Buro city guide: Capri
No-one does high-voltage glamour like the Italians, and nowhere shows off their lavish aesthetic like this tiny limestone island
The playground of A-list aesthetes for centuries, from Roman emperors to Hollywood legends, Capri is a study in stunning contrasts: shimmering turquoise seas and crumbling Roman ruins; painted wooden boats and glittering cocktail bars. It's the kind of paradise that appeals to the nature-lover and party animal - hike clifftop paths to secret coves and Roman frescoes by day before people-watching (and potentially celeb-spotting) at a bar in the Piazzetta by night.
Yes, you can day trip to Capri - but that would mean missing out on the best the luxe locale has to offer. In high season (June to August), thousands of tourists land every day, clogging the streets, eateries and best swimming spots before heading back to Naples by late afternoon. Outstay the day-tripping crowds and you'll be rewarded with a more private slice of paradise - particularly if you time your trip for the shoulder season months of May, September or October.
Related story: Vita al mare: behind the scenes of the luxe Peroni campaign
Top 3 beach clubs
Book ahead if you can, particularly in peak season, to secure your spot in the sun and a lunch reservation - all that sunbaking can be thirsty work.
1. Da Luigi ai Faraglioni
Related story: Buro city guide: Positano
One of Capri's original hotspots, Luigi's is smack bang in front of the Faraglioni rock formations and offers one of the best spots to swim - and be seen. The seafood restaurant is equally famous.
5 Via Faraglioni, 80073 Capri
2. Lido del Faro
It's open the longest out of all of Capri's lidos (until 9pm), and it's by far one of the most amazing swimming spots. Located at the foot of Capri's lighthouse, Lido del Faro ups the exclusivity factor with a series of private sundecks with cabins hidden between rocky outcrops. The restaurant also comes highly recommended.
Punta Carena, 80071, Anacapri
3. Torre Saracena
Tucked away between limestone cliffs in the picturesque Marina Piccola, Torre Saracena boasts a gorgeous little beach. Get there by boat or take the winding Via Krupp - one of Capri's most famous streets.
Via Marina Piccola, 80073 Capri
Top 3 lunch spots
1. La Fontelina
It's arguably one of Capri's best restaurants, but there's more to the exclusive La Fontelina than the food - set aside a day for lounging beneath the beach club's blue and white striped umbrellas, sipping their signature white wine and peaches sangria and dipping in the azure waters that make its location so special. It's only open for lunch and only accessible by boat (or foot); bookings recommended.
Via Faraglioni 80073, Capri
2. Da Gelsomina
Soak up some of the isle's most breathtaking views at this family-owned trattoria and vineyard. They make their own organic wine (Falanghina) on site and grow their own vegies - enjoy both alfresco before taking a dip in their ocean-view pool.
Via Migliara, 72 80073 Anacapri
One of Capri's newer venues, Mamma opened in 2013 and won its first Michelin star this year. The setting is contemporary luxe - think fresh white and brilliant turquoise accents - with tables on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Bay of Naples. Part of the Punta Tragara (see our top 3 hotels recommendations below), it's perfect for a luxurious lunch or dinner.
Via Madre Serafina, 11 Capri
Related story: The 5 hottest beach destinations you've never heard of
Top 3 dinner spots
1. Da Paolino
You don't go to Da Paolino for the food as much as the experience - dining by candlelight beneath 130 lemon trees is one of those quintessentially Capri experiences you shouldn't miss. The showstopping dessert buffet is justifiably famous - sample one of the lemon-infused desserts before finishing up with one of the isle's specialties - ice cold limoncello.
Via Palazzo a Mare, 11 Capri
2. Il Riccio
Picture everything you want from a night out, and Il Riccio has it - and then some. A stone's throw from the Blue Grotto (more on that later) and right on the water, the restaurant has a Michelin star under its belt and the kind of desserts room (yep, you read right - a desserts room) dreams are made of. Come back for lunch the next day and make use of the sunbaking platforms carved out of the cliffs.
Via Gradola 4/6, Grotta Azzurra, Anacapri
Fancy a break from the blue and white theme? Aurora epitomises European city chic, with crisp monochrome styling and a crowd as cool as they come. The oldest restaurant on Capri, Aurora attracts A-listers almost nightly - expect a generous serve of people watching with your insalata Caprese.
