Words and pics by Sveva Biocca, owner of BMJ's partner Villa Maria Cristina
When you see Capri from the hydrofoil, you seem to be looking at a “B” resting on the sea. As the ship approaches, that “B” begins to take shape, to show its colours. And then the smells as you disembark. When you step ashore, a too-small quay welcomes you and leads you to a row of little houses that make me feel at home. One of them is Aldo‘s grocery store, which makes “Capri sandwiches” with plenty of oil and oregano.
Take the funicular railway and you arrive directly in the piazzetta, where the chimes of the island’s most important clock ring out every quarter of an hour. Walk down the small streets, filled with classy designer shops, and you’ll be captivated by the sweet, enveloping smell of the waffles made by Bonocore, Capri’s most famous ice-cream maker. His specialities include mulberry, Fantasia di Capri and Bignolata. The ladies who serve here are two sisters – you will recognise them – who also seem to experiment with the elixir of life: they always look the same.
When you arrive in Anacapri you usually stop at Piazza Vittoria. From there you walk to the pedestrian road that takes you through the pretty little village, sometimes quiet, that every day at lunch time “stops” for three hours, helping you to slow down a little.
Anacapri has the appearance of an older sister: wiser, more cautious, less about appearance and more about substance. You can stop and talk to people who live there, who grew up on the island and have decided to stay.
The pedestrian street begins with an inevitable stop: Mr Antonio, a mustachioed and friendly shoemaker who has been making handmade sandals for more than fifty years, now together with his son Antonino.
It continues with bends leading to the Casa Rossa ( red house), an eclectic building named after the red of Pompeii.
And then there is the Church of San Michele, with an incredible floor of majolica tiles, decorated in such a way as to depict the Earthly Paradise and Original Sin.
In a small side street after the Church you will be attracted by the smell of Fornaretto‘s bread, a small bakery – again run by two sisters – who make bread, pizza, taralli, panzanelle and little milk sandwiches called ‘bacetti‘: simply delicious. Hence, you arrive in the Piazzetta (small square) where on Sundays you’ll find old people sitting on the benches of the famous painter Sergio Rubino.
Anacapri releases an authentic flavour, walks at a leisurely pace, and gives a sense of recollection. Arriving at the Piazzetta, the area called Boffe begins with its many white streets in which you can happily get lost.
But Anacapri is also rich in panoramas that seem to never end. If you take the single-seater chairlift – which departs a few steps away from Piazza Vittoria – you’ll be able to see the island in 360 degrees.
And let’s not forget Villa di San Michele from where you can see the Bay of Naples, as well as all the great beauty collected by the aesthete and doctor Axel Munthe. At sunset, during the summer months, the villa also hosts concerts on a terrace from which the sun can be seen falling into the sea.
View from Anacapri
BMJ Traditional cooking class
BMJ Mediterranean dinner
BMJ sailing experience
Capri by e-bike
Villa Maria Cristina