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"Cauros" (i.e. wild boar, for its characteristic shape) to the ancient Greek colonists, "Capraea" and "Insula Sirenussae" (i.e. bitter, rockly island and mermaids' island) to the Latins, "Antheomoessa" (i.e. Land in flower) to Homer, "Apragopolis" (i.e. land of sweet idleness) to Emperor Augustus: these names and nicknames, conjuring up bitterness and sweetness at the same time, assigned to the island of Capri over the centuries are probably enough to describe the various aspects of this land of matchless beauty and enchantment.
The island, which is quite small (its perimeter in no longer than 17 km), is almost completely formed by limestone rock which, during the course of the millenniums, the elements and geological movements have modelled into mountainous reliefs (the highest peak, Monte Solaro, reaches an altitude of 589 m); they drop more gently down into a series of rolling hills and two large plateaus divided at the neck of the island, between Marina Grande and Marina Piccola, which in turn drop down to the sea often in the form of steep, jagged cliffs indented in small creeks, caves and ravines, or projecting in mini peninsulas and headlands that offer unforgettable panoramas, or adorned with rocks of gigantic sizes that emerge majestically from the water. On this land, the vegetation has grown in line with the climate, always mild and quite dry, colouring the rock green with woods and spontaneous vegetation, low and thick, or with the lively colours of its numerous flowers, colours which have been enriched over the course of the centuries with those of grapes, olive trees and citrus fruit plantations cultivated by man in the more fertile areas. A perfect natural environment (which is today actively protected) for numerous animal species, living both on the land and in the water, common or rare like the Podarcis sicula coerulea, the famous blue lizard that only lives on one of the island's Faraglioni rocks. Capri, the "paradise of idleness", to call it as Emperor Augustus did, i.e. away from the pressures of daily working life, to be dedicated to the discovery of nature and the many historical and artistic beauties of the isalnd: the deep sea, the matchless panoramas, the picturesque villages, the ruins of ancient Roman villas, the Charterhouse and the churches, the castles, palaces, the countless private villas, the towers, the famous blue grottos... These are probably the mermaids that figure in the legends which, with their melodious and irresistible charm attracted on to the island not only two emperors but also a large number of painters, writers, musicians, scholars and artist who found inspiration for their works or simply wished to pay homage to Capri, "Reina de roca, en tu vestido de amaranto y azucena", (Queen of Rock, in your cockscomb and white lily robe), as Pablo Neruda wrote.