Holidays in the Gulf of Naples: Capri or Ischia?
The Gulf Islands
Book your holiday in apartment in the most beautiful islands of the Gulf of Naples
The fame of Capri and Ischia begins in Roman times: the sweetness of the climate, the special atmosphere, the beauty of the vegetation and the sea make these Neapolitan islands two real worlds apart.
The Bay of the Gulf offers blue sea,
scents of Mediterranean scrub
and famous Dolce Vita.
Capri vs Ischia
In general it can be said that Capri is more glamour while Ischia more discreet, Capri is snob while Ischia is nouveau riche, Capri attracts international celebrities with its super luxury hotels and impeccable hospitality while Ischia is bigger and mature, Capri is more cinematographic and literary while Ischia offers its visitors the right mix of fun and relaxation.
Arm yourself with straw hat, bikini and flat leather sandals: welcome to the paradise of the Gulf of Naples.
Where do you want to go?
Capri and its two souls
One more glamorous, made of ultra-chic shopping, sumptuous restaurants and luxury boats and another more natural, of breathtaking views and Mediterranean beauties.
The island of Capri is made up of Capri – the most socialite side of the island – and the town of Anacapri – the quietest part of the island – and covers an area of about 10 square kilometers for a total of 17 km coast.
The Gulf of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and the Port of Marina Grande are just some of the panoramas that you can see walking through the streets of the town. Especially at sunset it is difficult to see where the sea ends and sky begins.
Ischia, the green island
With the shape of a trapezoid, a stunned beauty, renowned for its thermal baths and wellness centers.
The island consists of six municipalities: Barano d’Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Forio, Ischia, Lacco Ameno and Serrara Fontana for a total of 63,000 inhabitants.
The highest point is that of Mount Epomeo at the center of the island, a subdued submarine volcano of which only the tip remains.
Shopping and nightlife
In Capri do not miss the promenade in the Piazzetta (Piazza Umberto I), one of the world’s most exclusive lounges, where you can find the international jet set among the coffee tables or luxury boutiques. Small but charming, in the past it was home to the fish market, today a place of encounter for locals and tourists.
The luxury shopping triangle in Capri goes from Piazza Umberto I to Via Camerelle and Via Le Botteghe. In Anacapri, along via Giuseppe Orlandi Street, you will find many craft shops, while souvenir shops are centered along the road leading to Villa San Michele.
– Via delle Botteghe: here craft accessories such as the beautiful high quality sunglasses Capri People and design items for your home.
– For ceramics a compulsory stage is the laboratory of one of the last ceramists remaining on the Island: Cecilia Sbandi. This wonderful workshop is located in Via Camerelle. Here you can buy items created specifically for you and personalized like the typical Capri tiles and the lucky ceramic bells.
– Custom-made Capri sandals. The artisan sandals, (Da Costanzo, Canfora) among the oldest on the island, are also loved by most popular fashion bloggers around the world who come to Capri go looking for non-conventional items and must have! Jacqueline Kennedy here made create a model specifically for her.
– For silk scarves the boutique Grakko in Anacapri. Como’s silk and many variations of charms and hooks to be applied are waiting for you.
– The historic Pierino jewelery to buy the Campanella of Capri, you can choose from hundreds of models and colors.
– A bottle of the best Italian limoncello together with an excellent caprese cake with cocoa and almond. Here you will really be spoiled for choice, because these two products represent the excellence of island food.
– In Piazzetta, under the famous clock, La Parisienne boutique, which since 1906 is one of the greatest symbols of Capri fashion. The multibrand boutique offers sophisticated and elegant styles.
– Adrian’s and Capri Couture, from the 1960s to today has never stopped producing the luxury prêt-à-porter, keeping alive the precious tradition of Caprese craftsmanship: kaftans, printed silk tunics, colored dresses with crystals.
– In Via Vittorio Emanuele and Via Camerelle the boutiques of Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu and Moschino.
– Capri Watch. The brand was founded in the ’90s by Silvio Staiano, but in fact the store’s business dates back to 1964, when its parents sold handmade ceramic items.
– The Chantecler boutique, which has exported Capri style all over the world.
– The handmade perfume. Turning around the island you will notice several perfume workshops. It is an ancient tradition, begun in 1400 by the monks of the Charterhouse of St. James (Carthusia).
