An Italian Summer in Capri
Known for its vintage glamour and classic beauty, Snezana Belevska-Bennell uncovers the best ways to share this isleís Mediterranean delights with her family. (Photography by Dave Bennell)
Where to stay
The Isle has some of the most amazing stay options thatíll help make you at one with Mother Nature.
The bay of Marina Piccolo is definitely the most picturesque spot in Capri and one of the best places to stay with children. With small white pebble beaches, amazing bathing establishments and seaside restaurants all within walking distance, itís perfect for families.
Marina Piccola is on the southern side of Capri, close to the centre of town. Get there by foot via the magnificent Via Krupp, or if the kids are too tired to walk then itís best to take the bus service which runs regularly from the beach into town. If you want to travel in style then opt for an open-top taxi and soak up the view.
One of the closest hotels to the sea is four-star Weber Ambassador. It is just a few metres from the beach and boasts breathtaking views of the bay and the famous Faraglioni Rocks.
Most rooms have balconies and large terraces with stunning views, providing perfect places to relax with a glass of wine, enjoying the Mediterranean summer nights, while the kids are tucked in after a hard dayís play.
While at the Weber Ambassador we particularly loved the amazing buffet breakfast spread served on the open sea terrace, the wonderful staff that went above and beyond to make our stay special, as well as the free shuttle service to the town centre that runs every 10 minutes from 7am to 2am.
For those wanting to stay in town, La Certosella is a great option. Oozing vintage glamour, the property once belonged to famous theatre director Camille du Locle. Located in the leafier part of town on the exclusive Via Tragara itís perfect for families with kids as the deluxe rooms are spacious and have large terraces with stunning views. Youíll be relaxing poolside as the kids run around the traditional Italian gardens.
Here we loved the Italian Breakfast on the poolside terrace under the shady orange trees and strolling along Via Tragara to the panoramic viewing terrace. Note that La Certosella guests also receive special discounts at Capriís private beach clubs La Canzone del Mare and Da Luigi ai Faraglioni.
Capri is known for its bathing establishments where you can swim, lounge, drink and dine all day long. Privately owned, entry fees vary between $30 and $50 which covers access, sun beds, umbrellas and showers.
The most family-friendly ones are Da Gioia, La Canzone del Mare and Bagni Internazionali, all located close to each other in Marina Piccola with amazing terrace restaurants, crystal-clear waters, and views across to Faraglioni Rocks.
At the base of the Faraglioni Rocks, there is also the incredible Da Luigi ai Faraglioni with sun beds and royal-blue umbrellas that speckle the rock platform underneath the famous sea-edged restaurant.
If youíre planning to have some alone time, book a babysitter, book a table, grab your swimsuit and head to La Fontelina, considered to be one of Italyís most exclusive beach clubs. After a sensational fresh seafood lunch you will relax on a white mattress or jump into the sparkling sea. The best way to get there is by the clubís boat service from Marina Piccola.
Spend a day on a boat and explore Capriís luminous waters, secluded bays and sea caves. Throw an anchor in for some swimming and snorkelling, pack a picnic basket and drinks to enjoy on board, or pull up to one of the beach clubs for lunch and a swim.
There are many boat companies located in Marina Grande. Just walk around and youíll find yourself negotiating a price and pick-up location within minutes. You can hire yachts and speed boats... but for a real Italian sailing experience, go for the traditional Italian boats with your own Italian sailor!
Most of the restaurants here serve typical island cuisine... fresh seafood, Caprese salads, ravioli and Southern Italian-style pizzas. And even though Capri in mostly known for its ritzy dining, there are still many reasonably priced restaurants and most of them LOVE kids. At
Da Paolino you will eat a sumptuous Italian meal under a huge canopy of mature lemon trees in a rustic garden setting. Or for laughter, music and delicious traditional Italian food in a glamorous garden setting perfect for the kids to play in, try Villa Verde. The waiters will entertain the kids with songs and games.
The elegant Relais La Palma lets you dine under palm trees and colourful bougainvilleas while listening to live Italian music, all while enjoying the terrace of Hotel La Palma, the oldest grand hotel in Capri. Perched above the main pathway through the village, youíll be entertained by people-watching while children have plenty of room to play.
For a romantic night, wine and dine on the panoramic terrace at Terrazza Brunella overlooking the Bay of Marina Piccola (and make sure to try the lemon risotto and king prawn al cognac).
Here, on top of a mountain in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, youíll find Chanel, Gucci and Dolce Gabbana stores... and more! Being an Italian holiday destination, itís no surprise to find all of the big fashion names. If you can afford to splurge youíll be in fashion heaven, and even if youíre not keen on spending big bucks you can still enjoy the strolls and stunning shop displays along Via Carmelle.
On the other end of the scale, there are the cheap-but-chic souvenir shops where youíll find fantastic Capri T-shirts for the kids, lemon-printed tea towels and locally-made perfumes that will take you straight back to your Italian summer.