Photograph by Fabio Massimo Aceto.

To me, the Italian coast is the most beautiful place in the world and sailing is the best way to see it. I keep my Swan 45, which was launched last year, at Scarlino in Tuscany. It has favourable weather and myriad destinations, including two days' sail away Capri, where we have a regatta every year.
I have owned Nautor, the company that makes Swans, since 1998, and my idea has been to develop a onedesign yacht class so all examples of it are very similar and identical in racing performance, which is good arid confrontational in competition.
My crew can be geared up for racing or relaxed when in holiday mode, but I always love to be part of it, navigating or sailing myself. The right yacht gives a fantastic sense of freedom we can decide on the spot where to go arid where to stop.
Sometimes the sailing itself is more important than the destination, but Capri is very special. I have always had connections with it as we have long had a family home there, with a terrace overlooking the Faraglioni sea rocks on the south coast, which is one of the island's most spectacular views. But my parents were not into sailing, so I see it in a rather different way from them, starting with the prospect of the island's sheer eastern cliffs as we approach.
Like most boats, we go round to the north side and moor at the Marina Grande, though the eastern end of the basin is more peaceful. Because the waters around the island are so spectacular, this is as near to landing as many sailors get, but you should never resist the temptation to come ashore. Capri has the most magical atmosphere that lifts the spirits apart from its physical beauty, it has warm, intelligent inhabitants and I have many friends there with whom I'm completely at home, having come here since I was a child.
I defy anyone not to be seduced by its true dolce vita, that southern Italian lifestyle of which this is the best example. Nowadays, that suggests 1950s and 1960s glamour yet all through history everyone from the Greeks, Romans, Napoleon and the British has loved or fought over Capri and, if you spend some time here, you can see why.
Arrive in the late afternoon, after the daytrip and cruise boats have left, have your hotel collect your bags and take the funicular up to Capri town, where in the Piazzetta the passeggiata will be beginning. This is the island's centre of gravity, like a little theatre where everyone goes to see and be seen and the style, though casual, is still very elegant.
There are four main cafés vying for attention, of which my favourite is the Gran Caffè. In the past, they were reserved for rich foreign tourists but now many Caprese enjoy them too. To prolong the evening outdoors, just go from one to the next. I also love a lowkey drink before or after dinner at La Palma, the oldest hotel on the island.
Because most private cars are banned, people use opentop taxis which, with their striped awnings, look eccentrically antique. The island is less than seven kilometres long so although the roads are narrow and winding, it never takes long to get anywhere.
My favourite hotel is the Capri Palace, in the quieter and less touristy town of Anacapri. It's owned by a friend, Tonino Cacace, who also helps run the regatta. The hotel is not too big, beautifully cool and airy, with restful modern white and ecru décor combined with traditional arched and vaulted Capri architecture. Its spa is famous even the starriest guests feel they can be made more beautiful here.
If you like to be where the action is, the Grand Hotel Quisisana in the centre of Capri town is very good and equally luxurious. The Caesar Augustus which, as you can imagine, has Romanstyle décor, is built on a cliff with the most impressive views on the island and I am also fond of La Scalinatella, a little boutique hotel in traditional white Mediterranean style.
The beauty of Caprese cuisine is its simplicity; made with wonderful but basic local ingredients that are too good to need elaborate cooking. Fish is obviously important, but so is game Da Tonino is a good place to eat this. If you stay at the Capri Palace, you have one of the island's best restaurants right there L'Olivo has great modern Mediterranean cuisine, a Michelin star and a famous wine cellar with unusual choices such as Capri's dry white Falanghina wine.
Otherwise, my favourite is Da Paolino, where you eat beneath the trees of a lemon grove and the staff have met every star you can name so are impossible either to impress or to faze. The fish is wonderful and so are the lemoninfused puddings delizie al limone is a little like tiramisu made with limoncello, the island's lemon liqueur. This used to be made at home from Femminelli lemons now it's been commercialised but Limoncello di Capri does very good ones.
I love to spend a day taking my boat slowly round the island, partly to get some sun and swimming, as Capri has no sandy beaches, only rocks. Your hotel will be able to arrange similar boat tours. I sail round to the south, to the Faraglioni, where there is a superb view of these famous natural rock monoliths (though you'd be lucky to spot the rare blue lizards that live there), a natural pool in the rocks and a great restaurant, Da Luigi, for lunch.
Further on at Marina Piccola there is La Canzone del Mare, with an atmospheric terrace by the water, but I love just to stop and swim off the boat. The best place is near the extraordinary Modernist house designed for the writer Curzio Malaparte in 1938. Ifs all red and seems to merge into the rock promontory on which it's built. You can also swim at the Lido del Faro by Punta Carena, at the southwest corner of the island, and into the famous Blue Grotto once the tourist boats have gone and it's peaceful enough to appreciate its beauty, though there are many other lovely grottoes round the coast.
After mooring in the evening back at Marina Grande, everyone heads for another form of entertainment shopping in the small streets off the Piazzetta. Apart from the usual designer suspects, including two Ferragamo shops, there are familyrun specialities. I love the twostrap leather sandals, made and decorated to measure at Canfora, and the jewellery reminiscent of the 1950s at Alberto e Lina. Sfizi di Pane does wonderful patisserie treats, including the delicious torta Caprese with ground almonds, dark chocolate and Strega liqueur, and Buonocore has brilliant homemade ice cream.
If you're still feeling lively after dinner, you might like the Anema e Core nightclub, which exemplifies the passion and tradition of Capri, with live Neapolitan music and performers who sing and joke with the crowd. You might even see a tarantella dance, which is supposed to have been brought to the island by the Greeks often seriously competitive and not just a tourist exercise.
Speaking of which, there are some good walks to work off all that irresistible food. An hour and half uphill through groves of lemon, kiwi fruit and vines (it seems easier on the way back) brings you to the ruins of the Villa Jovis, largest of the 12 Capri houses built by the Emperor Tiberius who, understandably, apparently lost all interest in matters of state once he arrived on the island although he continued to have his enemies brought there to be tortured and killed.
Then you'll have earned a pizza for lunch, which will be so much more than the name implies the waferthin pizzas and the presentation at Aurora or Villa Verde are very elegant.
At Anacapri, walk to the Villa San Michele, built by the Swedish physician and author Axel Munthe and now a notveryexciting museum, but the gardens are stunning and a beautiful location for classical concerts on summer evenings. The San Michele church has an 18th century majolica paving of Adam and Eve.
Treat yourself to the chairlift up the island's highest hill, Monte Solaro. Sit at the summit café, in an old British fort, and drink in the view of sea, the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius and you will understand why so many lose their hearts to Capri.