Suspended 1000 feet above the ocean, colors are so bright that lines are blurred between not only sea and sky, but fantasy and reality...

My private balcony on this long admired cliff of Anacapri is welcoming. I can make out Mt. Vesuvius in the distance and the Bay of Naples spreads below me. The Italian sun blesses the island with its steady rays and I remain still on my perch to take it all in. This moment of suspension is provided by the Caesar Augustus Hotel. I am standing on one of the hotel's luxurious balconies and my fenced sanctuary stands away from the cliff-face over the ocean. Here I reach a solitary understanding about Capri's reputation for temptation. From creamy mozzarella and floral bright tomatoes, to rocks that protrude from the sea with historic presence, I enter the ranks of those who have experienced the bliss of Capri. Pleasure does not end with views from the resort, but continues across the island, like the winding roads that lead us to our next indulgence. I leave my room to satisfy a thirst for all things Capri, knowing I can return to this pleasure later for a pink sunset.

The fatigue of the journey is forgotten with the first glimpse of white homes dotting the cliffs. Capri is best reached via Naples, when arriving internationally. If you are already exploring Italy's coastline, a quick boat ride from Sorrento will bring you to the island as well. Upon arrival at the Naples airport, the port is a frantic taxi ride away. The children playing soccer and bustle of the streets will seem like a distant memory once we begin to experience the serenity of Capri. At the port, I choose the quicker option of the hydrofoil, and waves rock away my worries on the 40 minute trip. Stepping onto the dock of Capri, I agreed with the Roman emperor Tiberius, poet Pablo Neruda, and Oscar Wilde who all found their paradise on this isle.

Strolling women in white linen and big sunglasses abound in Marina Grande, the harbor that serves as only a sampling of Capri's beauty. Most luxury hotels in Capri will arrange transportation from the port to your hotel. You can travel the hairpin turns with your baggage in a taxi, or take the funicular to central Capri in just a few minutes. While other travelers took their luggage this route, I decided to let the relaxation begin and my hotel was pleased to take care of this detail. As you step into Piazza Umberto, designer boutiques, fruity gelato and a strolling pace will encourage you to live your own la dolce vita.

Capri wasn't always part of the Grand Tour. Although it's history dates back to the Roman era when the Emperors Octavian Augustus and his successor, Tiberius made the island their place of residence, visitors didn't start arriving until the 19th century. The Grotta Azzurra, or Blue Grotto, was discovered then for the world, no longer a secret of locals who had known for generations of the stunning light refraction. This mystique doesn't end with the coves, but I find it across the island, from the shops smelling of Italian leather, to the windy paths that reveal the famous Faraglioni rocks protruding from the sea in perfect harmony. The distinct combination of natural beauty and fine Italian produces a splendor like no other island.

After my stroll back to the center of town, I imagined myself an Italiana and found a small table in The Piazzetta to call my own. Drawn to the buzz of the main square, I sought to complete my afternoon with some animated Italian conversation. Lively discussion from my neighboring tables arrived before my tall glass of chilled Pinot Grigio, and before my first sip I was laughing along with my fellow luxury seekers in Capri's most famous outdoor living room.

After I placed down my empty glass, my focus shifted to the sea. The rocky terrain of the isle allows for many stunning views looking outward, but savvy locals instructed me that to completely understand the allure of Capri, I must observe it from the sea. Upon boarding the Gozzo (a local fishing boat designed for the islands coves) my appreciation for the mythical draw of the isle soared. At each curve of the landscape, more majesty continued to be revealed. Each cove, each facet of the island was more enticing than the last. To experience the complete grandeur of the island, let your luxury hotel do the planning for you, they expertly arrange tours of two or four hours in length.

The dignified main streets of Capri have been luring shoppers for decades. Indulgence in Italian designers, fine silks, and hand-crafted leather can be found in startling density. After some retail therapy, I return to the Caesar Augustus to take in the views before dinner. The hotel staff reaches their goal of 'never settle for less than your dreams..' through professional service, fine-dining on the terrace, and a romantic jacuzzi for two in your room. The luxury mansion has been in the hands of the Signorini family for three generations, and they blend luxury with hospitality in a masterful way. Paolo Signorini has restored the mansion to its true glory, and welcomes his guests over a cocktail or lunch, depending on his schedule. This Italian tradition of lingering conversation over beautiful food is exemplified by the hotel's gracious owner.