Already from the aperitifs people pour into the Piazzetta, where is always possible having a drink before eating dinner in one of the many Capri restaurants and have fun on the notes of live Neapolitan classics. In Capri is easy to meet the most famous characters in the entertainment world and all the international jet set.
Ischia will not disappoint you, giving you a fantastic shopping experience, including luxury brands, handicraft boutiques and souvenir shops.
– Corso Vittoria Colonna at Ischia Porto is definitely ideal for your purchases or even just for a walk in the evening. There are many fashion stores and boutiques. Going down the course, you arrive in via Roma, a very central street just a few steps from the marina. Here too, there are plenty of clothing stores, as well as small craft shops, typical products, restaurants and bars. Among the brands we remember RED Valentino, Yamamay, Benetton and Camomilla.
– In Ischia Porto and in Forio the Ancient Sartoria by Giacomo Cinque, a fashion brand that has led the hippy-chic style of Positano in many Italian cities.
– In Corso Vittoria Colonna and Via Roma, you will find the boutique La Caprese Più, which for over 50 years is a reference on Ischia Island in the distribution of luxury clothing fashion and accessories.
– In Lacco Ameno corso Angelo Rizzoli, the main avenue of the town, dedicated to the famous publisher, who in the second half of the last century was the great artisan of the tourist development of this town and of the whole island. The course is very elegant and noble, you can find shops of all kinds, from clothing to local products and all kinds of souvenir.
– between clothing and typical Ischitan products are the craft sandals of Mario d’Ischia. In the two stores, widely devoted to women’s and beach fashionable, dominate natural fabrics and crude linen. The most fascinating thing of the past is certainly the on demand production of Ischitian handmade sandals, garnished with coral and turquoise paste, and customizable according to the specific requirements of the customer.
– Natural cosmetics are famous across Ischia. From soaps to body lotions, passing through face and hair care products, there are many boutiques to choose the most suitable items for your needs.
– In Forio, Essence, the artistic perfumery of the island of Ischia, with a very sought-after assortment, with handmade and exclusive brands.
– In Sant’Angelo there are plenty of shops in the suburbs of the village: from high fashion boutiques to craft shops where you can buy souvenirs and ceramic objects
– Delightful the village of Ischia Ponte: Via Mazzella is a real outdoor gallery where you can relax by strolling. Jewelers, gift shops and boutiques of taste and gastronomic tradition
– The typical amaro of the island, the Rucolino. It is a rucola bitter that can be served both iced and at room temperature.
Whether you have chosen beach life, art or relax, the island in the evening offers so much fun: you can opt for one of the many fashionable locales in Ischia Porto, or for any restaurant or pizzeria where is served the typical Ischia rabbit. The island is also famous for the Ischia Film Festival, which takes place each year in June in the splendid setting of the Aragonese Castle: the event features on the island the glam that has celebrated it over the years.
The characteristic guardians of Capri: the Faraglioni. Three small rocky islands, not far from the shore, creating a scenic and landscaping effect; they have also been assigned names to distinguish them: Terra or Saetta for that attached to the mainland, Middle or Stella for the one to the other two and Faraglione di Fuori or Scopolo for the farthest from the island. Sculpted by the action of the wind and the sea reflect the wild beauty of the island, always fascinating and mysterious.
Grotta Azzurra (Blue Cave)
From the center of Anacapri you can reach by bus the famous Grotta Azzurra, always able to offer a spectacle absolutely unmissable. Water refracts the sunlight that thus illuminates the cave with enchanting blue sapphire glow at any time of the day. During low tide the boats can navigate through the narrow entrance into the cave. And if you have a private boat, wait for the crowd to leave in the late afternoon. Swim in the intense blue waters will be a unique experience without anyone around.
Marina Grande is the largest beach on the island, and despite its proximity to the harbor, it always reserves transparent and clean water, perfect even for those traveling with children. Ferries arrive at Marina Grande, with its typical fishermen’s colored houses. The colorful marina, with shops, cafés and restaurants overlooking the sea, immediately urges the desire to become the protagonists of the island. And it’s a vacation right away.
Marina Piccola, not far away, can also be reached by bus: here is always warm, so that you can swim in front of the Faraglioni even in the beautiful winter days. The ideal time of day to enjoy this cave is in the morning. On clear afternoons it is advisable the location of Faro, from which to admire the sunset over the sea.
