A Day Trip from Sorrento to Capri: Island Paradise Awaits


Nestled in the embrace of the Tyrrhenian Sea, just a short ferry ride from Sorrento, lies the enchanting island of Capri. Renowned for its azure waters, rugged coastline, and vibrant culture, Capri beckons travelers for a day of exploration and relaxation. Embarking on a day trip from Sorrento to Capri is a journey into a world where nature and luxury coalesce, offering an array of experiences that will leave you captivated.

Ferry Ride to Capri – Scenic Voyage

Begin your day trip with a picturesque ferry ride from Sorrento to Capri, a journey that takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. As you glide across the Tyrrhenian Sea, soak in the stunning views of the Sorrentine Peninsula’s coastline, with its towering cliffs and charming fishing villages. The ferry ride itself becomes a prelude to the beauty that awaits on the island.

Arriving in Marina Grande – the Gateway to Capri

Your adventure unfolds as you step ashore in Marina Grande, Capri’s main harbor. This bustling port town welcomes visitors with colorful buildings lining the waterfront, traditional fishing boats bobbing in the harbor, and the scent of sea salt lingering in the air. Take a moment to absorb the vibrant atmosphere before setting out to explore the island’s treasures.

Capri’s Signature Attractions

Capri Town and Piazzetta

Located in the heart of Capri, the Piazzetta is often referred to as the world’s living room, where time seems to slow down. Locals affectionately call it “la piazza” or, in dialect, “a chiazz.” On maps, it goes by the name Piazza Umberto I, but to the rest of the world, it is simply La Piazzetta—the vibrant epicenter of the island. It’s practically impossible to arrive in Capri and not wind your way through this square, maneuvering between the charming tables of its cafes.

In the Piazzetta, you’ll find the quaint village newsstand and the small tourist information office of the Tourism Board. On one side, facing the staircase, stands the imposing Municipio (Town Hall). However, the true stars of the scene are the cafes, one at every corner of the square, adorned with small wicker tables. It’s the gathering place for everyone, celebrities and locals alike, indulging in a coffee, an aperitif, or a post-dinner cocktail. It’s the perfect spot for casual conversations, people-watching, and, quite often, being seen.

What does it cost to sit at a Piazzetta cafe? A cup of coffee at a table typically costs around 5 euros, while an aperitif ranges around 12 euros.

In times past, the Piazzetta of Capri served as the lively center of local life, hosting markets for vegetables, fish, and occasionally meat—a rare commodity at the time. In 1938, a young Caprese named Raffaele Vuotto arranged a few tables, transforming the Piazzetta into a more sophisticated space. Since then, it has become a focal point for social life, shifting from hotels and private homes. Today, it is a global living room where, on summer evenings, monarchs, Hollywood actors, and everyday people gather side by side.

How to Reach the Piazzetta of Capri? Regardless of where you find yourself on the island, you’ll inevitably stumble upon the Piazzetta. From the Marina Grande port, a funicular ride takes you directly, while from Anacapri, a bus stopping a short walk away is the preferred mode of transportation.

What to Do Once in the Piazzetta?

  • Enjoy a leisurely coffee.
  • Stroll down Corso Vittorio Emanuele and continue on Via Camerelle for some shopping in Capri (or simply admire the luxury brand displays).
  • Visit the Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio (right behind the Piazzetta) for insights into Capri’s ancient history.

Anacapri and Villa San Michele

Villa San Michele stands as the lifelong achievement of Axel Munthe, a Swedish physician and author (1857–1949), on the captivating island of Capri. Nestled against the backdrop of the Barbarossa mountain, which Axel Munthe transformed into a haven for migratory birds, the villa boasts an award-winning garden, recently honored as Italy’s most beautiful private park.

Anacapri, Villa San Michele | Picture By Berthold Werner

The compelling narrative of Axel Munthe’s life and the genesis of the villa unfolds in his acclaimed work, “The Story of San Michele” (1929), a literary masterpiece that became one of the earliest international bestsellers in the modern era.

This enthralling tale, once embraced by readers worldwide, now lives on within the walls of Villa San Michele, echoing through its rooms, enchanting garden, and the watchful gaze of an Egyptian sphinx perched silently on the balustrade, overlooking the sea.

Opening Hours:

  • Villa San Michele: 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (last entry at 3:00 pm)
  • Café Casa Oliv: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Closure Details (December to end of February 2024):

  • Closed on Tuesdays (including December 26 and January 2)
  • Limited hours on December 25: 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (last entry at 1:00 pm)

The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra):

No visit to Capri is complete without a trip to the Blue Grotto, a natural sea cave illuminated by an ethereal blue light. Weather permitting, board a small boat and enter this mesmerizing cavern to witness the enchanting play of light on the water.

Blue Grotto, Capri | Picture By Glen Scarborough

Glide through a tiny stone portal aboard a wooden rowboat, skillfully navigated by your skipper. As you enter the meter-high cave mouth, transition from darkness to a sparkling cavern illuminated by azure blue light. The crystalline blue waters, untouched in the photos, create an ethereal experience, making it a must-see marvel on Capri island.

Essential Information for Your Visit

Getting There:

  • By Bus: From Anacapri or by boat from Marina Grande.

Opening Hours:

  • Daily: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (weather permitting).
  • Closed: Rough seas or high winds, December 25th, and January 1st.

Entrance Fee:

  • EUR 18/person (equivalent to museum entry).

How to Reach the Blue Grotto:

  • Tour Boat: Purchase tickets at Marina Grande for island tours or a roundtrip to the Blue Grotto.
  • Private Boat: Anchor near the cave and signal rowboats for pick-up, or hire a private gozzo from Marina Grande.
  • Walking/Bus: Walk from Anacapri or take a bus from Piazza della Pace.

Best Time to Visit:

  • Strongest light: Noon to 2:00 p.m., spectacular reflections throughout the morning.
  • Avoid heavily overcast days.

Entrance Costs:

  • Tickets: EUR 18 (EUR 11 for rowboat).
  • Discounts: Free for children under 6, EU citizens under 18, and a 50% discount for 18–25.

Visit Tips:

  • No swimming allowed.
  • Consideration for kids due to long waits.
  • Visit lasts about 5 minutes; average tour time is 2 hours.

Grotto Closure:

  • Weather-dependent; check for updates at the Motoscafisti di Capri pier after 9 a.m.
  • Closed during winter months, potentially open during mild weather.

Why So Blue?

  • Sunlight filtered through an underwater opening creates the vibrant azure color.
  • Silver reflections caused by tiny bubbles refracting light on submerged objects.

Historical Tidbits:

  • Roman temple during Tiberius’ reign; legends kept sailors away until 1826.

How to Get There:

  • Boat: 10 minutes from Marina Grande or part of an island tour.
  • Bus: 15 minutes from Anacapri’s Piazza Vittoria.
  • Foot: 40 minutes from Viale T. de Tommaso via Via Pagliaro and Via Grotta Azzurra.

Monte Solaro

For panoramic vistas that stretch across the Gulf of Naples, ascend to the summit of Monte Solaro. Whether you choose to hike or take the chairlift, the breathtaking views from the highest point on the island are a highlight of any visit to Capri. At 589 meters above sea level, Monte Solaro stands as Capri’s highest and most panoramic point, offering a breathtaking panorama that spans the entire island, the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and even glimpses of the mountains of Calabria.

Journeying to the Summit:

  • Chairlift: The most convenient option, a 12-minute ride from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri.
  • Bus: Stop at Anacapri from Capri, then ascend the steps at Piazza Vittoria.
  • On Foot: A scenic hike takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

Chairlift Operation Hours and Prices:

  • May/October: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • March and April: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • November/February: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: EUR 14 return, EUR 11 single (Check for variations at info-points in Marina Grande or Piazzetta).

Interesting Phenomenon: Acchiappanuvole (Cloud Catcher):

Known locally as the “cloud catcher,” Monte Solaro often experiences a thick fog, especially at dawn and dusk. The thermal contrast between the sea and rock creates a mist that forms a crown of clouds, revealing segments of the island below when the wind clears parts of the cloud.

Exploring Cetrella:

Situated at approximately 476 meters, Cetrella is an area near Monte Solaro, known for the lemon-scented herb “erba cetra” and a hermitage dedicated to Santa Maria a Cetrella. The hermitage, dating back to the sixteenth century, features a small church, bell tower, and sacristy. The church, not always open to the public, holds an image of St. Maria, significant to Anacapri’s sailors.

Barbarossa Castle:

Perched on the cliffs northeast of Anacapri, around 412 meters above sea level, the ruins of Barbarossa Castle offer a glimpse into history. Named after the Ottoman admiral “red beard,” the castle, constructed between the tenth and twelfth centuries, is generally closed to the public, but guided tours may be arranged. Check with Capri’s Tourist Information Office for tour availability.

Experience the allure of Monte Solaro, where nature’s grandeur unfolds in every direction, and history whispers through ancient structures perched high above the azure waters.

A Taste of Capri

When it comes to indulging in the finer things in life, Capri does not disappoint. The captivating Italian island, nestled in the Bay of Naples, is not just a feast for the eyes but a culinary haven that promises a symphony of flavors to enchant your palate.

Seafood Extravaganza: Capri’s coastal location gifts it an abundance of fresh seafood. Delight in delectable dishes like “Spaghetti alle Vongole,” where tender clams perfectly complement al dente pasta. Savor the ocean’s bounty at waterfront trattorias, where the catch of the day is transformed into culinary masterpieces.

Limoncello Delights: Capri is synonymous with Limoncello, the zesty lemon liqueur that captures the essence of the island. Sip this sunshine-infused elixir as a refreshing aperitif or indulge in Limoncello-infused desserts that dance on your taste buds. The island’s lemon groves contribute to a vibrant palette of flavors.

