The Certosa di San Giacomo was a Carthusian monastery dedicated to St. James. Founded in the 14th century by Count Giacomo Arcucci, personal advisor to Queen Joanna I of Anjou, the original structures were largely rebuilt after a sacking by Saracen pirates in the 16th century and noted to be prime examples of the Caprese style of architecture. The monastery became in turn a prison, military barracks and hospital, and the monks' quarters are now used as classrooms. The church has a lovely, 14th-century fresco above the entrance of Virgin and Child with St. Bruno and Queen Johanna on one side, and St. James and Count Arcucci on the other. Other highlights include frescoes on the ceiling of the church, 2 cloisters and a small museum containing early 20th century paintings by German artist K. W. Diefenbach.
Not to be missed are the gardens directly behind the Certosa that overlook the sea - terrific panoramas and unlikely to be as crowded as the nearby Gardens of Augustus. Combine a wander there with your visit to the Cerotsa as they're reached by the same route. Open Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, and 5:00 - 8:00. Entry fee: 4 euro.
My apologies; we somehow managed not to get a single decent shot of the buildings so see the website!
With a generally sunny weather, and the steep coast, the island is a paradise for landscape photo.
The best spots are signed, and you just have to follow the lines and wait your turn, but you must have skills to avoid unwanted heads in your photos, or to find the exclusive angles.
It only takes one hour or a little bit more to circle the island.
In the way you visit the caves, the special rock formations, and all the beauties at sea level.
Don’t miss, it’s easy to deal locally in the harbor and not expensive, but, if the caves are your goal do check the tide before leaving, or you may have a bad surprise.
Our group of 8 had a spectacular day tour of beautiful Capri & Amalfi Coast. Paolo our guide was not only incredibly well-informed, but was a delightful companion. Thanks, Paolo, and Visit Capri for really helping us to spend two lovely days in Capri and on the Amalfi Coast!!!!!!
Naples is a beautiful city; I spend half the year there. You should definitely stay in other places besides Capri. I would say at least one night in Naples and maybe one or two nights in Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, or even Positano. They are quaint, unique and characteristic, besides being great vacation spots.
Downtown Naples you can go to Underground Naples, take a walking tour from the main square (Piazza del Plebiscito), walk up Via Roma/a.k.a. Via Toledo (that's where you find many shops and the Galleria Umberto). Continue up from there towards Piazza Dante and go all the way to Piazza del Gesu'. Piazza del Gesu' is where you find Spaccanapoli (the street that from an aerial view splits the city in half...it goes across both ways) and Via San Gregorio Armeno (where there are the artisan shops that make nativity scenes and the figurines that go in them. For the vacation spots like Sorrento, Amalfi, and Ravello you could try finding limoncello tasting tours or just check out the shops and their ceramic creations (also pretty popular), then there's the beaches and the main squares with renowned churches. If you want more tips and information, let me know. Right now this is all that comes to mind.
From Piazza Vittoria, proceeding along the pedestrian road to the left of the Memorial statue, one finds the Casa Rossa.
The Casa Rossa, painted in Pompeian Red features a number of architectural styles, with mullioned and laced windows, and an entrance gate through which one can tantalizingly glimpse the square tower and porticoed courtyard. The house belonged to the American John cay H-MacKowen, who arrived in Italy after the American civil war and resided on the island until 1899. He followed the example of Axel Munthe: collecting numerous antique artefacts he found on the Island of Capri and displaying them in his house.
Within the walls of the Casa Rossa there is a permanent exhibition entitled "The painted island".
This unique collection offers visitors a number of images of the customs and traditions of every day eighteenth and nineteenth century Capri. The thirty two canvases bear the signatures of Italian and International masters such as Barret, De Montalant, Carabain, Hay, Casciaro, Vianelli, Carelli, Giordano, Federico, Brancaccio, Corrodi, Lovatti, Bentos. This invaluable collection was purchased by the council of Anacapri from Spiridione and Savo Raskovich, two enthusiasts of the Isola Azzurra who had spent years collecting works with Capri as the main subject. The owners of the paintings preferred to sell the entire collection to the Council of Anacapri rather than divide it and sell the paintings singularly to private buyers. As a consequence, the island is the proud owner a marvelous art museum.
This 17th century church preserves Roman tiling in its northern altar, beside which is a reliquary containing bits of blessed bone said to have helped save Capri's citizens from a terrible plague in the 19th century. It's not always open so you really need to check times.
It's situated adjacent to the Piazza Umberto II in Capri.
Monte Solaro was my goal, having climbed part of the way up on the first morning; but how to get Rosemarie on the chairlift that was sure to frighten the life out of her? So, I didn't mention it till late in the day and suggested we do this. Since she couldn't actually see the chairs from where we were (clever Ian), she agreed and I bought the tickets, thus committing her to the ride.
I quickly entered the boarding area and got on a chair while poor Rosemarie was wide eyed and unsure. The attendants hustled her onto the next chair and she was away, wondering how on earth she had gotten there.
