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Capri: Shopping

A little shop on Capri's luxury shopping street, Carthusia-Profumi di Capri, Via Camerelle 10 (tel. 081-8370529), specializes in perfume made on the island from local herbs and flowers. Since 1948, this shop has attracted such clients as Elizabeth Taylor (before she started touting her own perfume). The scents are unique, and many women consider Carthusia perfumes collector's items. Note: This store is in Anacapri.

Carthusia also has a Perfume Laboratory, Viale Matteotti 2 (tel. 081-8370368), which you can visit daily 9:30am to 6pm. There's another Carthusia shop in Anacapri, at Via Capodimonte 26 (tel. 081-8373668), next to the Villa Axel Munthe. The shops are closed November to March, but the laboratory remains open year-round.

Capri is famed for its limoncello, a liqueur whose recipe was conceived several generations ago by members of the Canali family. It consists of lemon zest (not the juice or pith) mixed with alcohol, sugar, water, and herbs to produce a tart kind of "hyperlemonade" with a mildly alcoholic lift. It's consumed alone as either an aperitif or a digestive, or it's mixed with vodka or sparkling wines for a lemony cocktail. In 1989, the Canalis formalized their family recipe, established modern distilleries on Capri and in nearby Sorrento, and hired professionals to promote the product as far away as the United States and Japan. Limoncello is sold at Limoncello di Capri, Via Roma 79 (tel. 081-8375561) in Capri, or at Via Capodimonte 27 (tel. 081-8372927) in Anacapri, often in lovely bottles that make nice, affordable gifts.

Shoppers here also look for deals on sandals, cashmere, and jewelry, the town's big bargains. The cobblers at Canfora, Via Camerelle 3 (tel. 081-8370487), make all the sandals found in their shop. If you don't find what you need, you can order custom-made footwear. The store also sells shoes but doesn't make those. The great sandal maker of Capri is Antonio Viva, holding forth for nearly half a century at L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese, Via Orlando 75 in Anacapri (tel. 081-8373583). In days of yore, Jackie O and Sophia Loren used to come here to purchase sandals. There are ready-made selections, but this cobbler will also design to order.

The eight talented jewelers at La Perla Gioielli, Piazza Umberto I, 21(tel. 081-8370641), work exclusively with gold and gems and can design and create anything you want. Established in 1936 by a local matriarch, Mamma Olympia, this is the most elegant and prestigious jeweler on Capri, with rosters of famous star-quality fans from around Europe and the new world. It's also the local branch of Buccellati, the prestigious silversmith based in Rome. Ask for Angela, or any of her charming children, Giorgio, Giuseppe, or Claudio. Another little charmer we recently stumbled upon quite by accident is Grazia Vozza Gioielli, Via Fuorlovado 38 (tel. 081-8374010), which sells freshwater pearls and a stunning collection of necklaces in peridot, jade, amber, and aquamarine.

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