Here’s a look at Capri, Ischia and Procida, three wonderful islands of Campania.
Capri: Luxury and beauty
Luxury, a carefree life, the scent of lemons and the blue sea constitute Capri in our collective imaginations. Capri is one of the world’s most famous islands, known for its nature and especially for its atmosphere that has enchanted artists, visitors and prominent jet-setters over the decades. It is no coincidence that Dolce&Gabbana has created a perfume inspired by the island and even shot the ad at one of the most famous locales. In fact, a prominent fashion editor chose the island as the location for her extravagant three-day wedding. However, Capri was a hot spot long before the fashion cognoscenti came to appreciate its aesthetics.
During the nineteenth century, Capri became a destination for Bohemians. The came from all over Europe to dedicate themselves to artistic and literary otium. The opening of the Grand Hotel Quisisana in 1861 drew nobility, royalty and various political and industrial personalities to Capri. During the second half of the twentieth century, high society swarmed the island for parties and elegant dinners. Throughout the island’s history, there’s been one constant: Piazzetta Capri, the beating heart of the island, has always been the place to see and be seen.
In addition to the glitz and glamour, Capri is known for its breathtaking nature. Swim around the protruding rocks or sail into the legendary Blue Grotto known for its transparent turquoise water. The gorgeously flowered terraces of the Gardens of Augustus offer an amazing view of the sea and rocks. Surrounded by a pine forest, Villa Damecuta, a residence of Roman Emperor Tiberius near the Blue Grotto, has amazing sea views. Also, don’t miss the church of St. Anne.
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Ischia, a magical and mysterious island
An island where nature and magic harmonize to reveal some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll ever see. The Lovers Rock resembling two lovers about to kiss emerges from the sea in Forio while legend says that the distinctly shaped Mushroom Rock in Lacco Ameno looks like a large hat concealing a couple of lovers. Magical Ischia has rich thermal waters with healing hot springs that give rise to the Poseidon Gardens. Founded in 1959 by Gernot Walde, a German humanist doctor, these gardens overlooking the Bay of Citara have been redesigned and restructured several times over the years by great architects. The sea and the beaches are obviously incredible, the Belvedere of Zaro offers a glorious view of the island.
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Procida: literature, nature and legend
The seemingly stacked pastel-colored houses of Procida’s Marina Grande make for a welcome you won’t soon forget. Located in the Gulf of Mermaids, Procida is the island where Italian writer Elsa Morante set her book Arturo, a masterpiece of contemporary Italian literature. The island also serves as the backdrop for Massimo Troisi 1994 film The Postman. The island’s fascinating architecture, panoramic views, flourishing vineyards, fragrant lemon groves, sandy beaches, rocky inlets, blue water and twisted alleys inspired the poignant story of Graziella, the most beautiful girl on the island. In his 1852 novel, Alphonse de Lamartine tells of a love story with a fisherman’s daughter, the book’s eponymous heroine. Graziella has become a myth of sorts, a symbol of Procida to whom the Sagra del Mare has been dedicated for the last 50 years. During the popular festival, participant vote for a Graziella wearing typical Procida garb. You can also visit Palazzo d’Avalos, a former Bourbon prison located on top of the medieval fortress.