The slowness of the lift did nothing to assuage her fears but she made it and the views up there are so rewarding why wouldn't you go.
The route traverses people's backyards and virgin bush and it makes for a pleasant trip.
At 1932 feet it's not the world's highest mountain but the views belie that, especially when you can look straight down on the sea at one spot.
Further over, there are splendid vistas over the Faraglioni and the middle of the island.
One of the things you should do while you're on Capri.
The Certosa di San Giacomo was a Carthusian monastery dedicated to St. James. Founded between 1363-71 by Count Giacomo Arcucci, personal advisor to Queen Joanna I of Anjou, the original structures were largely rebuilt after being sacked by the Saracens in the 16th century and have been cited as prime examples of the Caprese style of architecture.
During its useful life, the monastery was at once a prison, military barracks then a hospital, and the monks' quarters are now used as classrooms.
The church has a lovely, 14th-century fresco above the entrance of Virgin and Child with St. Bruno and Queen Johanna on one side, and St. James and Count Arcucci on the other. Other highlights include frescoes on the ceiling of the church, cloisters and a small museum containing early 20th century paintings by German artist K. W. Diefenbach.
Not to be missed are the gardens directly behind the Certosa that overlook the sea - terrific panoramas and unlikely to be as crowded as the nearby Gardens of Augustus sited just above you.
It fascinated me to learn how separate the two villages were in the early 20th century. Their inhabitants rarely mixed and expressed a dislike for each other. With today's frequent buses it seems hard to believe but call to mind that it's only in fairly recent history that the Via Provinciale connected the two.
Before that you had to walk up a stairway of innumerable steps to reach the upper parts of the island.
Having walked it gave me a great sense of what it used to be like.
Here are some pictures I took on the way down and later on my holiday, just to give you some idea of why you'll be leaning towards the cliff when you go on this road. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, but I loved it.
There's a walk called the Way of the Forts. Sadly, for me, I didn't have time to walk the whole lot but it's something you might well consider if you spend a week on the island.
It is a long itinerary with some inaccessible stretches but its extraordinary beauty is worth the effort. The blockhouses and the set of paths and streets are located along the western coast of the island, between the Blue Grotto and the Punta Carena Lighthouse. The three blockhouses of Orrico, Campetiello (also called di Mesola) and Pino were built by the English in 1806 and successively enlarged by the French after they took Capri at Orrico, on October 4th 1808. Then there is an additional small blockhouse called "il cannone" (the cannon) facing the splendid Tombosiello creek. The blockhouses constituted, together with the Damecuta and la Guardia towers, a defensive system for some of the areas in Anacapri, whereas Capri was protected with continuous walls. Considerably interesting are the narrow streets and paths crossing the thick Mediterranean vegetation and skirting spectacular creeks that connect the different blockhouses. An ideal route for nature lovers, and those tourists who mean to "discover" Anacapri, and go beyond the "ritual" visits. Thanks to this itinerary, in fact, you can discover a partly unknown, wild side of the territory, paths walked only by a few people (mostly hunters and fisherman).
Situated in the Anacapri district, Pino is one of the most beautiful, isolated and rugged spots on the western coast of the island, separating Cala di Mezzo from Cala Tombosiello or Cala dei Serpenti. Here too, a small fort was built on what is believed to have been an existing Medieval fortification, and like all the other forts on the island, it features a thick dry stone wall overlooking the sea, designed to protect the military quarters at the rear from enemy attack. An underground cistern collected rainwater.
This is one of Anacapri's main forts and forms part of the island's western defence system. Standing between Pino Fort and Orrico Fort, it was built in the 1800s by the English and later stormed by the French in 1808. Tufa and lava stones like those used by the Romans were found in its walls.
According to some scholars, the name of this fort dates back to an Amalfi family, while for others it derives from the many medicinal plants that grew here. Still others believe its name derives from the Greek word 'orica'. Indeed, legend has it that the island's first Greek inhabitants, the "Teleboi", actually disembarked here from Epirus. There is in fact a convenient landing stage near the fort and it is from here that, first the Aragonese and then the English and French, attacked and conquered the island.
It's not overly historic, just a nice looking lighthouse. It's named after the shape of a keel (carena) which the rocks are shaped like apparently. However, its situation, like everything else on Capri, is so scenic you can't help but take a photograph.......or two or three.
Out behind the lighthouse is yet another jagged cliff complete with the usual grotto or two and limestone shards eking from the roof.
Our bus driver kindly stopped in the middle of the road and allowed me to get a couple of shots off. (pic 5)
We strolled around while there and Ian, being a little adventurous, climbed over some fresh brickwork and got inside the perimeter of the lighthouse. This is not allowed as I soon found out when a couple of military men accosted me in a nice way and explained the situation. "Mi scusa!" I blurted out and they let me leave.
We also wandered around above the bathing area though the people there were few in number in mid October.
