Capri (accent on the first syllable) is supposedly named for the mountain goats (capra) that roam the rugged terrain beside and behind the really touristy, but beautiful towns, Capri and Anacapri. 20,000 tourists often call it the “Island of Dreams” where they can spot the rich and famous (which they never do). They only see designer shops that charge rich and famous prices. We found this guy (above) on a wonderful cruise around the entire island.
It was another magnificent day, bright and in the 70s for the 45 minute boat ride across the Bay of Naples.
The compact town’s harbor is packed with the yachts of the un-findable rich and famous, but before we set ashore, we cruised around the magnificent island and it’s natural wonders.
We were greeted by this beautiful and charming young woman just sitting on the rocks, probably singing her siren’s song to lure us in. But we avoided getting too close when we found out she was a stoic bronze sculpture.
The brilliant azure waters flow in and out of caves cut in the stone where our captain pulls close enough to touch the rock. We keep clear of the crowded Blue Grotto where tourists get into small dinghys, lay on their backs and float into a large cave with accentuated blue waters. Some of our group have already been, and we just won’t have enough time later. Just as nice to see it this way I think.
We came across the beautiful Capri lighthouse. I had to shoot it, especially for our friend, Mark Bilak who takes magnificent photos of lighthouses everywhere. Have you been to this one, Mark?
Finished with our circuit, we go ashore to take in the sights, first in Anacapri, the quieter and prettier of the two towns on opposite sides of the island. We’re told there is quite a rivalry between the two independent municipalities. Basically they don’t really like each other. But no war (except for prices) has started yet. Limoncello, the liqueur made from the beautiful lemons in this part of Italy is sold and sampled everywhere – everywhere I could find – kind of like the stuff. This bus is probably the largest vehicle on the tiny island with very narrow and winding roads.
We wander around, through the shops and museum of Anacapri to this spectacular overlook. Way off in the distance you can see part of the Sorrento peninsula, where we’ll be traveling to and staying next week. We fought our way back down the hill through some pretty dense tourist traffic to a nice restaurant and a good three-course meal.
Wandering through Capri, after lunch, Randye and Michael decided one dessert is not enough, especially in the land of Gelato! We made our way toward the Gardinier Di Augusta with a stop at this other beautiful garden once a convent and now a luxury hotel.
Capri was once famous as the vacation hideaway of Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. In the 19th century it became the haunt of the aristocrats of the romantic age, and later for Europe’s artsy gay community. Oscar Wilde, D. H. Lawrence and their friends sneaked away to here, free from the unsympathetic “law”.
The Augustus Garden, and the views from it were certainly worth the walk. We had to hustle back to catch the 5 pm boat to return us to Ercolano.
To say the trip back was spectacular is a gross understatement.
The sunset, looking over the breakwater to our west, was (not a cliche) breathtaking. What a way to end a beautiful day – even better than the special dinner the hotel had prepared for us.
Tomorrow, a full morning cooking class focusing on local seafood that will become our lunch. Then a trip up Mt. Vesuvius to look down into the still active crater. See you then.