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cultural heritageil bel paese

Capri: Land of Goats

By Bridget Perry

When you think of Capri what comes to mind?

Perhaps the Blue Grotto, with its enchanting glowing waters and shimmering rock walls or Piazzetta di Capri (“the Living Room of the World”)  with the charming clock tower and outdoor cafes ideal for people watching. Still others may immediately imagine high-end shopping like Bulgari, Gucci, Louis Vuitton or conjure visions of luxury yachts anchored off the shore.

What about goats?

Yes, goats! Long before Hermès set up shop on Via Camerelle, before Jackie O. made Capri sandals world famous, even before the unification of Italy in 1871 there were goats on Capri. In fact, the name of the island itself is believed to stem from the latin word capraeae (goats) although there is debate on this topic with some arguing it is derived from the greek kápros (wild boar).

Regardless, today the goats of Capri are still there; well hidden from the bustling streets and jostling crowds of summer tourists. You’ll find them, if you’re lucky, at Villa Jovis and the adjoining Parco Astarita, meandering through the ruins in search of shade and ideal grazing. Built for Tiberius, the second Roman Emperor who ruled from AD 14 – 37, the ruins of Villa Jovis are situated high up on the cliffs outside the town of Tibero. While the walk to the top is no easy stroll, you’ll find your efforts rewarded with spectacular views of the Bay of Naples and nearby Sorrento and a serene escape from the crowds below.

Entry to the Villa is €6 for non EU citizens and payment is best made in cash. Bring plenty of water and comfortable shoes and beat the heat with a morning start time. Breaking up the walk with a stop at Villa Lysis (€2) is a great way to pace yourself – and a peek into Parco Astarita next to Jovis offers additional (free) views out towards Amalfi and a quiet place to relax and recharge.
Looking to plan a trip to Capri? Use code ‘GOATS’ to get 20% off Andiamo Italy’s tour guide of Capri or schedule a one-on-one call to learn more. For more insights on all things Italy, you can also follow along on instagram via @andiamo_italy_travel.

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