Capri, Italy Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Capri, Italy

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Capri is the tiny island just out in the Bay of Naples. To get to the island, it's best to take a hydrofoil from one of the two marinas at either end of the bay. It takes about 45 minutes but make sure you look out for the marina as you pull in, as the town of Capri is simply stunning.

Capri is famous for many things apart from the rich and famous people who live there. Lemons are in season all year round and this is the staple for the drink that is made on the island - Limoncello.

Limoncello is a strongish aperitif tasting, funnily enough, of lemons. There is a danger that the alcohol will burn the backs of unsuspecting throats - to counteract this, there is a brand of limoncello that has cream in it. It's absolutely scrummy but a bit sickly in warm weather. If you want to see how it is made, there is a distillery in Anacapri, the island's second town.

The island is also famous for its perfumes - there is an old Carthusian monastery in Capri town proper which is now a school - however, next door there is a perfumery that possesses all the recipes which have been handed down from monks who used to produce the scents that the island is famous for.

Most tourists head straight for the Blue Grotto. To get there, you must take a tourist boat from the main marina and the journey lasts about 20 minutes - on the way you past the houses of people like Ferrari, the baths of Tiberius and an old set of Phoenician steps, all perched along the cliff face. After the steps, you'll arrive at a watery bottle neck as there are numerous boats all waiting to get into line for the grotto. This is the brave bit: you have to transfer from your motor boat to a tiny row boat, and you'll get three to a boat and an oarsman. He will direct you to what looks like a sheer rock cliff - never fear though there is a tiny hole to go through and you will have to duck very low. Once inside the view is simply stunning. The blue of the water is so unique that it beggars description. The colour is caused by light refracting through water via a gap in the rock face. The grotto was used by Tiberius as a set of baths and there are remains of Roman structures and a tunnel leading to a Palace above ground. The tour lasts about 15 minutes and the boat men usually sing opera - badly.

Once you come out of the Grotto, you have two options. You can either take the boat back to the main harbour, or take an open-topped Mercedes Benz taxi to Anacapri. This is the island's second town and is famous for the calm peaceful aura it projects. There is the usual tat but head for the sandal maker's - he's made them for Jackie Onassis, and Gracie Fields. The sandals last a lifetime.

While here, go visit the cemetery - morbid maybe, but not only will you get a great view but you can visit the tomb of Gracie Fields, the Lancastrian songstress turned international superstar of the 1930s and 1940s. Another notable who is buried on the island is Grahame Greene, novelist.

When you head back to Naples, be sure to get a seat on the outside of the hydrofoil so you can see Capri fading into the background and the spectacular Bay of Naples approach.

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