Friday, November 11, 2011

Capri, a dream of an island

This was my third time on Capri, the second for Scott and the first for Walt and Honoree. I'm a very visual person and find this scenery irresistible. It was much too short a visit but we had perfect weather and it was a wonderful day. We took the ferry out of Naples. It was a holiday weekend so there was little traffic and there is a large parking lot right next to the terminal. On the way out we were forced to sit inside unfortunately and on the way back, when we could have sat outside, it was too cold.
Once there we mistakenly walked up to the town center rather than taking the funicular. We had hours of walking up and down ahead of us with better views. Still it was interesting to explore the narrow lanes through the town. They should be pedestrian only but we had to share them with the ubiquitous scooters.
Leaving Naples on the ferry we left behind a number of
cruise ships

Narrow "streets" or really paths lead up and
down the Capri hills between the beautiful
villas. Their gardens spill over the walls.

Glimpses of the distant cliffs and sea tantalize you as you walk

We had perfect weather during our visit,
in the high 70's

Here is the view from the restaurant we ate lunch at, that's
the Sorrento peninsula in the distance left.

This sailboat passed us and conjured up
memories of our cruises past many islands.

The spectacular Natural Arch 

Scott and I pose in front of the Natural Arch.

Honoree demonstrates the size of this wonderful cave
which once had buildings within.

These winding stone stairs continue with hairpin turns
down to the water.  Click to see some more disappearing
into the trees center left.

There is just one drop dead view after another.
Nations have been fighting and occupying Capri for thousands of years; the Greeks, Romans, Turks, various Italian city states, French and British. The last tried to turn this into a Gibraltar and caused serious damage to the archaeological sites. The Emperor Tiberius ruled the Roman empire from here until his death. I don't blame him for not wanting to leave.
Miles and miles of trails, mostly paved, and stairs wind their way around the island. We didn't have time unfortunately to make it to Tiberius' Villa Jovis but went directly to the Natural Arch and Matrimonial cave. There we had our long delayed lunch at "Le Grottelle", a spectacular spot overlooking the water, although the food wasn't all as good as the view. We then continued along the coast to the Faraglioni and back up into town. As always we had some gelato and wandered around the shop lined streets. I'm not a shopper and didn't go into anyplace but prefer to look at the people and the buildings. We did buy some limoncello to bring to our friends in London. Lemon trees are all over the island and this is a specialty here.
 That's the Faraglioni ahead around the next bend

The Faraglioni are limestone peaks rising
up above the water.

Another view of the same

The trees in the foreground and the cliffs
fading into the mist - I could sit here and
look at this view for hours.

Like Amalfi or Positano, stairs connect most
of the villas with the town. There are few roads
and cars.

One of the few places in the world I'm tempted to spend the
money to stay in a first class hotel.

Although the rich and famous from Roman times have had
villas here on Capri (Mariah Carey now), generations of Capri
residents still live everywhere on the island.

This famous square hangs on the side of the cliffs and at
this time of the year is not packed with tourists.

The Clock tower in Capri

We took the front car down on the Funicular

The small harbor of Marina Grande is filled with boats.

As we waited for our ferry the sun came down and the
lights of the city came on.

The town of Capri spills down the slope from the center high
on the hill

The moon appeared over the island as we headed back
to Naples on our ferry. 

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