Capri (anc. Caprea), a small and rocky Italian island, in the Mediterranean, S. of the entrance to the bay of Naples; pop. about 5,000. It is celebrated for its fine climate, which makes it a favorite resort for invalids, especially for those suffering from chronic bronchitis. It is noted in history as the place where Augustus resided during his illness, and where Tiberius spent the last ten years of his life. The island is about 9 m. in circumference, and surrounded by steep cliffs. In these cliffs are several remarkable grottoes, the most in-teresting of which is the Blue grotto, 165 ft. long, 100 ft. broad, and about 40 ft. high. It can only be entered in calm weather, by a boat through a natural arch 3 ft. high. The water within is 50 ft. deep, and like the walls and the roof is of a beautiful blue color. The principal town of the island, of the same name, is the see of a bishop, and contains a cathedral and some other churches; pop. about 3,400. There is also a small town called Anacapri. Between the two mountains of limestone (the highest of which is Monte Solaro, rising nearly 1,800 ft. above the sea) lies a fertile valley, which yields grain, olives, grapes, and other fruits.
The inhabitants are engaged in the production of the red and white Capri wines and of oil, in fishing, and in catching quails, vast numbers of which are taken every spring and autumn on their passage from and to Africa. Remains of several of the 12 villas erected by Tiberius in various parts of the island are still to be seen, and other relics of antiquity have been excavated here. In 1806 it was in possession of the French; they were driven out by an English fleet commanded by Sir Sidney Smith, who placed there a garrison under Col. Hudson Lowe. In 1808 the French under Gen. Lamarque made a descent upon the island and forced the garrison to surrender.
Cliffs of Capri.