Hill: Monte Solaro, Capri, Italy
Date: Wednesday 4th May 2016
Company: Just myself
A few days ago, whilst holidaying in Italy, I caught the ferry from Sorrento across to Capri with a view to ascending Monte Solaro. Despite being only 589m high, most visiting Capri use the chairlift to get to its summit. I would however be ascending and descending it on foot. The day previous, I had walked the outstanding Santiero delgi Dei (the Path of the Gods) on the Amalfi coast - trip report to follow for that outstanding walk.
Caremar ferry at Marina Grande, Capri:
From Marina Grande, I walked along the Via Marina Grande until beyond the first sharp bend where the start of Scala Fenicia can be found.
Looking back to the ferry from Via Marina Grande:
Scala Fenicia, the Phoenician Steps, were until recently thought to have been built by the Phoenicians, hence the name. It is now thought they were in fact built by the ancient Greeks between 7th and 6th Century BC.
Heading to Scala Fenicia:
Looking back to Marina Grande from Scala Fenicia:
As height is gained, the views back towards Marina Grande, and beyond to the Sorrento peninsula, are pretty-good.
View during ascent of the Scala Fenicia:
There are apparently 921 Phoenician steps to ascend; I didn't count them. For thousands of years the steps were used by anyone who needed to transport goods from Marina Grande up to Anacapri.
The steps were completely restored in 1998 and are now a popular tourist attraction for getting from Capri to Anacapri. On approaching the Via Provinciale Anacapri, the steps go underneath the road and then continue above the road.
Ascending up to and under the Via Provinciale Anacapri:
A small chapel is passed during the ascent.
View from the top of Scala Fenicia:
Beyond the steps lies an alley leading to Anacapri. There are numerous nice shops here and a kiosk which sells drinks.
Path from Scala Fenicia to Anacapri:
A short distance beyond the kiosk, there is a track on the left-hand-side which leads towards Cetrella and Monte Solaro. I followed this track to ascend Monte Solaro although it is also possible to ascend from further along the Anacapri alley.
Path leading to Cetrella and Monte Solaro:
The track beyond Anacapri was more pleasant to walk along in that instead of being enclosed by concrete walls, there are lots of wildflowers to each side of the track.
Plaque en-route to Monte Solaro:
Track from Anacapri to Monte Solaro:
Unfortunately, I did not have time to also visit the Isle of Ischia on this trip. If I ever come back to this area, I will be sure to do so and also ascend to its summit. I did however visit Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum, ascended Vesuvius and walked the Path of the Gods twice, it was so good.
Looking down to Anacapri with Isle of Ischia in the distance:
Plant (ID unknown):
Flower (ID unknown):
Track ascending Monte Solaro:
On reaching a track junction, I followed the track waymarked, Monte Solaro.
Final ascent to Monte Solaro:
During the ascent of the final section of track, I could see numerous people ascending the hill via the chairlift.
The easy way up:
I was surprised to find a statue of Emperor Augustus just below the summit. I liked the view back including the Emperor.
Emperor Augustus statue just below summit:
Great views from next to Emperor Augustus:
I spent around 15-20 minutes at the summit area admiring the views, taking photos and speaking with several people. There is a cafe at the summit which, like the rest of Capri, is fairly expensive. It is an island frequented by the rich and famous!
Great views from the summit viewing platform:
Great views from the summit viewing platform including the Faraglioni (rocky pinnacles):
589m drop to the sea:
Anacapri with Ischia in the distance:
Monte Solaro sundial:
Great summit views:
After taking some photos of American tourists, who offered to take a photo of myself in return, I started my descent back down to Marina Grande.
Myself a short distance below the summit:
During the descent I was accompanied by two young lasses from Japan and South Korea. However on reaching Anacapri, I was again on my own for the descent of the 921 Phoenician Steps.
Descent towards Anacapri:
As I made my way down, I stopped several times to take photos of lizards of which there are thousands. However, when a hornet almost the size of my palm started showing an interest, I quickly continued on down the steps.
View during descent:
Podarcis sicula (Italian Wall Lizard):
Looking back from Marina Grande:
On the way back to Marina Grande, I passed one of the luxury five star hotels on the island. On reaching Marina Grande, I had a small tuna panini and small fanta at one of the small cafes. This set me back almost 14 Euros. Glad I was based in Sorrento for this trip and not Capri!
I caught the same ferry back to Sorrento later in the day.
If visiting Capri use your feet and not the chairlift. Bella!