When our ferry docked at Capri’s port, Marina Grande, it was clear that I had arrived somewhere special. Rising out of the Mediterranean Sea like an uncut diamond, Capri (meaning “Goat”) is unlike any place I have ever been in the world.
It is rumored that the island attracts as many as 50,000 tourists a day during the summer months. People-watching can be a full-time venture here on the island. Capri’s luxurious and linen-laden patrons captivated me. I am most impressed with the ability of the women to not only balance elegantly on 5 inch stilettos, but they do so as they traverse the steep inclines and rough cobblestones that snake through Capri central.
It is difficult to not get a bit wrapped up in the opulence. In Capri, you are surrounded by the ‘bling’ and flash of jewels, stunning gem-encrusted sandals and glamourous togs that taunt you from behind gleaming windows. We inadvertently immersed ourselves in this ‘lavish’ game by grabbing a table at the Grand Quisisana, a five-star hotel situated at the heart of Capri. Wanting to step outside the norm a bit, we asked the waiter what he suggested we try for a drink. “The drink of a Princesse of course!” He flashed a charming smile and proffered a suggestive wink. Ah, you gotta love Italian charm!
The drink was delicious. Champagne with baby strawberries. Fantastico! And only 40 Euros a glass. ?!?!?! Oy. I wasn’t feeling particularly regal after we got that bill.
The daytime crowd in Capri is completely different from the nighttime crowd. As evening falls on Capri, this fair town dips its toe in the silky-sweet chocolate of romance. Couples stroll and canoodle in the softening light of the evening; couples of all sizes, shapes and leanings. I was fascinated by one couple in particular. She – 5’10’, brunette, stunning, chic and maybe maybe 21 years of age. He – 5’2”, old. I didn’t know whether I should high-five him or scold her for being out past her bedtime.
Capri’s history is interesting. It was a favourite retreat of the once Roman Emperor, Tiberius. He retired to the island from Rome and spent his final years in debauchery on the island, hosting orgies and throwing people from cliffs. But Capri’s less than tasteful past (at the hands of Tiberius) in no way taints the extraordinary beauty of the island.
The Grotta Azurra (Blue Grotto) is magnificent. I recommend it for anyone who plans to visit this island. It is a sea cave on the coast where sunlight can pass through underwater creating a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. Getting into the Grotto is half the fun. Once in, you are in for a treat as the guides serenade you with Italian opera as you glide through the azure waters. Then there are the Faraglioni, three spurs of rock which ascend out of the sea just off the the island’s Southern coast. Magnificent and majestic. More photos here.
Today, we head to Ravello on the Amalfi coast. I will miss Capri. But I am hoping that my pocketbook will get a bit of a break on the next leg of my journey.
Addio Capri il mio appassionato, stravagante amante!
Quote of the day: “What is the fatal charm of Italy? What do we find there that can be found nowhere else? I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.” –Erica Jong