Traveling with Art: The Island of Capri, Italy

 

Capri is a stunning island in Italy on the south side of the Gulf of Naples. The island was especially made known in the 19th century through its favorable depiction from artists and writers.

 

The painting you see above shows the brilliant teal waters surrounding the island. It was painted by Giuseppe Salvati, an artist born in Naples in 1900. Capri has a rich history, including settlement in the Roman era and possibly before then in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. In the Middle Ages the island experienced various pirate raids.

 

Capri especially gained popularity from a mid-1800’s book called “Discovery of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri” by August Kopisch, in which Kopisch favorably describes his stay on the island. Various artists and writers soon came to stay on the island, creating an artist culture that also helped promote the place through works of art and stories.

 

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Portrayal of the Blue Grotto by Jakob Alt.

Today, Capri is a popular destination visited by both Italian and foreign tourists.Capri’s Blue Grotto is its most visited attraction. The Grotto is a sea cave that sunlight shines into from an underwater cavity and through the water, making the cave glow with blue light. Roman sculptures of Neptune and Triton have been found inside the cave, likely from the time of Emperor Tiberius. The discovery of the sculptures made the cave an especially significant emblem of Capri.

 

Tourists swarm Capri during the summer over its peak times of May through September, and locals have the island mostly to themselves for the rest of the rainy year.

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