Via Fuorlovado, 18/20 80073 Capri
Top 3 spots for a sunset aperitif
Breezy and beachy, the bar at the ritzy Caprio Tiberius Palace does seriously delicious cocktails. The hotel's restaurant is also worth a look.
Via Croce 11-15, 80073, Capri
2. Pulalli Wine Bar
One of the most popular bars in the buzzing Piazzetta, Pulalli Wine Bar enjoys a top floor location right next to the Clock Tower, offering brilliant views to the town below.
4 Piazza Umberto I, Capri
3. La Pergola
Part of the Le Corbusier-designed Punta Tragara, La Pergola is a poolside bar with a cocktail list to almost rival its sweeping sea views.
Via Tragara 57, 80073 Capri
Related story: Buro city guide: Bali
Top 3 hotels
1. Punta Tragara
Can't tear yourself away from La Fontelina? Stay at the five-star Punta Tragara and you won't have to - it's practically next door. All the exquisitely designed rooms soak up sea views right over Marina Piccola.
Via Tragara 57, 80073 Capri
2. Capri Palace Hotel & Spa
Leonardo di Caprio. Gwyneth Paltrow. Elizabeth Hurley. Just a tiny sample of some of the big names who have called this five-star island resort home. One of the reasons the stars flock to Capri Palace Hotel & Spa is its out-of-the-way location in Anacapri - but with a Michelin-star restaurant, multiple pools and renowned spa on site, you won't feel like you're missing out.
Via Capodimonte 2b, 80071, Anacapri
3. Grand Hotel Quisisana
If you'd rather stay in the Piazetta, the Grand Hotel Quisiana is a Capri icon: it pulls serious star wattage thanks to its amazing views out to the Faraglioni, unbelievable pool and five-star accoutrements.
Via Camerelle 2, Capri
Related story: Buro city guide: Miami
Top 3 shopping destinations
If anywhere calls for a new bikini (or three), it's Capri. Stock up on the famous French swimwear label here.
Via Camerelle 69, 80073 Capri
2. Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Prada and more
You'll find all the European design houses on Via Camerelle, the high-end shopping strip in Capri's Piazzetta.
Souvenir the scent of your Mediterranean getaway with Capri in a bottle, literally. A fascinating perfume boutique specialising in the island's scents, Carthusia concocts one-of-a-kind fragrances from local botanicals, including lemons, figs, bergamot and geraniums.
Via Camerelle 10, 80073 Capri
Top 3 things to do
1. Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto)
A non-negotiable must-see when in Capri, the Grotta Azzurra is a 54m x 30m sea cave lit by a magical blue light - the result of a tiny opening that lets sunshine filter in. Get here by boat from Marina Grande or swim right up to it (only when the boats aren't operating) - there are stairs leading down to the sea and a small platform to dive off.
2. Villa Jovis
Emperior Tiberius built his sprawling beach house over 2000 years ago, but it's still impressive today. A 45-minute walk west of Capri Town, the ruins are well worth a wander through and the vistas simply spectacular.
Via Tiberio, 80073 Capri
3. Hire a boat
It takes just one hour to circle the island by speedboat, revealing otherwise inaccessible beaches and breathtaking limestone cliffs and giving you a real sense of the sheer beauty of the island.
Top 3 spas
1. Spa Tiberio
Just wait 'til you see the pool at this ultra-luxe spa, which offers every kind of massage imaginable (deep tissue, Swedish, thai, hot stone - we could go on), as well as after-sun restorative facials, manis and pedis and a suite specially designed for couples.
Capri Tiberio Palace, Via Croce 11-15, 80073 Capri
2. Capri Beauty Farm
One of Italy's most famous spas, the five-star Capri Beauty Farm in the Capri Palace Hotel was founded by Professor Francesco Canonaco and has a team of 30 health and wellness professionals, from doctors to dieticians to beauticians, overseeing the comprehensive treatment menu.
2 Via Capodimonte, Capri, 80071
3. J.K. Place Spa
Another solid luxury hotel and restaurant offering, J.K. Place has a winning spa with hammam and sauna. The treatments list is long, with superb facials, body scrubs, massages and beauty services.
Via Prov. Marina Grande, 225 Capri
Brought to you by Peroni.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection