7 Epic Facts About Capri
Capri is by far one of the most interesting Italian islands. From being inhabited from the year 8 B.C. (that is a long time ago) to housing the Emperor of Rome, Tiberius, in the summer, and now being home to the origins of limoncello, as well as the location of where many Giorgio Armani commercials are filmed, you should get to know this island....
Most importantly, our Rome & Amalfi Coast trip heads to Capri, and it is by far one of our favorite days on the trip. So, without further a due, let's dive in to some of our favorite fun facts about Capri (with pictures).
1. Capri is believed to have been first inhabited by the Greeks
Yep, the Greeks. Remains found in the year 1882 on Capri have been carbon dated as far back as the year 8 B.C. and remnants of town buildings have been found on either side of the island (between Capri town and Anacapri) that suggest two different villages were first made here. Capri probably was (and still is) a prime spot for fishing due to it's position in the Bay of Napoli and is thought to have been first inhabited by the Teleboi peoples of Cumae.
2. Yes, the Caprese Salad originated in Capri
The Caprese salad does indeed come from this amazing island. And while it was first originally served as an entree, it has now become a popular appetizer around the world, and was first served to royalty and visitors from around the world who came to Capri and brought this incredible dish back to their home countries.
Made with fresh ingredients of tomatoes, mozzarella, a pinch of salt & pepper, as well as fresh basil, this unique dish was born from the hillside farms of Capri and is recognized globally as a culinary staple.
3. The Blue Grotto was used as a personal swimming hole for Emperor Tiberius
Emperor Tiberius ruled from the year 14 AD to his death in 37 AD and used the Blue Grotto as his personal swimming hole during his summer retreats to the island of Capri. The Blue Grotto retains it's name due to how the light hits and filters out colors in the red spectrum, allowing only the bluest of blue colors to be seen within the cave. It is a natural wonder of the world, and brings in thousands of visitors to this cave each and every year.
It costs about 12 euro to have a boat drop you off in the cave where you can swim in the same waters as Emperor Tiberius once did nearly 2,000 years ago. Statues of various gods have been removed from the 1960's through 2009 that were once believed to have been placed there for Emperor Tiberius' personal viewing pleasure.
4. One of the most recognizable landmarks of Capri is the Faraglioni AKA 'The Monster's Teeth'
One of the most recognizable sites in Capri are the 'Faraglioni' or often known as the Monster's Teeth. These three rocks skyrocketing out of the ocean can be seen from miles away and have a distinct feature like none other.
The first, Stella, is still attached to the mainland island, with Faraglione di Mezzo and Faraglione of Outwards stretching into the sea. You can cruise through the Faraglioni on a boat tour around the island, and is said to bring good luck if you pass through them. However, you must offer a kiss to someone as you pass through.
P.S. the Faraglioni can be seen in countless Italian fashion brand commercials such as Giorgi Armani, Calvin Klein & many more.
5. Over the summer season, tourists are prohibited from using cars
The roads in Capri can be quite dangerous. From hairpin turns, to steep drives and death-defying curves, the island of Capri can be so harrowing the island's government decided to ban tourists from driving around the island in the summer.
With more than several thousand people coming to the island each and every single day, the island adopting for a more robust system of public transportation, and is known for several challenging hikes around the island, including the 'Steps of God,' as well as the hike up to the peak of Capri, known as Monte Solaro.
Either way, you do not need a car to drive around Capri, as the island is nearly the same size as New York's Central Park and is more than walkable in every direction.
6. About 80% of the people on Capri on any given day are tourists
Capri and Anacapri (the two towns on Capri) only total about 13,000 people. Yet, Capri is visited by more than two million people a year. And about 80% of all the people on Capri at any given time in the summer are usually tourists coming from either Naples, Sorrento, or on a cruise around Italy.
Now, that's a lot of people....the Mayor of Capri Town has also tried to come up with solutions, such as limiting the amount of people who can come to Capri each day.
7. Almost half of the population of Capri died due to the plague in the 17th Century
When the bubonic plague arrived at the island in the 17th century, there were only 755 inhabitants on the island.
The epidemic ravaged the island, killing over 300 people who had once lived there. During this time, the monks from Certosa di San Giacomo, Capri’s Carthusian monastery, remained isolated, living within the confines of their charterhouse.
With the death toll rising as the plague spread throughout the island, levels of resentment aimed at the monks had dramatically increased due to their unwillingness to help. So the residents of Capri took revenge, throwing the corpses of the diseased over the monastery walls.