The best restaurants in Capri - Citimarks

Of cliffs and flowers


"A pianist friend once remarked that on the island, music becomes unnecessary; the richness of the scenery and the allure of the scents are so profound that they eclipse the pleasures one might derive from other senses."
Cesare De Seta, Capri, Eri-Mondadori, 1991.
chapter 1

Faraglioni rocks

The three “Faraglioni” rocks:

“Ah! You’re just like me,” she continued, “you can’t go ten minutes without stealing a glance at our beloved Faraglioni.”

The Faraglioni are precisely these rocks: three imposing formations nestled in the sea, firmly rooted in the landscape, commanding attention like three majestic buildings or three hats adorning a dresser—the top hat, the cap of an Augustus, the bicorne of a Napoleon. Yet, these hats appear slightly askew, as if tousled by a nervous hand in the midst of romantic discord, failed prestidigitation, or indecisive combat. […]

“Ah, it’s breathtaking!” he exclaimed, attempting to infuse his voice with reassurance and conviction.

The Countess smiled with a hint of pride.

“These rocks, these euphorbias…” […]

“…like oversized party lanterns,” Andrassy remarked with a smirk.

God knows the jest he was making of the euphorbias, the olive trees, and the Faraglioni—three seemingly inconsequential pebbles one might easily overlook elsewhere, but here they are, bathed in the sea… they must be bathed, don’t they? To think that people travel from the farthest corners of the globe to behold them, to marvel! How many honeymooners, how many photoshoots have taken place in their presence? The designated spot for such photography lies nearby, precisely at the bend in the road.

Newlyweds perch upon the low wall, their profiles exposed, their limbs languid; behind them, the three pebbles stand as indisputable evidence that their honeymoon was indeed spent in Capri—nowhere else but Capri! And others, consumed by envy, can only turn green with envy. […]

“Ah, you truly grasp the essence of Capri,” remarked the Countess to him.

Félicien Marceau,
Capri petite île, Gallimard, 1951
chapter 2

Garden of rare essences

Daria has large celestial eyes that shimmer in a pearl gray hue, while Ilaria’s gaze is adorned with big green eyes that transition into a more intense gray. Their figures are slender, graceful, bending like rushes. Their first steps were taken in an earthly paradise, where they embarked on the journey of play—chasing each other, hiding amidst the verdant beauty. This paradise was their domain, explored tirelessly in every corner: under the blazing sun of August’s hottest hours, as well as at dusk in the gentle autumn breeze, where protection against evening humidity was paramount. It was within this terrestrial Eden that they cultivated a deep familiarity with every plant, flower, and tree. From the sturdy boughs of a centuries-old olive tree hung their swing, a source of daily contention and endless discussions.

Through these experiences, they honed their ability to discern the most prevalent trees and plants of Capri’s flora: the silvery olive, the cypress trimmed at its peak, the delicate mimosa, the fragrant lemon, the majestic date palm, the vibrant oleander, the towering pine, and the eucalyptus with its gracefully drooping branches.

As they matured, their senses expanded to discern the intricate scents of the Mediterranean shrubland: the sweet fragrance of myrtle, the crisp aroma of juniper, the earthy scent of rosemary, the piquant tang of the caper bush, the resinous aroma of lentisk, the refreshing essence of aromatic mint, and even the modest yet persistent aroma of various herbs lining the pathways. To meet their ever more precise and pressing inquiries, I found myself delving deeper into their garden, striving to offer explanations that often fell short of the standards one might expect from a botanist—answers that might be deemed inadequate or mediocre in their depth and precision. […]

Wild brooms, adorned with vibrant yellow blooms, blanket the landscape of Capri, thriving even in the harshest of winters. However, their delicate fragrance is fleeting; should you dare to sever a branch, it vanishes entirely. In contrast, rosemary, lavender, myrtle, and wild fennel endure this test, retaining their aromatic essence. Thus, in Capri, one must engage not only their sight but also their sense of smell. A pianist friend once remarked that on the island, music becomes unnecessary; the richness of the scenery and the allure of the scents are so profound that they eclipse the pleasures one might derive from other senses.

Cesare De Seta,
Capri, Eri-Mondadori, 1991
chapter 3

Nonchalant nature

The sun casts its radiance upon the fields and dances upon the surface of the sea. All is hushed in the surrounding tranquility. […] A mysterious, divine breeze wafts gently, imbued with lightness and vitality, adding an ethereal touch to this midday serenity, akin to the spirit of a newfound madness. How gracefully Mount Solaro looms from this vantage point! What a noble mountain it is, exuding a sense of harmony and grandeur, reminiscent of the mountains of ancient Greece!

At the culmination of the steep incline, adorned with bushes among which countless small rocks emerge like white crests of waves, the trio of bare rocks emerges. Unadorned and gleaming under the sun or beneath the long cirrus clouds that the divine breeze carries like wisps of light veils. The clarity of the air renders them so proximate that one might almost reach out and touch them with a simple outstretched hand. These three masses, propelled by a lofty and sacred wind, progress in unison towards the open expanse of the sea […].

The road narrowed into a mere alleyway. Such is the nature of Capri’s roads: lackluster, yielding with no resolve, a true anomaly. Just when you need them most, they forsake you, only to reappear, albeit sporadically, moments later. These capricious thoroughfares resemble the bow strokes of a Hungarian violinist. Indeed, not long after, the alleyway itself vanishes, leaving me to navigate along the edge of fields, where pebbles form irregular lines that occasionally give way to abrupt slopes resembling dry riverbeds.

Amidst the profound silence, only the gentle rustle of leaves provides a semblance of sound, occasionally punctuated by the dull thud of a garden fork wielded by a solitary farmer, whose presence eludes me amidst the dense foliage of orange and lemon trees, and the somber shadows cast by ancient olive groves.

Swift as lightning, a lizard darts across the path, halting momentarily with its heart racing, fixing me with a gaze from atop a rock, before swiftly vanishing into a crevice between stones. Along the path, pointed aloes and Barbary figs form a verdant border. Yet, here, their broad, robust leaves remain unblemished by the eager touch of impassioned visitors. The wave of tourists has yet to reach these heights. Foreigners are a rarity in these elevated realms, and those encountered exude a rustic, local charm. […]

The path descends gently, illuminated by the resplendent glow of the sun. Amidst the dark foliage of ancient olive trees, bursts of red and white blooms emerge, a testament to the vitality of nature. Oh, Pallas, how your domain thrives.

An elderly woman, burdened with a bundle of vine shoots atop her head, accompanied by a patient goat, passes me by, disappearing into the labyrinthine network of vegetable gardens. The intersecting pathways present a dichotomy: one set ascends to “attack” the mountain, while the other descends towards the sea. Perched upon the low wall of a rustic homestead, a Nordic teenager with flowing locks and bared legs offers a greeting in accordance with local custom. […]

Before me, the sea extends in all its vastness. Two doors stand barred by sturdy padlocks. Channeling the audacity of a pirate, I clamber atop the wall and descend to the other side.

Alberto Savinio,
Capri, Le Promeneur, 1989

Capri for nature lovers

Discover scenic hiking trails and charming restaurants amidst breathtaking landscapes of Capri.