On Capri, hotels fill up quickly, so book well in advance to be assured of getting first-pick accommodations. Although island prices are generally higher than those on the mainland, it's worth paying the difference for an overnight stay. Once the day-trippers have left center stage and headed down to the Marina Grande for the ferry home, the streets regain some of their charm and tranquillity.

Although Ischia can be sampled piecemeal on day excursions from Naples, given the size of the island, you'd be well advised to arrange a stopover. Ischia is known for its natural hot-water spas, and many hotels have a wellness or beauty center, meaning you may be tempted not to venture any farther than the lobby for the duration of your stay. Hotels in Procida tend to be family-run and more down-to-earth. Note that booking is essential for the summer months, when half board may be required. Most hotels close from November to Easter, when the season is at its lowest.

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