The way of the Krupp
Via Krupp connects the area of the Charterhouse and the Gardens of Augustus with Marina Piccola, once linked to the town exclusively by way of Via Mulo.
Commissioned by the German industrialist, Friedrich Alfred Krupp, the pathway was built in the early 1900’s, overcoming a difference in height of approximately 100 meters,
Via Krupp was designed and realized by the engineer Emilio Mayer, who cut through the rock almost all the way to the sea, creating a series hairpin bends set so close together they appear almost to overlap.
Observing the path from on high or walking along the winding route, one is inevitably struck by such an incredible feat of engineering and artistic genius, made all the more captivating by the typically Mediterranean vegetation which spontaneously grows along the path.
Along Via Krupp there is a small gate marking the way to the Grotta di Fra’Felice, where Krupp built his villa and, a little further on, a steep and crumbling pathway which leads to the Grotta dell’Arsenale, resting four meters above sea level. A favorite nudist spot, the more adventurous enjoy swimming here, despite the almost constant danger of falling rocks.
Via Krupp has been recently repaired and the rock face above the road is now fairly secure, as noted by the wire strung across the cliff. It's extraordinary when you start to dig into things. One fascinating fact upon another creates a wonderful fabric for life's tapestry that makes for wonderful viewing.
Friedrich Alfred Krupp was a German industrialist, owner of the Krupp steel works, who had earned himself the nickname “cannon man”.
It is believed that he was, at the time, the richest man in the whole of Germany.
For a considerable period of time he resided at the Hotel Quisisana. Somewhat surprisingly, he never actually purchased a property for himself on island of Capri.
His presence on the island brought many benefits to Capri, he commissioned the building of the Via Krupp pathway and the Gardens of Augustus. He owned the Grotta di Fra' Felice.
He nurtured a great interest in marine biology and collaborated with the Zoological Department of Naples in the discovery and study of new forms of plankton.
He financed the staging of two major nature expeditions in the waters of Capri and provided two boats for the purpose: the Maya and the Puritan.
Whilst in Capri, Krupp was the protagonist of a homosexuality scandal, which had strong repercussions in Germany.
How amazing that for all his softness and generosity on one side, the industry that funded him was partly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The trail is easy, despite its spectacular route, and the views exceed your expectations, whether looking towards the Marina Piccola or back to the Faraglioni (pic 3).