Arco Naturale

Useful Information

Arco Naturale, Capri, Italy. William Stanley Haseltine (1870). Public Domain.
Arco Naturale, Capri, Italy. Thomas Fearnley (1833). Public Domain.
Location: Eastern coast of Capri island. From the center of the village Capri follow Via Le Botthege to the east, then turn right into Via Matermania. The final part of this road is called Via Arco Naturale, at its end a trail to the arc starts.
(40.55026560782003, 14.257049245545971)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstNatural Bridge
Light: n/a
Dimension: W=12 m, H=18 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: not accessible, steep staircases
Address: Azienda Autonoma Soggiorno Cura E Turismo, Via Padre Serafino Cimmino, 1, 80073 Capri NA, Tel: +39-081-837-0424.
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Arco Naturale, Capri, Italy. Thomas Fearnley (1833). Public Domain.
Arco Naturale, Capri, Italy. Public Domain.

The Arco Naturale (Natural Arc) is an impressive natural bridge which is the remains of a cave. It is located at the southeastern corner of the island, above the steep cliff, and offers a great view to the sea and the Sorrento peninsula. The strange location and the asymmetric form make this a really romantic spot and it was very popular since the 19th century. Numerous painters visiting the island painted the arc, among them Thomas Fearnley and William Stanley Haseltine.

This arch is the last remains of a karst cave, the rest has been eroded. Before the uplift of the island during the late Palaeolithic, the arc was around sea level. The cave was widened by the waves, which also washed away the debris of the collapse. Since it is above sea level there is no more erosion, but wind and rain still weather the limestone. The final destruction is slowed down, but not stopped.

Ther are multiple ways to see the arch. Quite popular are the boat trips around the island, which visit numerous sea caves and also offer a view of the arch from the sea. Then there is the shortest access from the Via Matermania which becomes Via Arco Naturale, at the and of the road there is a short trail. And finally it is possible to see the arch from various outloos on the popular Via Tragara/Via del Pizzolungo. It connects two road ends by a narrow single lane road and a walking trail through the almost vertical cliff and is a popular walk for tourists.