Visiting The Gardens of Augustus: Isle of Capri
Located just outside of Capri with its glitzy shops and fancy hotels are the beautiful Gardens of Augustus. If you need a break from the frenzied crowds of Capri, the gardens make for a great retreat into a more relaxing and serene world.
In actuality, any trip to the Isle of Capri should include a visit to the Gardens of Augustus. They are just a short walk from the center of Capri and in addition to the beautiful flora of the gardens some of the most scenic panoramas on the island can be seen from here.
The Augustus Gardens
History of the Gardens
The history of the botanical gardens goes back to the early 20th century when German industrialist, Friedrich Alfred Krupp, established the gardens and had a path built down to the shore below. Krupp often moored his yacht here during his summer visits to the island. The gardens were donated to Capri following Krupps death in 1902. Initially known as the Krupp Gardens, the name was changed in 1918 when they were renamed the Gardens of Augustus.
Krupps name has been retained here on the Via Krupp, which is the road that zigs and zags its way down to the water’s edge and the Marina Piccola. On the day that we visited the gardens the pathway was closed due to the danger of falling rocks, but the road with its winding hairpins turns is considered to be a work of art and an engineering feat.
The Gardens themselves are not overly extensive, but the array of colors from the dahlias and geraniums frame the fountain and statues in the garden with brilliant colors. The main attraction is certainly the view of the Faraglioni, which seem to be within an arm’s reach from here. With such beautiful views it’s no wonder Friedrich Krupp decided on this location for his home and gardens.
From this vantage point one has a 180 degree view of the southern side of Capri. To the left are the imposing Faraglioni while to the right is Marina Piccola and the sheer cliffs that lead up to the summit of Mount Solaro, the highest point on the island. Down below is the incredible winding Via Krupp, which itself is worth the price of admission.
What a View!
Faraglioni is an Italian word that means stacks. The three faraglioni located off of Capri are the most famous in Italy and each one has a name; Stella, Mezzo, and Scopolo (also known as Fuori).
A visit to the Gardens of Augustus can take as long or as short a time as you desire. It is only about a ten-minute walk from the center of Capri and how much time you spend here is totally up to you. One can sit and relax in a shady spot with a good book and a view of the Faraglioni for hours. Or you can spend an hour walking the gardens and taking in the amazing views and move on. Either way you have found yourself to one of the most beautiful and scenic spots on the island.
Hours and Fees
The Gardens of Augustus are open daily from 9 am until one hour before sunset. They are open from Easter through November and there is a nominal fee of one euro to enter the gardens.
Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera as you will want to get some photos of this incredibly beautiful area of Capri. At times the Via Krupp does open to the public, so if you are lucky enough to be here when it is open you may want to consider a walk down the path to the Marina Piccola below. If you don’t want to walk back up the hill you can take the bus or a taxi back to Capri.
Whether you are staying on the Isle of Capri for an extended period of time or just visiting for the day, be sure to find your way to the Gardens of Augustus. The beautiful setting and amazing views are therapy for the soul.
Ciao for now.
© 2013 Bill De Giulio