The imposing summit of Monte Solaro offers, at 589 metres, spectacular views over the whole island, the Bay of Naples, the Bay of Salerno and out towards Ischia. A chairlift will take you to the summit, or you can walk up the mountain. Coming back down on foot is easier, though it will still take you about an hour or so, and longer if you take the detour to the hermitage of Cetrella, which we recommend.
It dates back to the 14th century and was founded by Carthusian monks. There is poetry in the harmonious interplay of its vaults and in its splendid isolation. Its name apparently derives from the aromatic erba cetra (melissa); the mountain is a treasure trove of important botanical rarities. Before you get to the hermitage, you will come across what was once the house of the Scottish writer Compton Mackenzie. It has recently been restored by the Amici di Cetrella and is now a centre for the study of local flora and fauna, with a library and a garden containing a small collection of local species.
Route: Take the chairlift from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri (12 minutes), or walk up the mountain (60 minutes) using Via Capodimonte, Via Monte Solaro and then following the path.