Declan steering our “luxury yacht” with Bob on lookout

Capri has been the playground of the rich and famous for millenia, starting with the emperor Tiberius, who ran the Roman Empire from there between 27 and 37 AD. These days, the most famous inhabitant is Mariah Carey, who owns one of the many fabulous villas dotted around the island.

For our one day imitation of the rich and famous we hired our own boat to tour the island. Ably piloted by Uncle Bob, with his very eager assistant, Declan, we did a complete circumnavigation.

The day was glorious, and the sea around Capri really was that beautiful blue you see in the pictures.

While on our own  small tinny luxury yacht, we did keep the illusion of having the full Roman Emperor experience of this fabulous island. We managed to keep that illusion after making our way into the main town of Capri when we found a beautiful garden, the Gardens of Augustus, which had been created nearly a century ago by a rich but ailing German engineer (he also built a road, in case you were wondering about whether he deserved to be called an engineer).

Gardens of Augustus, with Carthusian Monastery in the background

But our illusions were firmly shattered when we got back to the main square of the town, and we could no longer avoid noticing the sad combination of designer shops and tourists dressed no better than we were.

Capri shopping

Capri might have been one of the earliest seaside resorts in the world. But it’s probably spent almost as long being a destination for day-trippers like us wanted to see what all the fuss is about. And of course the daytrippers make it much harder to find the Capri that drew everyone in the first place.

The water around the island is gloriously beautiful. And if you can find a peaceful spot by yourself, so is the landscape. But that peaceful spot? Can be elusive.