Our picks for beaches:
Villa D’Alessandro 9.0 Casa Gaia 9.4
The island is also famous for its sea; in fact, many tourists pour into one of the many beaches already equipped early in the morning and wait for the sunset to enjoy an aperitif before dinner time. Among the island’s beaches the most particular are Sorgeto, in Panza, corner of Ischia Forio and the Maronti beach in the municipality of Barano.
Sorgeto is a real open-air spa and can be reached by boat, or rising about two hundred steps or by taxi boat from the nearby port of Sant’Angelo. In this area the water is very hot because thermalism is present directly in the sea. The encounter between seawater with thermal water creates hot and minerals tubs by releasing therapeutic vapors that benefit the physicist.
The Maronti beach stretches for about 3 km and can be reached by bus, by car or by using the taxi boat service from the port of Sant’Angelo. Surrounded by green hills overlooking the sea, it is the beach most frequented by islanders. There are also many restaurants nearby.
Finally, the sea around the island, a spectacle of colors and underwater life, has been declared a protected marine area. From seaweed to coral to dolphins, everything in this corner of the Tyrrhenian Sea called “Kingdom of Neptune” contributes to making the seabed a real submarine paradise.
The volcanic nature of Ischia is evident in the numerous and famous thermal springs that characterize: the “health island” has 69 fumarolic groups, 29 thermal springs and 103 spring emergencies, this island is the perfect destination even for a rejuvenating weekend.
Our picks for beaches:
La Bella Forianella 9.3 Villa Sole&Mare 8.4
How to reach Capri and Ischia
For both islands numerous daily connections depart almost every hour from Naples-Beverello or Naples-Mergellina ports.
For Capri: approximately 50 minutes for hydrofoil (about 20 EUR) and 80 minutes for ferry (less fast and cheaper).
For Ischia: approximately 45 minutes and one hour from Naples-Beverello by hydrofoil, depending on the port of landing (Casamicciola, Ischia Porto or Forio) at about 20 EUR.
– The Charterhouse of San Giacomo, an impressive 14th-century complex on the sea, is now home to the Capri Classical Liceum, but over the centuries it has had multiple destinations, monasteries, barracks, and hospitals.
– The Church of Santa Sofia from the baroque facade, the church of San Michele Arcangelo with an original tiled floor depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, the Red House, with an unmistakable red Pompeian.
– Beautiful glimpses also from the Belvedere della Migliara in Anacapri, and from that of the Painter, above the point of Castiglione.
Stage at Augusto Gardens: just above the picturesque and panoramic via Krupp, the botanical garden houses varieties of native flowers and plants and above all one of the most scenic scenery not only of Capri but of all Italy.
In Capri the villas are synonymous with exclusivity and glamour.
Villa Jovis is on a hill that can be reached with a 3-hour walk but so much effort is paid off by the breathtaking views of the whole Gulf of Naples. The other residence, Villa Damecuta, is located in Anacapri.
Villa San Michele was chosen as home by Axel Munthe, a Swedish psychiatrist and writer. In addition to being a beautiful place full of light, it also houses the Munthe art collection, archaeological treasures and a sphinx overlooking the sea. The view from the terrace is spectacular. Concerts and cultural events take place in the evening in the chapel or on the gardens of the villa.
Monuments, gardens and museums
– In Lacco Ameno there is the Archaeological Museum and the famous Nestor’s Cup at Villa Arbusto.
– The Aragonese Castle at Ischia Ponte, whose entrance is possible through a long 400m tunnel excavated straight into the rock.
– Gardens Ravino, a tropical-Mediterranean botanical park in Forio.
– The Garden Museum, better known as La Mortella, in Forio.
Special Wellness and Thermae
Ischia, blessed with dreamy beaches and crystal clear waters, is largely of volcanic origin and renowned for its magnificent thermal springs, loved by Italians and foreigners.
In fact, the island is known as one of the European thermal capitals, with its 103 sources, 69 fumarolic groups and 29 spa groups with therapeutic and curative properties.
Poseidon is the largest Spa on the island, here you can dive into one of the 22 healing spa pools, each with a specific function. A large equipped area allows the many visitors to dine or sip a drink in the shade of the centuries-old trees that distinguish the area.
And do not miss the Negombo Thermal Park in the bay of San Montano: a labyrinth of thermal pools, bars and restaurants on the sea.