At the turn of the 20th century, a Russian prince claimed the majesty of the 1000 foot high cliff as his summer home, a place where he could immerse himself in the study of history and philosophy. Today guests of the Caesar Augustus indulge in a bit more leisure, whether it be a massage in the fragrant gardens, or the gastronomical offerings of the terrazza. Professionalism found me poolside, where the waiters and staff attended to my needs, but were never pushy, allowing me to take in the panoramic view while glancing up from my writings.

To experience how the Italian elite live, you can stay at the historic house, Villa Le Scale, just steps away from the main piazza in Anacapri. When the owner's husband passed away, she decided to transform her gracious villa into a luxury accommodation while maintaining all of the intimacy of a private home. With personal art and antiques as finishing touches, each of the 8 guest rooms is purposely distinctive. A code to get past the front gate left me feeling like I was visiting an old friend at her lavish home. Enhanced by the lack of formal check-in, a glass of fizzy white wine upon arrival, and conversation in the living room, I felt at home with a key on the table when I choose to mount the stairs to the Collector's room.

Greeted by the General Manager, Vincent Copeland, and his animated pug, Brutus, I knew I had found a nook of Capri that did not exchange authenticity for the sake of luxury. My individual interests were considered by the thoughtful staff when making reservations and suggestions to maximize my holiday. An impressive personal collection of Jewish and Christian art adorned my room, where I was greeted with a hand-written note and champagne on ice. The next morning, when breakfast including bright fresh fruit, coffee, and warm toast was served in the privacy of my own manicured garden, I indulged in my own slice of old-world Italian charm.

While Capri has many offerings for a day's fun, the Villa Le Scale can also arrange tours of nearby gems. Let a private driver greet you in Sorrento, and spend the day touring the ruins of Pompei, where a volcano froze the ancient city in time. If you are seeking pizza perfection, head to Naples, where a chauffeur will show you where the Italian staple was born. A personal car and driver can take you on a tour of the Amalfi Coast with its limoncello factory, fishing towns, and postcard Positano.

Food is plentiful on the island, and you don't need to seek the mainland to enjoy culinary delights. With recommendations from my new Italian friends, I set out to enjoy some local favorites. Ristorante Aurora delivers on both family hospitality and the culinary traditions of the island. From pasta to fresh fish, owners Gennaro and Lucia made me feel like one of the family. Later, in the alley of Piazza Caprile in Anacapri, with Vespas flying by, I took a seat on the terrace at Agorà Resto-Wine-Bar. Far from Florence and their famous preparation of beef, I was delighted with Argentinian angus that put other steaks to shame. Served with six kinds of sea salt to enhance the flavor in different ways, this restaurant strayed from the cuisine typically found on Capri and left me praising the unexpected preparation.

Tempted to have the waiter return to their stocked wine cellar, I pondered the many pleasures of this isle, from the historical beauty of the Faraglioni rocks, to the beauty of the cuisine. Savoring my limoncello, I am already contemplating a return trip. Next time I'll rent one of those Vespas.

When to Go:
• May to October

Getting There:
• Taxi from Naples International Airport to the Port of Naples: 40.00 EUR. Negotiate the fare with the taxi driver before you depart.
• From Port of Naples to Capri, two options: Ferry or Hydrofoil. Ferries operate every 90 minutes, for a 80 minute journey at 10.00 EUR per person. The Hydrofoil is a 40 minute journey, and coasts 17,00 EUR per person. (Luggage fee of 2,00 EUR per large luggage item, paid at time of ticket purchase.)
• Website for ferry schedules:

Where to Stay:
• Capri Luxury Hotels

Where to Eat:
• Ristorante Aurora (Via Fuorlovado, 18/22 Capri, Italy;; +39 081 8370181)
• Agorà Resto-Wine-Bar (Piazza Caprile, 1 Anacapri, Italy;;; +39 081 8372018)
• La Rondinella (Via Orlandi 295, Anacapri, Italy; +39 081-8371223)

What to do:
• Faraglioni Rocks: Witness Capri's most striking offshore rocks, that rise 360 feet out of the ocean.
• Grotta Azzurra: Take a boat ride to experience the stunning light refraction of the Blue Grotto yourself.
• Villa Jovis: Visit this retreat built by Roman Emperor Tiberius where excavations have unearthed his baths and apartments.