La Fontelina, a dream location on the legendary island of Capri
At Capri, a magical island in the Gulf of Naples, the blue sea and the waves caress the tall “Faraglioni” sea-stack formations, a symbolic feature of one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the world.
At La Fontelina, the rocks of the high coastline form a series of small coves offering natural pools where diving into the sea is a marvellous experience.
In particular, the historic village and the Mediterranean maquis dotted with lemon trees are very attractive features of the island.
A natural paradise
Lying at a comfortable point on a bed of rock, you will feel as if you are in heaven. La Fontelina is an unforgettable location enhanced by the bright colours of its environment and offering an opportunity to achieve a state of total relaxation.
You will arrive there after a lovely walk along the Belvedere di Tragara, and it is certainly worth returning to this viewpoint shortly after sunset. At La Fontelina you may also decide to spend some time at the Beach Club, a very famous bathing establishment with a private restaurant.
The Italian place-name – “Fontelina” - literally means “source of linen” and derives from the fact that women on the island would come here to steep their flax leaves in brackish pools of water to produce linen, a fundamental fabric for the production of fishing nets and clothes.
Guardians of the island
The three sea stacks have always had the role of “guarding” the island and these imposing rocks rising out of the sea have become a representative icon. The first spur of rock, still joined to the coast, is known as Stella, the second is the Faraglione di Mezzo, which presents a magnificent natural arch, and the third is the Faraglione di Fuori; the solitary rocky islet called Monacone is only a short distance away. The 100-metre high spurs of rock will always be there in the background during your period of relaxation at La Fontelina, but for a closer view you might treat yourself to a sea-tour. An infinite number of excursions are offered on the island. Under the arch of the Faraglione di Mezzo it is a romantic custom to kiss one’s partner, and it is thought that the gesture will definitely bring good fortune.
It is possible to enter the Grotta Azzurra only by lying down inside a rowing boat as it enters the hollow because the point of access is very low and narrow. A marvellous setting will then suddenly appear before you: the sensation is that of floating in a totally dark space, barely illuminated by shimmering light reflected on the surface of the water, reflecting an iridescent blue glare. Some boat rental services also propose fascinating sunset excursions.
The rich nature of the seabed
If you are passionate about snorkelling and diving or in any case interested in this kind of sporting activity, you are in the right place. There are a lot of diving centres.
The deep sea and the rugged and indented coastline provide an ideal setting and magical seabed environments. Here you will discover a colourful dimension in the midst of red and yellow Gorgonia “sea fans”, the Posidonia seagrass and coral species of various colours, while dense shoals of orange Anthias, sunfish and pelagic fish will be swimming all around you. Beneath the surface of the water you will find submerged rock walls enveloped by beams of light that appear before you like shining blades. Around the rock stacks, using your fins, mask and a snorkel, you will become familiar with grouper fish and prawns.
A never-ending story
At this site we can reflect on prehistoric ages and periods when it was dominated by the presence of the Greeks and Romans. Many traces of historical events that have unfolded on the island of Capri are still present and evidence of past eras is carefully preserved. An early admirer of the island was the Roman Emperor Augustus. Roman patricians were enchanted by the beauty of the area and began to have villas and adjoining local water cistern systems built here over 2,000 years ago. Their sea vessels loaded with provisions would arrive here, passing by the gigantic Faraglioni rock stacks.
Since that time Capri has never ceased to attract and enthral visitors and since the 1900s it has become a favourite destination for the international jet set.
Roaming around the town
Situated on a prominent rocky hill, the historic municipality of Capri is simply a delightful venue. The main square, Piazza Umberto I, is the heart of the village and most residents would simply refer to it as the “piazzetta”. You will enjoy having a coffee here in an open-air lounge; you can admire the view from the terrazza belvedere and then wander through the maze of narrow streets.
You may decide to visit some of the beautiful churches and then the Certosa di San Giacomo, a Carthusian monastery with internal cloisters, the construction of which was completed in 1371. You should also walk through the Gardens of Augustus, where flower-covered terraces overlook the Faraglioni stacks on one side and the Marina Piccola bay on the other. The gardens are filled with a lot of indigenous vegetation, including holm oaks and cypress trees, mimosa plants and flower beds covered with gorse, dahlias and daffodils.
Go for a leisurely walk among the lemon trees. Afterwards you may decide to use the chair-lift facility to reach Anacapri or, farther on, Monte Solaro, where you will enjoy extraordinary panoramic views at these high points.