The Isle of Capri, floating off the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula and shaped roughly like a camel's back, as been attracting visitors for 2,000 years. Part of the same limestone massif that forms the Amalfi Coast, Capri is even more dramatic. The cliffs seem more precipitous, the water an even deeper azure, the gardens more lively with color and scent. Capri town is the heart of the island life. Overflowing with whitewashed villas draped in bougainvillea, luxurious boutiques, and trattorias, the town is criss-crossed by ancient pathways leading past houses of the rich and famous and opening up to reveal stunning vistas of cliff and sea. In the center of town is atmospheric Piazzetta with cafes spilling onto the square. Popularized by Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s, Piazzetta is still the magnet for the visiting celebrities.
History, nature, and culture have made Capri one of the most fascinating islands. Attracting Roman emperors in antiquity, aristocrats on the European Grand Tour and travelers of the 1800s, artists and intellectuals of the early 1900s and the international jet set in the 1950s, the island has followed a unique path. It has had the power on the senses ever since the Roman emperor Augustus, recognizing the rare beauty of the place, acquired it from the Neapolitans during the first century BCE in exchange for the larger and more fertile Isle of Ischia.
Since the 1950s, Capri has been one of the favorite destinations for film stars, assuming the role of “society island” par excellence. During those years, the small charming Piazza Umberto I, affectionately known as the “piazzetta”, was the setting for illustrious love affairs and summer betrayals, immediately immortalized by the visiting paparazzi. Many of the most influential fashion icons, from Audrey Hepburn to Jackie Onassis, spent long periods on the island, turning heads and launching fashions, such as the Capri pants and canvas and cord sandals. During that period Hollywood stars became an integral part of the environment and it was almost no longer surprising to see Liz Taylor and Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon and Kirk Douglas walk through Capri’s sunny, picturesque streets. Capri still preserves this elitist society characteristic, so much that nothing seems to have changed when you sit down to sip an aperitif in one of the cages beneath the Clock Tower in the Piazzetta, adding to Capri’s charm.