When we first started going to Capri six summers ago it was for a day trip from Positano or a quick overnight. We did the things that the magazines told us to do. We walked the via Krupp. (It has been closed for at least three summers now) We went to schmancy beach clubs. (We stopped doing that. Now the service is terrible unless you come off a mega yacht and tip like a hedge fund manager) and got dressed up and had expensive drinks in the Piazzetta. (Ok, we still do that.)
Now we have good friends who live most of the year on the island, we go much more often and in the off season and we stay for longer than 36 hours. I have learned a few things along the way. You are much more likely to find me still in my beach coverup at sunset having a negroni at Bar Alberto and getting takeaway ravioli Caprese to eat on the terrace for dinner than at Aurora hoping to get a glimpse of whatever celebrity has come off their yacht for a night on the town.
We were in Capri to celebrate Mark's birthday this year and still wanted to spend the day at a beach club but one that was laid back and not part of the Wolf of Wall Street style scene that can be Capri in August. I asked my pal Gianluca where he goes on a (rare) day off and he immediately called his cousins and booked us a table, beach chairs and an umbrella at Torre Saracena.
A thirty minute stroll or a short bus ride down towards the Marina Piccola, Torre Saracena is about 200 steps down from the main road. If you are out on the water you can call and they will send a small boat to come and get you.
What you find when you arrive is transparent aquamarine water, a narrow beach of white pebbles and a wooden jetty over the water set with chars and umbrellas. On a large terrace above is the restaurant and views over Marina Piccola and the Faraglioni. Next to the kitchen are shallow saltwater fed pools that are filled with live oysters, clams and more varieties of lobster than I knew existed. We settled under our umbrellas, fired up our kindles and read and swam until it was lunchtime.
The food here is extraordinary. Fresh oysters, tiny pepper flecked sautéed shrimp,cold octopus salad, chunks of lobster on pacheri pasta, and the dish I am still thinking about; pasta e piselli, a comforting mix of basil, peas, cheese and spaghetti. There are some important wines on the list of that is your thing. We were very happy with a cold bottle of local Falanghina.
I get it. If you only get to visit Capri once or even just once a year your Instagram feed needs to have at least one of those places the magazines tell you are so great. But if you want to see another more relaxed side of the island, ask a local and if you are lucky they will share.
via Marina Piccola