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48 HOURS ON… Capri

Laura Thayer delves into the artistic side of Capri to discover why this photogenic island is more than just a pretty face
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Clockwise from top left: Climb to the top of Monte Solaro for views across the island; shopping here is rarely cheap but always fun; view of the Marina Grande as you arrive; fishing boats in the Marina Grande; the turquoise sea; Eco Capri is a celebration of the work of artist Letizia Cerio; the view from Anacapri; the garden at the Villa San Michele; boat tours to the Blue Grotto

Arriving on a nearly packed ferry, surrounded by cameras and phones snapping away to capture the view, it’s impossible to underestimate the popular appeal of this tiny island off the coast of the Sorrentine peninsula, not far from Naples. This is one of the most popular travel destinations in Italy and I never expect my experience here to be a solitary one.

Yet it’s precisely this enduring appeal that fascinates me, as it’s not just today’s travellers that have been drawn here: Capri has attracted visitors for as long as history can recall. While the island’s popularity may seem a modern invention, the call of Capri has deep roots. In 29 BC, for example, Octavian, soon to be the Roman emperor Augustus, arrived on Capri and was so taken by its natural beauty that he gave the island of Ischia to Naples in exchange for it.

Approaching the island’s port of Marina Grande, I step outside onto the front deck of the ferry and gaze up at the sheer cliffs. It’s an imposing and captivating sight. There’s just something about this place that has always been impossible to resist.

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About Italia!

Benvenuti... It’s February, which can mean only one thing in Italy – Carnevale. Cities and towns all over the country are lit up with lively events and celebrations, usually involving costumes or brightly decorated processions. Italy is definitely the place to be this month.