Monte Solaro: high dramaMappa
A trip to the top, to see Capri from a different point of view
The Island of Capri has some of the most beautiful panoramas in the world. Some of these spectacular vistas can be seen on this itinerary which explores the landscapes stretching from the heights of Monte Solaro and from the Punta Cannone viewing point.
The first part of this itinerary is to the Monte Solaro viewing point. As visitors approach the island by ferry of hydrofoil, the profile of the island is dominated by the outline of Monte Solaro. The summit of this 600 meter high mountain is reached from Anacapri.
Taking a bus or taxi from Capri or Marina Grande to Anacapri, alight at Piazza Vittoria, which is close to the Chair Lift to Monte Solaro. On the journey (roughly 20mins) there are fabulous views over the whole of Anacapri, from the historic center to the countryside and, in the distance, the sea and the islands of the Bay of Naples.
Sat on a chair, dangling just a few meters above the houses, the small vegetable gardens and terraced vineyards, passengers discover the true nature of Anacapri, the economy of which, until only very recently, was based, not on tourism, but on agriculture. At the end of the chair lift journey, passengers walk up just a few steps to find the highest point of the island, the summit of Monte Solaro, surrounded by a simply breathtaking 360° view of the island and the surrounding sea.
If you happen to visit Monte Solaro on one of the less crowded days, you will experience the views in silence, a silence broken only by the calls of the seagulls. On the summit of Monte Solaro there is a restaurant and toilet facilities.
From the summit, there is a walk to the Hermitage of Cetrella, a tiny church perched high on the mountain slopes, directly above the Bay of Marina Piccola. The path to Cetrella is a track through the woods, so walkers will need to be wearing comfortable shoes and to carry a supply of water.
The hermitage of Santa Maria a Cetrella dates back to the 15th century and was especially dear to the island's sailors who used to climb up to the tiny church to ask for the Madonna's protection before embarking on their, often perilous, voyages in search of coral.
Having visited the Church of Cetrella, travelers can either return to the chair lift station or walk down to the center of Anacapri (20 minutes circa).
In Anacapri you can:
The Punta Cannone viewing point can be reached from Capri's Piazzetta. From Anacapri, rather than wait for the buses at the crowded Piazza Vittoria stop, it is a good idea to walk to the previous stop, near the cemetery, or even take a taxi.
Once in the Piazzetta, climb up the steps leading to the old Cathedral of Santo Stefano and, from the Piazzetta Cerio (home to one of the island's most fascinating museums) head to the right and the Via Madre Serafina. This ancient vaulted alleyway which runs beneath the houses, passes by the Convent of Santa Teresa and the historic Taverna O'Guarracino.
The cloisters of the Convent of Santa Teresa, dating back to the late 17th century and accessed by an old flight of steps, are open to the general public, although maximum quiet is requested. At the center of the cloisters there is a well, which once provided a vital source of drinking water, and a small citrus grove, a reminder of the islanders' passion for growing fruit. Above the portone the remains of an ancient fresco can still be seen.
Having visited the cloisters, continue along Via Castello, all the way to the Punta Cannone viewing point, which, in the 19th century, was armed with canon and used as a sentry post by the occupying British troops. From here, a splendid view over Marina Piccola, the Faraglioni and Via Krupp can be seen.
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