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The glorious island of Capri is one of the treasures of the Italian coastline. It has been a favourite holiday spot since Roman times. The area around Capri is often known as the Siren Coast, because in mythology the island was the home of the sirens, whose haunting and seductive song lured sailors to their deaths. Today, the stylish island still lures people to its shores, attracted by its turquoise seas, sophisticated shops and top-class hotels. The two main centres are Capri town and Anacapri, and the island is the ideal destination for those seeking a glamorous holiday, rather than a cheap and cheerful resort.
The rugged coast means that Capri is not noted for its sandy beaches, but there are lots of pebbly coves and bays. One of the most popular beaches is Marina Piccola, on the south of the island, which is accessible by bus. Other beaches include Bagni di Tiberio on the northern coast. Beaches here are not free, and get very busy.
The classic tourist trip is a boat ride to Capri's famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a striking sea grotto that has inspired many painters and writers. Motorboats leave regularly from the main harbour, Marina Grande, and small rowing boats take you into the heart of the grotto. Better value is a full-day boat trip, taking in the whole island. Capri town is a pleasant place to stroll. Keen walkers can make the 45-minute walk from Piazza Umberto out to the ruins of Villa Jovis, Tiberius's main home on the island.
With its lack of sandy beaches and child-oriented attractions, Capri is not a resort that attracts those seeking cheap family fun. However, this is Italy and children will be made welcome. They should enjoy the boat trips, the ride up the funicular from the harbour to Capri town, and the chair lift that operates from the centre of Anacapri up to Monte Solaro, the island's highest point.
Anacapri is the quieter of the island's two towns, and less visited by tourists. Its attractions include the Chiesa di San Michele (Piazza San Nicola), a church with a vibrant floor of majolica tiles. You can also visit Casa Rosa (Via G Orlandi), a 19th-century house built by an American and now filled with paintings.