On the southern edge of the Gulf of Naples off the Coast of Italy across the cobalt blue Tyrrhenian Sea, lies Capri. Often called the “Island of Dreams” and known as the “Isle of Sirens” in Greek mythology, it is said that this enchanted land is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in the world. The magic of Capri is eternal, no doubt born in the times of the Gods, for who else could have conceived of such a place that emperors, kings and queens have found it to be their Shangri-La.
Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Ocavius), the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, initially discovered the charm of Capri when he visited the island in 29 BC. He was so captivated by the beauty of Capri, that following the battle of Actium in 31 BC, he traded the nearby fertile island of Ischia for it with the city of Naples making Capri his private property. This marked the beginning of Augustan rule. The Island of Dreams became a private holiday summer retreat in his search of leisure, solitude and inspiration away from the demands of Rome. The Emperor had a true passion and love for the island. Augustus developed Capri; he built villas, temples, aqueducts, and planted gardens so he could enjoy his private paradise. Although the island remained his favorite destination until his death in 14 AD, it never became his home. Augustus, who ruled for about four decades in one of the most prosperous periods of Roman history, was on the way back from Capri to Rome when he died in Nola at age 77.
A statue of Caesar Augustus sits on Monte Solaro, the highest point on Capri commemorating the landing on the island of the first Roman emperor. Perched high on the top of a cliff, embraced by the waters of the Bay of Naples and the azure blue sky, the statue overlooks the dazzling splendor of Capris most beautiful panorama.
Here the view extends across the whole of the island of Capri, the surrounding Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and as far as the distant mountains of Calabria. Known locally as the “cloud catcher” (Acchiappanuvole), the mountain was named thus because of a phenomenon whereby the hot and humid sea air condenses into a formation of vapor and fog on the ground cooled by night and is pushed up by the wind to wrap the mountain’s peak in a curtain of mist. Gusts of wind open windows of ever-changing views through the curtain to reveal the landscape of Capri in all its beauty lying upon its watery plain, like a phantom in the mist at the foot of the mountain. With the island at your feet, it is said that the mystical views from here are a vision of paradise below, like an azure dream woven of light and mist where the profoundest of calm and silence reigns.