The Phoenician Steps (Scala Fenicia) lead from Capri‘s Marina Grande harbor to Anacapri, the highest city on the island. Those brave enough to go all the way up will have climbed 921 steps. The steps were probably built not by Phoenicians, but by Greeks. The total length of the stairs is about 1.7 kilometers.
Phoenician Steps Capri
The Phoenician Steps, thanks to the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, are one of the biggest attractions of Capri. It is recommended to climb the stairs not once but twice, one time during the day and then again at night, when they are beautifully illuminated.
For centuries, the Phoenician Steps were the only connection between the port and the highest point of the island. Although originally thought to have been the work of Phoenicians, the stairs were actually built by the Greeks between the 7th and 6th centuries BC.
Later, the Anginola and Passetiello roads were built from the coast to the Cetrella Hermitage.
It was not until 1877 that a carriage road was established between the two towns of Capri and Anacapri.
The steps were used to carry food, water and other goods to the highest parts of the island. It was mostly women who did this. This was done in the traditional way, by balancing large jugs, baskets and crates on their heads.
The stairs were last restored in 1998.
What to see
The starting point of the stairs is near the Palazzo a Mare in Marina Grande. At first it is quite easy, but gradually the slope becomes steeper and more curvy.
The most notable sights along the steps are the San Costanzo Church and the Sant’Antonio di Padova Chapel. There are also crucifixes here and there along the path. These were commissioned by the bishops of Capri with inscriptions asking the Lord to protect hikers from falling pieces of rock.
The Scala Fenicia ends at the Porta della Differenza (“Gate of Difference”), which marks the border between Capri and Anacapri.