Capri, Ischia, and Procida Travel Guide

Capri, Ischia, and Procida Sights

Santo Stefano

  • Piazza Umberto I Map It
  • Capri
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

Towering over La Piazzetta, with a dome that is more sculpted than constructed and with cupolettas that seem molded from frozen zabaglione, Capri's mother church is a prime example of l'architettura baroccheggiante—the term historians use to describe Capri's fanciful form of Baroque architecture. Often using vaulting and molded buttresses (because there was little wood to be found on such a scrubby island to support the ceilings), Capri's architects became sculptors when they adapted Moorish and Grecian styles into their own "homemade" architecture. Sometimes known unglamorously as the ex-cathedral, the church was built in 1685 by Marziale Desiderio of Amalfi on the site of a Benedictine convent (founded in the 6th century), whose sole relic is the clock tower campanile across the Piazzetta. As in so many churches in southern Italy, there has been a good deal of recycling of ancient building materials: the flooring of the high altar was laid with polychrome marble from

Villa Jovis, while the marble in the Cappella del Sacramento was removed from the Roman villa of Tragara. Inside the sacristy are some of the church treasures, including an 18th-century large silver bust of San Costanzo, the patron saint of Capri, whose holy day is celebrated every May 14. Opposite the church on the tiny Piazzetta I. Cerio are the Palazzo Cerio Arcucci, with its Museo Caprense Ignazio Cerio; the Palazzo Farace, which houses the Biblioteca Caprense I. Cerio (I. Cerio Library); and the Palazzo Vanalesti, the executive offices of the Capri tourist board.

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Sight Information


Piazza Umberto I, Capri, Campania, 80073, Italy

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Published 06/20/2007


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