Aperol Spritzes, blue skies, and views so striking one would be hard-pressed to ever leave. That, in a nutshell, is Capri. On the famed island, located off the coast of Naples, Italy, the days are spent soaking up the warm glow of the sun and the evenings are reserved for late-night dinners under the stars. For decades, it has been likened to paradise and served as the official stomping ground of the elite. In Assouline’s newly released title, Capri Dolce Vita, we’re offered a voyeuristic glimpse of the enchanting isle, dating all the way back to its vintage glory days.
“Capri is demanding and folksy. Insular and cosmopolitan. A supranational melting pot that is constantly evolving, revitalized by authentic, ancestral Neapolitan lifeblood. Few places in the world can boast a spirit so interwoven with archaic and archaeological values, both experimental and metamorphic. In a word: Capri is modern.
Yesterday as today, Capri is unique and exceptional. Despite mass tourism, Capri resists distortion and remains fortified by firm roots. Until a few decades ago she was a jealously guarded realm of beauty, which could only be entered by those who knew its entry code or by hereditary right. She was a fortress who could open her doors to all that was exceptional, and to the irresistible attraction of charm.”
Feeling the wanderlust? Read on for an inspired guide to Capri, according to its most frequented visitors.
J.K. Place, Via Marina Grande, 225
Set on a cliff, overlooking the bustling bay of the isle, the upscale hotel is equal parts glamorous and modern.
Punta Tragara, Via Tragara, 57
Situated on the popular Via Tragara, the eponymous hotel was made for viewing sunsets while sipping aperitivos.
La Fontelina, Via Faraglioni, 2
“A restaurant located on a rocky outcrop nestled under the Faraglioni, in which [Clark] Gable and [Sophia] Loren would hide from the paparazzi. Back then it was little more than a wooden shack. Now it is ‘the place’ to eat spaghetti alle vongole or ‘dello scarpariello,’ an enclave with a host of loyal followers who arrive in fishing boats or take the path down the steep slope through fragrant maritime pines twisted and bent by the wind, a 15–minute walk that ends under the Belvedere of Tragara.”
Le Grottelle Restaurant, Via Arco Naturale, 3
Le Grottelle is about as inconspicuous as they come—but don’t let that fool you. Tucked away on the eastern side of the island, the trattoria is effortlessly cool, with a menu to match.
See & Do
Grand Hotel Quisisana, Via Camerelle, 2
“Capri takes me back in time. One of my favorite buildings is perched high up on the island—the ‘Neoclassical decadent’ Villa Lysis, which has gold mosaic columns and is dedicated to the youth of love. What better way could there be to spend a hazy summer evening than a trek to the villa to take in the view of Vesuvius, followed by a Negroni Sbagliato at the pale peach Quisisana?” —Luke Edward Hall, artist and interior designer
Do as the locals did and plop yourself down at one of the cafés framing the piazza, located in the center of the island, for prime people-watching.
A natural arch formation on the eastern coast of Capri that’s well worth the long trek by foot.
Eco Capri Shop, Piazzetta Ignazio Cerio, 11
This historic shop has been a long-standing staple of the island, selling decorative objects and home accessories.
Bring It Home
Can’t make it out to Capri? Here’s how you can re-create the island’s picturesque aesthetic at home.