Rustic Pizzas and Local Delicacies: Immerse yourself in the authentic tastes of Capri with rustic pizzas that boast local ingredients. From the classic Margherita to unique toppings featuring fresh produce, every slice is a journey through the island’s culinary heritage. Don’t forget to try “Ravioli Capresi,” a pasta delicacy filled with caciotta cheese and marjoram.

Alfresco Dining with a View: Capri’s charm extends to its alfresco dining experiences. Picture yourself savoring exquisite dishes on a terrace overlooking the azure sea, with the sun setting in the backdrop. The island’s renowned “Da Paolino” restaurant, nestled in a lemon grove, offers an enchanting setting for a memorable dining experience.

Sweet Endings: No culinary exploration is complete without indulging your sweet tooth. Capri entices with divine desserts, from creamy Tiramisu to the island’s specialty, “Torta Caprese,” a chocolate and almond cake that embodies the essence of bliss.

Recommended Restaurants in Capri

Da Paolino:

  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Highlight: Nestled in a charming lemon grove, Da Paolino offers a unique dining experience. The ambiance is both rustic and romantic. Grilled dishes are a specialty, and the extensive wine list complements the flavors.
  • Address: Via Palazzo a Mare, 11, 80073 Capri NA, Italy
  • Website: Da Paolino


  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Neapolitan
  • Highlight: With a rich history, Aurora is renowned for serving authentic Caprese cuisine. The menu includes a variety of seafood and pasta dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
  • Address: Via Fuorlovado, 18, 80073 Capri NA, Italy


  • Cuisine: Italian, Seafood
  • Highlight: Mamma provides stunning sea views along with a diverse menu featuring fresh seafood and homemade pasta. The ambiance is both relaxed and elegant.
  • Address: Via Campo di Teste, 4, 80073 Capri NA, Italy

Il Riccio – Capri Palace:

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Seafood
  • Highlight: Boasting a Michelin star, Il Riccio is located seaside and is celebrated for its gourmet seafood and pasta dishes. The setting is luxurious, offering a memorable dining experience.
  • Address: Via Gradola, 4, 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
  • Website: Il Riccio

La Fontelina:

  • Cuisine: Seafood, Mediterranean
  • Highlight: Perched on the cliffs with a breathtaking view of the Faraglioni rocks, La Fontelina specializes in fresh seafood. The atmosphere is both glamorous and relaxed.
  • Address: Via Faraglioni, 1, 80073 Capri NA, Italy
  • Website: La Fontelina

Ristorante Michel’angelo:

  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Highlight: Michel’angelo offers a picturesque terrace with panoramic views. The menu features classic Italian and Caprese dishes, and the warm ambiance complements the delightful cuisine.
  • Address: Via Sella Orta, 10, 80073 Capri NA, Italy

Terrazza Brunella:

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Seafood
  • Highlight: With stunning terrace views, Terrazza Brunella is known for its seafood and local specialties. The setting is romantic, making it an ideal spot for a memorable evening.
  • Address: Via Tragara, 24, 80073 Capri NA, Italy
  • Website: Terrazza Brunella

Da Gelsomina:

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Neapolitan
  • Highlight: A charming family-run establishment, Da Gelsomina offers traditional island recipes. The restaurant provides panoramic views, and the warm hospitality adds to the overall experience.
  • Address: Via Migliara, 72, 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
  • Website: Da Gelsomina


  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
  • Highlight: Situated waterside, Verginiello is known for its fresh seafood and regional cuisine. The ambiance is relaxed, offering a delightful setting for a leisurely meal.
  • Address: Via Marina Piccola, 7, 80073 Capri NA, Italy

Ristorante Pulalli Wine Bar:

  • Cuisine: Italian, Seafood
  • Highlight: With a cozy atmosphere, Pulalli Wine Bar offers a diverse menu with a focus on local ingredients. The restaurant provides a welcoming environment for both locals and visitors.
  • Address: Via Longano, 35, 80073 Capri NA, Italy
  • Website: Pulalli Wine Bar

These restaurants not only offer delicious cuisine but also provide a true taste of the unique and vibrant culinary scene on the island of Capri. Enjoy your culinary journey!

Practical Tips for Your Day Trip

  1. Ferry Schedule: Check the ferry schedule in advance and plan your departure and return times to maximize your time on Capri.
  2. Comfortable Footwear: Capri’s terrain can be hilly and uneven, so wear comfortable footwear suitable for walking and exploring.
  3. Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the Mediterranean sun.
  4. Cash and Cards: While many places accept cards, it’s advisable to carry some cash for small shops and local vendors.
  5. Blue Grotto Timing: The Blue Grotto is best visited in the morning when the sunlight creates the vibrant blue hues inside the cave.

A day trip from Sorrento to Capri is a journey into a Mediterranean dreamscape—a fusion of natural wonders, cultural richness, and culinary delights. Whether you’re captivated by the allure of the Blue Grotto, enchanted by the charm of Capri Town, or savoring the island’s culinary treasures, each moment unfolds as a testament to Capri’s timeless allure. So, embark on this day trip, and let the magic of Capri leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

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