Inside the Rich, Young and Wild Scene of Capri: Mega Yachts, $45,000 Handbags and Tony Island RetreatsBY Shelby Hodge
100 Percent Capri models posing at the Piazza Umberto
Reservations are a must for coveted tables on the square during sunset.
If the jewelers on Capri send flowers to you on arrival of your yacht, you are surely mega rich.
Designer shopping is second only to people watching on Capri.
The Grand Hotel Quisisana, an institution since its opening in 1845.
The mega rich savour the quiet corners of Capri.
A methuselah of rose for a table of 10.
Dining options abound across the island.
Gin martinis prepared tableside at Punta Tragara.
The pool at five-star Punta Tragara.
The world-famous Faraglione
Gilded vacationers take over Capri during the summer months.
Linguine vongole at Il Riccio Ristorante
Il Riccio Ristorante seafood platter
The scene at Il Riccio Ristorante
Riotous banks of bougainvillea are abundant throughout Capri.
Ah, the jeunesse dorée decorating the cafe tables and dressing the narrow lanes of Capri. The young and the restless, the rich and hardly famous, Americans, Europeans and the ubiquitous Asians. Those who tender in from their mega yachts and those who ferry over from Sorrento.
The summer tableau of Italy’s sublime island pulsates in a kaleidoscope of high fashion, high style and astronomical wealth.
Where else in such a diminutive hamlet are $45,000 handbags sold alongside $40,000 whimsical rhino sculptures and where jewels are easily priced in six and seven figures? Where else does the town square (in this case the Piazza Umberto) nightly become the vortex of social interaction? The cognoscenti understand that table reservations in the square are a must, particularly at the terribly chic Gran Caffè.
The toniest address on the island is the Grand Hotel Quisisana where preening is at its finest in the outdoor cafe at the hotel entrance. At the end of the main mercantile drag, draped in riotous banks of bougainvillea, through Capri proper, the five-star Punta Tragara beckons with its al fresco La Pergola bar where mixologists work martini magic with all varieties of gins and mixers.
The luncheon scene rolls into high gear at Il Riccio Ristorante where the seafood is fresh, the pasta homemade and the rosé dispensed from jeroboams and methuselahs (eight bottles) and the midday repast easily reaches $300 a person.
The toniest address off the island is on one of the mega yachts that populate the waters off the southern face of Capri and within view of the world famous Faraglione, the trio of giant rocks rising from the sea. This is where you’ll find Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s 533-foot Eclipse, L Brands (think Victoria’s Secret) CEO Les Wexler’s 315-foot Limitless, or David Geffen’s Rising Sun.
Yacht owners and their guests tender over to be greeted by a parade of extended convertibles ready to sweep the gilded tourists up the winding roads to the Capri township for rarefied shopping and sophisticated people watching. The taxis will take you onward and upward to Anacapri and its more down to earth charms.
The storied Blue Grotto reigns as the island’s top tourist attraction. But for Capri regulars, it’s an excursion best left for the day trippers.