Europe 2016

15 – Capri

We caught the early train from Rome to Naples (crazy traffic in Naples…the taxi ride to the ferry was very scary), and then the ferry to Capri. We arrived before noon and hopped the bus to Anacapri on the other side of the island. The first impressions of the island views were absolutely stunning. Photos cannot give you the depth and perspective of distance. It’s gorgeous here… no wonder ancient Roman emperors came here to build summer palaces. Despite the blazing sun, the ocean breeze brought the temperature down to perfect.

The bus ride, however, is nothing short of terrifying with tight hairpin turns on a road barely wide enough for 1 vehicle and carved into the sheer rock face of a vertical cliff…gulp! The bus drivers are probably retired Monte Carlo race car champions.

Our BnB at Maruzzella is charmingly perfect with sweeping views west across the Mediterranean. The hostess (Lidia) and her mother (Maria) welcomed us along with the family dog (Mozzarella). We quickly settled in and then struck out for an afternoon explore of the town of Anacapri.

Charming, quiet, everything stucco white… first thing was lunch at Barbarossa for fantastic seafood spagetti (huge shrimp.. just like in Rome). Then we wandered the streets, oohing and ahhing at the wonderful strangeness of this place, unlike any they we’ve seen before… very southern Mediterranean if that means anything to you. We visited only 1 church, San Michele (Saint Michael) and discovered the most amazing tiled floor… a complete depiction of the Garden of Eden… absolutely silencing.

Toward evening another happenstance surprise, a town parade celebrating “First Comunion” and all the townsfolk were turned out complete with costumed children, marching band and fireworks. We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly.

Next morning after breakfast, we set off for the other side of the island to explore the town of Capri… famous as the destination of the rich and famous. I  could care less about that. The morning was quiet and we easily moved through the narrow streets admiring the shop displays. First destination, a 15 minute walk just outside of town to see the natural rock arch. Very cool! On the hike back to Capri, we stopped at a little cliff-side trattoria for refreshments (prossecco and lemon cake… oh yes!).

Entering the town, we met the cruise ship tourists… narrow streets, many tourists, claustrophobia. Nevertheless, we pushed through to the southside of the town to visit the Gardens of Augustus (2000 years old). So lovely, especially for the view of the Faraglioni Rocks, giant sea stacks jutting up out of the sea… one in particular with a huge arch under it through which even large tour boats can pass.

After a bit of souvenir shopping in Capri, we returned to Anacapri (very scary bus ride) and caught the chair lift up to the 589 meter summit of Monte Solaro for the 360 degree view of the entire island. My photos are great but still cannot portray the majestic views. Again, no wonder ancient Roman emperors (Tiberius and followers) chose Capri as their summer vacation home.

The last supper on Capri was at a restaurant recommend to us by a fellow guest from New York who is of Italian descent and familiar with the town. Laguna del Gusto…here’s the selections;  prossecco appertif (on the house), primis of deep fried zucchini flowers and spagetti primiverra, secundis of mixed seafood (squid, octopus, sardines, tuna, scampi, cod) and grilled swordfish, and limoncello finisher (on the house). The owner, Fernando, is most gracious. We ended the day with a stunning sunset on the Mediterranean. Totally lovely.

Ciao Capri…the photos will bring me back here time and time again.


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