The light is the second most important and powerful lighthouse in Italy. Particularly interesting are: the rocky indented coastline, the Mediterranean vegetation, the pine wood facing a small natural bay, the rocky ridge to the east with its so-called "Grotte dei Caciocavalli" and Torre della Guardia, the vast panorama admirable from the outermost point of the Carena, where the ruins of the fortifications of the Second World War are located, and finally the very Lighthouse, imposing over the surrounding landscape and expressing its major function as a point of reference for navigation.
You could take a chance to enjoy one of the reported breathtaking sunsets as well as the spectacular night views: the Lighthouse in operation, the illuminated rocks, the starry sky and the moon of Capri, the lamps of Squid fishermen shining through the water and the returning fishermen pushing their typical small boats up the rocks.
In 1957, when Malaparte was affected by a stomach cancer, he mentioned in his last will to notary Pasquale Zappone the following: Moved by feelings of gratitude toward the Chinese people and in order to strengthen cultural relations between East and West, I establish a foundation named Curzio Malaparte for the purpose of setting up a work and study residence for Chinese artist in Capri.
But the Curzio Malaparte foundation was never established and the house would remain locked for 20 years. After long court battles, the house was awarded to Malapartes heirs, who gave it to the already existing Giorgio Ronchi Foundation, a scientific organization. The foundation had been established in Memory of Malapartes nephew who died tragically during an air raid over Florence. In 1989 the Casa Malaparte Association was established in Milan, for the purpose of guaranteeing the survival, the protection and the restauration of Casa Malaparte in Capri
The house was conceived around 1937 by Italian Rationalist architect Adalberto Libera for Curzio Malaparte. Malaparte actually rejected Libera's design and built the home himself with the help of Adolfo Amitrano, a local stone mason.
Casa Malaparte is a red masonry box with reverse pyramidal stairs leading to the roof patio. On the roof is a freestanding curving white wall of increasing height. It sits on a dangerous cliff 32 meters above the sea overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Access to this private property is either by foot from the Town of Capri or by boat and a staircase cut into the cliff.
Casa Malaparte was abandoned and neglected after the death of Curzio Malaparte in 1957. It suffered both from vandalism and natural elements for many years and was seriously damaged, including the desecration of a beautiful tiled stove, before the first serious renovation started in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Malaparte's great-nephew, Niccolò Rositani, is primarily responsible for restoring the house to a livable state. Much of the original furniture is still there, because it is too large to remove. The marble sunken tub in the bedroom of his mistress still exists and functions. His bedroom and book lined study are still intact. Many Italian industrialists have donated materials for the preservation. Casa Malaparte's interior and exterior (particularly the rooftop patio) are prominently featured in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film, Contempt (Le Mépris).
Today the house is used for serious study and certain cultural events in Italy and is admired (and hated) by many architecture enthusiasts worldwide.
The house can only be reached by traversing the island. The last twenty minute walk is over private property, belonging to The Ronchi Foundation. It takes an hour and a half to walk there from Capri's Piazzetta at the summit of the funiculare from the Marina Grande. The house can be reached by sea, on calm days only, as the waves are cast upon treacherous rocks and there has not been an official pier for many years. From the sea, one must climb 99 steps to reach the house. Malaparte gave his friend and boatman money to open a restaurant which is run by the boatman's son today. It is the only restaurant one would pass on the path from the Piazzetta to the promontory where Tiberius built his palace, Villa Jovis.
Several books are available on the building. Malaparte: Casa Come Me (A House Like Me) edited by Michael McDonough, includes drawings and essays by many prominent artists and architects, such as James Wines, Tom Wolfe, Robert Venturi, Emilio Ambasz, Ettore Sottsass, Michael Graves, Willem Defoe, Peter Eisenman, Wiel Arets and many other luminaries of arts and letters
Lined with designer labels, exclusive boutiques, and luxury hotels, Via Vittorio Emanuele III is a haven of high class shopping for big spenders. Shopping in style, enjoying the atmosphere or simply hanging around brimming with "class" is what this street was designed for.
Via Vittorio Emanuele however, surpasses shopping and continues towards the top of Capri.
Leaving the historic and acclaimed Quisisana Hotel and numerous boutiques behind, the road climbs to the serene Carthusian Monastery and the Gardens of Augustus above, tranquil respite from the strains of vanity fair.
Walking up from the piazza where numerous cafes refresh the weary, you'll discover a garden retreat promoted by German Industrialist, A.F. Krupp. It was part of Fondo Certosa, an estate purchased by him and named Augusta Gardens.
The reward for your efforts are the picture postcard views. Far below, you'll see the Faraglioni rocks, massive chunks of rock that were the product of rock slides and erosion by wind and sea.
Although my photos turned out poorly, this picture shows us wending our way towards the gardens. It was a very pleasant day, with a gentle breeze and comfortable temperatures.
There was no charge for admittance, but the photo op was priceless...I hope you do a better job of it than I did!
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