Island Hopthe Bayone Week

Capri, the most famous of Naples' three bay islands, has long exerted a powerful hold on the public imagination. But be sure to also explore Ischia and Procida; you'll be rewarded with stunning gardens, tumbledown fishing villages, beaches and castles.

From Sorrento (p204) jump on a ferry to glamorous Capri (pi72), the day trip capital of the Med. Once you've explored diminutive Capri Town (pl74) and visited the spellbinding Grotta Azzurra (pi78), walk up to Villa Jovis (pi 76), the remains of Tiberius' main island residence. In Anacapri (pi77) check out Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele (pi77) and hitch a chair lift to the top of Monte Solaro (pi 77).

To the northwest, Ischia (pi88) is an easy ferry crossing away. Best known for its thermal waters, the island boasts fine beaches and some spectacular scenery. Investigate the landmark CastelloAragonese (pi92) before heading over to Forio on the western coast. Here the gardens of La Mortella (pi94) are considered among Italy's finest, with more than 1000 rare and exotic plants. For a dip in the sea, the Spiaggia dei Maronti (pi94) near Barano is a scenic spot.

Procida (p200) is the least developed and smallest of the islands. Tourism has arrived but Procida's pastel-coloured villages and quintessential 'islandscape' retain an authenticity that is not always apparent elsewhere. Visit the Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo (p201) and let the Castello d'Avalos prison (p201) give you the chills. Best of all, just hang out, potter around the pretty marinas, eat great seafood, or perhaps hire a boat for a day of leisurely beach-hopping.

From Capri's fabled caves and swish designer hang outs to Ischia's gardens and Procida's picturesque landscapes, this 42km route could be done in three orfour days. But give yourself a week, overnighting on each island, and you'll find yourself slowly relaxing into the pace of local life.

GulfofGaiUi (Golfo di Gaeta)

Bay of Naples (Golfo diNapoli)

Villa lovii


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