A beautiful morning in Sorrento, with no sign of yesterday’s rain. After another lovely breakfast, we checked out the hotel pool and gardens. We really must come back here sometime in the later spring! It seemed like the perfect day to visit the island of Capri (note – pronounced KAH-pree, not like the pants). So we headed down to the ferry port. The ferry was a fairly large boat and we were able to find seats on the upper floor with a good view of Capri as we approached. Capri is separated from the mainland by a narrow strait and is reached by a 30 minute ferry ride from Sorrento. It has a population of ~12,000 who live in the two towns on the island, lower Capri Town and above that Anacapri (Ana from the Greek meaning above).
We chose a guided tour as the most efficient way to see the island and off we went with Giuseppe in a Mercedes minibus. The bus headed up a narrow road, with many switchbacks, and the skill of the bus drivers was apparent as they artfully passed each other. On the way, we passed the ancient Phoenician Steps (all 777 of them). We arrived at the town centre of Anacapri and had a couple of hours to spend exploring. We chose to ride the chairlift to the 1900 foot summit of Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island. Here we were treated to magnificent views of the entire Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Ischia and Procida. We spent quite a bit of time snapping photos from all angles. After a pleasant descent on the chairlift, we spent some time popping into a couple of lovely shops for some purchases for my girls and I, and having a snack of some fruit we had brought along.
Hopping back on the bus, we headed to Capri Town. Here Giuseppe told us some of the island history. The island’s charm has been a favorite vacation spot for Roman emperors,Romantic Age aristocrats on their Grand Tour of Europe, Russian revolutionaries and decades of celebrities. Mussolini spent much time here, as did his daughter who owned a castle high above the town. The property is now owned by a Venezuelan millionaire.
Giuseppe’s friend, Giuseppe, led us through the streets of Capri Town to the Giardini of Augusto. This small garden oasis offers breathtaking views and today, seemed to be preparing for a reception of some sort. It would be an amazing wedding location! Leaving the garden, we wandered past the high end shops in the area, stopped for gelato and admired more stunning views. It was now time for a bus ride down to hop on the ferry. This time, our vessel was a hydrofoil, with mostly outdoor seating. As we headed across the strait, a squall blew in and it was a bit of a chilly, damp experience. Once on land, we quickly climbed the stairs up the steep embankment and made our way back to the hotel for an enjoyable rest.
For dinner tonight, we were pleased to find that Inn Bufalito was open this evening. This restaurant, recommended by Rick Steve’s and Lonely Planet, focuses on regional specialities. We shared a Capri Salad (rocket, cherry tomatoes and the wonderfully creamy mozzarella di bufala) and bruschetta. The flavor of the tomatoes was wonderful! We chose our entrees from the daily specials. Harv thoroughly enjoyed homemade black pasta (the color comes from squid ink), smothered in tomatoes, prawns and squid. I think my entree was the best I have had on the trip – grilled white tuna with sautéed zucchini. Of course, red wine and finished off with chilled limoncello. I also would highly recommend this restaurant! It was a great day!