La Piazzetta (Piazza Umberto I)
This pretty square's original name was "Piazza Umberto I", but from the 1930's it has been known as "La Piazzetta" (the use of the suffix "etta" in Italian is a diminutive, and is used in affectionate reference to the square's small size).
In the past it was just the site of the fish market, but has since risen in prestige. Now popular for its bars, it is the choice meeting point for islanders, visitors and villa owners, some of whom are almost as famous as the island itself.
Visitors arriving in Capri, generally take the Funicular (a cableway) from the port to the terrace near the "Piazzetta". The journey up through the island, and the marvelous view from the top, are great moments to catch holiday snapshots of this breathtakingly beautiful island.
In any Italian town, the "Piazza" is a significant spot, being the hub of social life, where one engages in the "national sports" of relaxing, socializing, looking, and being looked at. No setting is more ideally suited to this than Capri's "Piazzetta".
Furnished with fashionable bars, set amidst staggering views, surrounded with elements of historic, classic and modern architecture, it is not surprising it has become known as "The World's Living Room". The four famous bars are surrounded by palaces restored in the Seventeenth Century, including the Cerio Palace, dating back to the Thirteen Hundreds and the Angevin era.
Alongside stands the Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio), originally the Bell Tower of Saint Stephen's Cathedral. Its interior was made from materials re used from the floor of the ancient Emperor Tiberius' Villa Jovis.
To the South-East side of the square stands the Town Hall which used to be the Episcopal Palace, restored in the Seventeen Hundreds. A passage, linking the Palace to Saint Stephen's Cathedral, remains as evidence of its older religious function.
From fish market, to fashionable meeting place, the "Piazzetta" has always been the nucleus of the island's social life. Locals, fishermen, the rich, the famous the well to do, and countless travelers have enjoyed it as the perfect place for relaxation and pleasure.