhaps the most famous site on Capri.  It's a sea cave that is entered via a row boat.  You have to lie down flat to get through the entrance to the cave, which is an experience in and of itself!  The water is brilliantly blue due to reflected sunlight.  The staff at Hotel Villa Ceselle suggested that we arrive around 10:00 in the morning.  So, we took the public bus to the Blue Grotto stop, and found the stone staircase leading down the cliff where we awaited our turn to climb into a rowboat with a guide.  We fortunately only had to wait approximately 30 minutes, but if we had arrived later the wait would have been much longer.  Additionally, the seas were relatively calm.  The Blue Grotto is not accessible if the water is too rough due to the size of the entrance.   We loved this experience, it was incredibly fun and beautiful.

Chairlift to Mount Solaro
We walked from our hotel to the opposite end of Anacapri, and took the famous chairlift to Mount Solaro.  I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to do this because our 8 year old daughter had to take the chair lift alone.  Our 3 year old went on my lap, and our 6 year old went on my husband's lap.  However, she sat safely still and we loved the chair lift.  It was gorgeous!  And Mount Solaro, the highest point on Capri, is breathtaking.  We had fresh lemon slushies at the top and hiked around a bit (again trying to catch lizards).  It was a must-see!

The taxis on Capri are all very fancy convertibles.  The roads are tiny and windy, and the views are spectacular, so the taxi rides are incredibly fun.  We loved picking out our favorite taxi from the row and thought the ride was a blast.

Little Rocky Beaches
The island has a few little rocky beaches.  We loved all the sea glass, and looking for special stones.

Boat Ride Around the Island

We also took a boat tour around the island on a private boat.  This was not the most pleasant activity as the water was quite choppy and it was difficult to enjoy the sites.  It was not a particularly windy day, so I would not recommend this activity unless you and your family are really into boating.  We wound up ending the activity early and getting dropped off in Capri.
We absolutely loved Capri.  There are no words to describe what a magical place this is.  I am so glad we took the time to spend a few days there!

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