My latest contemporary romance is set in the exotic and glamorous island of Capri, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Many readers have commented on the setting in this book as ‘having a great local atmosphere’, ‘you can almost feel the sun beating down on you’, ‘great on a cold, winter’s day’.
I chose Capri as a setting after visiting the island about ten years ago with a friend of mine. It is exquisitely beautiful with those dramatic cliff tops and panoramic views, that impossibly blue sky and quaint cobbled squares, all surrounded by the shimmering Bay of Naples. As soon as I set foot on the island I knew that one day I’d stage a romance here.
Here are some of my photographs that aided me in my research. These will give you some idea of the magnificence and charm of the place.
Some interesting facts about Capri
- According to the ancient Greek, ‘kapros’ means ‘wild boar’. The Latin word ‘capreae’ means ‘goats’. Although the exact origin of the name ‘Capri’ is not known, fossils of wild boars have been found on the island. Historical evidence shows that the Romans used to refer to this island as ‘the goat island’.
- Capri is situated off the Amalfi coast in Campania, Italy. The serene beauty and warm climate makes Capri a hot tourist spot.
- The island is divided into two small towns: Capri and Anacapri. The ‘City of Capri’ is the main commercial area. The ‘Community of Anacapri’ occupies the west side of the island.
- The striking scenery and pleasant climate of Capri and Anacapri has always attracted European artists, writers and celebrities.
- Capri was first discovered by Caesar Augustus in 29 BC. He was so impressed by the peaceful charm of the island that he started visiting Capri again and again. His successor Tiberius built 12 lavish villas between 27 and 37 A.D. You can see the remains of the villas built by the Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius; which depict Roman, Norman, and Arabic architecture.
- The Greek ‘Teleboi’ were the first people to settle down in Capri. They came to this island in the 8th Century BC. Remains of various animals and weapons have been found at the excavation sites in Capri. Walls of an ancient Greek acropolis can be still seen in Capri. It is the only structure that shows that Taleboi once lived there.
- Hotel Pagano’ was the first hotel on this island which was opened in 1826. The German writer Augustus Kopisch had visited Capri and stayed there. Many writers and poets were attracted by the magical solitude of this island. Description of the intoxicating fragrance of the flowers on this island can be found in classical literary works. The rustic simplicity and the delicate splashes of color make this island one of the top spots for the tourists.
- The Blue Grotto is the most famous of the many caves on this island. It is situated along the west side of the island. The amazing blue color of the sea inside the cave leaves a permanent imprint on your mind. The breathtaking views of the caves make your trip memorable. Caves and mountain landscapes along the coastline of Capri are just awesome.
- Monte Solaro is the highest point (1,932 ft / 589 m) in Capri, from where you can enjoy a magnificent and delightful view of the island. Those who are fond of photography can click some excellent snaps from here.
- Capri is a perfect destination for those who love seaside nature. Those who love sea diving, kayaking, trekking, and water sports, would definitely enjoy their stay here. The ‘Phoenician Steps’, on the way to the sea from Anacapri is one of the most visited sites on the island.
- Fun facts about Capri inform us that the famous writer Somerset Maugham chose Capri as the setting for his short story ‘The Lotus Eater’. In this story, the hero comes to Capri from Boston, to enjoy a holiday. He is so fascinated by the beauty of the island that he gives up his job and makes up his mind to spend the rest of his life in leisure there! What a realistic description of Capri!