If you’re not spending several days on Capri hiking around it like us, you can still get an amazing panorama of the Faraglioni on your day trip. Close the center of Capri are the Augustus Gardens, comprised of a series of flower decked terraces overlooking the Faraglioni rising from the blue Tyrrhenian Sea to the left and the Bay of Marina Piccola to the right. The terraces and gardens were constructed in the 1930s and the flora of Capri form ornate picture frames for Capri’s breathtaking panoramas.
While in the gardens, be sure to find the Capri Sundial. The sundial was inspired by the Horologium, built by Augustus in 10 BC in Ancient Rome. The position of the sun on the sun dial measure the passing of time determined by the ancient rules.
The Certosa of San Giacomo (Carthusian Monastery), founded in 1371 by Count Giacomo Arcucci, is located just steps away from the Augustus Gardens. The monastery can be visited until 2pm daily (which we just missed) and there are gardens which are open to the public and are located just below the town of Capri. The gardens wind down through olive groves to terraces overlooking the azure sea and the Faraglioni.
If you’re looking for a souvenir to bring home from Capri, stop into the Carthusia perfume shop just outside of the monastery and Augustus Gardens. A visit to the shop will enlighten you to the legend of the first perfume made on the isle of Capri. Legend has it that in 1380, an unannounced visit to Capri by Queen Giovanna D’Angio prompted the Father Prior of the Certosa of San Giacomo to quickly arrange a large bouquet of flowers in the Queen’s honor using all the most beautiful flowers from the island. After three days, the water in which the flowers had been placed had acquired a scent of which was unknown to the Father Prior. With the aid of the Father Alchemist the Father Prior was able to trace the source of the fragrance to the “Garofilium Sivestre Caprese”, which became the very first perfume of Capri.
The same methods once used by the Carthusian monks are still used for the production of the Carthusia perfumes today. Each perfume is hand wrapped and makes quite a lovely gift!
Nearby Ristorante Il Geranio is located on the tree-lined avenue that leads to the Augustus Gardens and was a perfect place to enjoy the Faraglioni over wine and good food. The menu varies according to season and we enjoyed a clam saute followed by linguine with fresh saffron and mussels (which we really took a liking to eating our way along the Amalfi Coast).
Know Before You Go
- Capri can be reached by ferry from Sorrento or Naples from 5:30am – 8pm. Check the timetable for schedules.
- The Augustus Gardens are open from Easter to November and entrance is €1 per person.
- The Certosa of San Giacomo is open Tuesday – Sunday until 2pm and is free entry.
- The Cathusia factory is located at Viale Matteotti 2d
- Ristorante Il Geranio is located at Via Matteotti 8