I came to the island of Capri off the coast of Naples in mid-October not knowing much about it. I'd visited once in the height of summer just for half a day but all I remembered from that day were the Prada-lined streets, the busy marina rotating tourists in and out on repeat and the Blue Grotto swarming with boats.
This time I was here for a week or two, staying on the quieter side of the island in Anacapri. This visit was set to be totally different from my last. This was mid-October, the very end of the shoulder season when the island is much quieter and everyone on it is soaking up the last rays of sun before winter hibernation.
Arists, writers, intellectuals and creatives have been coming to this island since the 1850's as a retreat, a place to be inspired, to be in nature, recuperate – Mariah even came here in the early 00's to rest up and record her new album. Whilst the island's glamorous side – the yachts, the €20 aperol spritzes in must-be-seen-in hotel bars, the luxury stores – has become what this place is known for, this other more down-to-earth side of the island is still very much intact and waiting for you.
You can easily find the peace and quiet in nature, views of open sky and sea to make you remember your connection to everything, there's still the swim spots in natural settings where you can lay your towel down for free, hikes to take your breath away, local BnB's and restaurants you can afford – all especially easy to find if you come in April, May or October.
Hike Monte Solaro from Anacapri or take the last chairlift up and find yourselves alone with views over the island before you descend under last light
Wander Anacapri town, walking the winding road down to the Blue Grotto, peeking in on fancy villas all the way (you can get the bus back up!)
Sunbathe on the pebble beach at Marina Piccola – get in early for a spot.
Lay on the rocks at Lido del Faro with the locals with a drink afterwards at a bar on the hill, then watch sunset from the rocks around the lighthouse.