Today we transitioned from Positano to the Isle of Capri – one beautiful place to another. When we were waiting in line to board our ferry this morning, Ryan realized he still had the keys to the B ‘n’ B that we’d checked out of in his pocket. With only 10 minutes before boarding, he ran off to find somewhere to leave the keys for the proprietors. He was able to find a hotel porter not far away that knew the family (everyone in Positano seems to know each other) and said he would make sure they were returned. A quick text to the family confirmed that it was not a problem so crisis averted!
Approaching Capri by ferry, you are surprised to find just how far it sticks up out of the Mediterranean. It is a beautiful sight! I Faraglione is a set of 3 big rocks that protrude off the southwest coast of Capri like 3 large whales beginning to breach. They are a noteworthy landmark here and people like to take their boats through the narrow spaces between each rock.
When you come around to the northern side of the island you are struck by the gentle rise from the marina up to Capri Town between towering rocks on either side. There is nothing subtle about the dramatic landscape here and it feels quite magical.
Landing at the marina, there is an excitement among the passengers to get on land and let Capri’s magic take hold. The colorful boats and buildings add to the charm. We let the owners of the AirBnB know we had arrived and were happy to have them tell us that the apartment was ready, even though it was 4 hours before check-in time. They gave us directions to walk to the apartment saying it was an easy 10 minute walk. Like everywhere we’ve been staying in Italy so far, walking means going up or down and doesn’t always feel so “easy”. Probably carrying 2 bags each and pulling our roller bags contributed to the lack of ease but it also took us more like 17 minutes to arrive. But, again, the beauty of the isle helped to take our minds off our toil.
The family greeted us at the private walkway on the road and escorted us down a winding walkway that went on for a while before coming out at their private courtyard entrance. Our apartment was up some stairs from their courtyard giving it even more height to enhance the lovely view. We were blown away by the bird’s eye view of the marina below and the Bay of Naples. Once again we are looking out at Mt. Vesuvius in even more specatacular form than the view we had in Sorrento. The AirBnB owners kept apologizing for their poor English which always embarrasses us. We’re in their country, not the other way around, and we feel bad that we can’t speak even rudimentary Italian.
After getting checked in, we had in mind to walk up to Capri Town which we can see from our apartment out a side window. Of course, that means more uphill trodding on road and pedestrian paths including stairs and ramped walkways. It took us about 15 minutes to get up to the main piazza in town and found it bustling with tourists and locals. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like here in the summer when, we’re told, the island’s population grows five times its size.
Ryan and I love Caprese salads and we have them frequently back in the States. So, here we were in the land where they originated and we just had to start out our first meal on the island, lunch, with one. It was actually quite good but probably not any better than some we have had elsewhere. Still, it was fun to try it here. There isn’t a picture of it, but I had a Caprese Ravioli for my main dish. It is a signature dish in Capri and is raviolis stuffed with mozzarella, caciotta cheese, and marjoram with a tomato sauce on top. It was quite good too. Ryan had a scampi risotto dish which should have had a stronger lemon flavor, especially considering we’re in the land of lemons.
After lunch, we walked south out of town along these narrow foot paths that seem to run all over the island. We were headed to the opposite side of the island from where we are staying to see some beautiful gardens that overlook the Mediterranean. Along the way, we each bought granitas which are like slushies. I had lemon and Ryan mixed lemon with mint. They were so refreshing!
As we neared our destination, the Giardini di Augusto (Augustus’ Gardens), we began to get glimpses of the sea and then the I Faraglione, the same 3 rocks we had seen by ferry as we were transported to Capri that morning. They are strikingly massive! By the way, gardens and homes on Capri are some of the most beautiful we have seen anywhere. People here clearly have the means to own nice places and they seem to take very good care of them.
Giardini di Augusto sits atop a rise on the edge of a high cliff overlooking the southern coast of Capri. To one side you can see Marina Piccola, the island’s small marina. The different hues of blue combine to make the Mediterranean one of the prettiest seas in the world, at least we think so.
To the other side of the gardens is the view of I Faraglione. You can watch boats navigating the narrow spaces between the rocks, particularly between the two on the right, which in this picture may appear to be just one large rock to you. By the way, notice the neighborhood behind Ryan. That is where the main character in the book I’m reading lives, in a fictional villa called “The Villa of Sad Lemons”!
I’m milking those red shorts for all they’re worth while here in Italy! Normally, I never wear anything red and, truth be told, these shorts were originally Ryan’s that he passed on to me, but they seem to work here. We took a bit of time to browse some shops in Capri Town on the way back to our apartment from the gardens.
Back at the apartment, we figured out how we were going to take some time to relax and soak up the beauty from the terrace. I decided to try out a chaise where I could read my book. Ah, so nice! Ryan ended up pulling up another chaise next to me and we read side by side until we got drowsy and took a little nap together to the sounds of the clanging anchors and tooting horns on the ferries below.
Rousing ourselves from our naps, we dressed and headed out to a restaurant that had been recommended to us, called Panorama. You can see that it lives up to its name. That’s Mt. Vesuvius across the bay.
Ryan’s dish was a mix of seafood in a tomato broth and he said it was scrumptious! I had a pappardelle with porcini mushrooms that was good but not good looking enough to photograph, especially compared to Ryan’s dinner. We lingered over dinner almost 2 hours, watching the light on the cliffside behind us change color and the setting sun streak the wispy clouds pink and orange over the Bay of Naples.
This was the first time we ordered dessert on this vacation. But, we had purposely not ordered a starter so that we could indulge in some sweets following dinner. Ryan’s chocoalte-almond torte is another signature dish of Capri and he liked it a lot. I had profiteroles, which I associate with France, but were extra good here covered in Italian cioccolato! It would have been a wonderful way to end our day, but on our walk back to the apartment down darkened footpaths, Ryan realized the keys to the AirBnB were missing! We called the restaurant and they hadn’t found any so we thought they must have fallen out of his pocket in the cab we took to the restaurant. It seems that keys were going to factor in the beginning and end of our day today. When you travel, you never know what to expect and you have to just go with it. We called the owners of the apartment and they said they would meet us when we got there and provide us with a new set of keys. They would also call the taxi company for us to see if keys had been found and we “were not to worry”. That’s not always easy for us professional worriers but if there’s any place that could make us forget our worries, it’s Capri!