Tuesday, August 21, 2012
A Day for Capri
Before we left for Europe this year we watched a lot of travel videos of places we would be visiting: Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa. Every place looked so beautiful and exciting that I could not wait to see them in person. That is everything except the Blue Grotto on the. island of Capri. Before we left I declared I would never go in it, but today I had a change of heart and loved every minute of it.
Walking to the express ferry this morning someone handed us a tiny brochure, Laser Capri. It was to be a two hour boat tour around Capri with a stop at the Blue Grotto. Arriving there I noticed it was just like the video. Row boats carry four pasengers at a time into a hole so tiny everyone has to lie down flat on the floor of the boat. What changed my mind to try it? I think it was the air of excitement in the boat. Once you are inside the Grotto, the water is a beautiful aquamarine color and seems almost lit from below with floodlights. It was so much fun our boat driver broke into "O Solo Mia" after which we hinted if we liked it we could give him a tip.
We figured that the rest of the boat ride would just be a ride around the island, but it turned out to be a very comprehensive sightseeing tour. We saw where Sophia Lauren and Armani lived as well as Mussolini's former retreat now owned by the president of Gerber Baby Foods. Our driver also took us close into different grottos and upon noticing David taking photos, invited him to sit in the captain's seat for a better view.
To see the really beautiful part of Capri, you must take a funnicular up to the town. The view from the top was spectacular.
It's a whole other world up there. It's a world where those who can afford it relax beside refreshing infinity pools under palm trees while sipping iced tea with mint served by tuxedoed waiters. It's a world where every store is a designer store such as Louis Vuitton and Cartier. One of them had a cute dachshund logo, but when I went inside the same store in Sorrento, the message was clear: Beat it. Serious shoppers only.
The temperature was brutally hot so we did the best we could to stay in the shade. Following the winding lanes was very pleasant.
Even the local cats looked quite content.
Back down at the harbor were the more affordable stores. We sat in the shade at a waterside cafe and were entertained by a flash mob that appeared in a boat.
In the evening we took a final walk around Sorrento. Stopping at a local bookshop for a calendar, I was amazed when a young man working there handed me two art prints of the town as a gift. We thanked the owner profusely and as we walked away, he appeared with another print for us. I assumed he was going to say if we liked it a donation might be nice, but instead he shook our hand and disappeared back into the crowd.
We love Italy. I'll miss its energetic vibe and beautiful scenery, and maybe if we get to come back, I'll try swimming into the Blue Grotto too.