Capri Town — Via Tiberio

The island of Capri has only two towns: Anacapri, the upper town, and Capri, the lower town. We were working our way down, having started at the top. It was now time to explore the main town, famous, and infamous as well, for its celebrity-sightings and over-the-top shopping.

La Piazzetta -- officially known as Piazza Umberto I

We split off into small groups for our explorations.  Some wanted to stroll and shop while others wanted to cover more extensive ground. Gino, Kris, and I made up the latter group.

I love the signage

I thought it would be fun to walk part way up Via Tiberio, the road that ultimately leads to Villa Jovis. A few years before, Gino and I had made the same trek up to the ruins of this Roman villa built by Tiberius in the first century B.C.E. The panorama had been stunning.

I knew that this time we did not have enough time to make it all the way up, but it would be a lovely walk nonetheless. So we headed upwards.

Not just signs -- they are pieces of art.

As we progressed, the crowd thinned dramatically, and we often found ourselves the only ones around. A sign came into view next to a large Ficus tree at the side of the trail. We drew closer to confirm it really said, “Nicola Morgano.”

A favorable omen

Was this a serendipitous omen for what would transpire just four days from now when Nichole Del Pozzo would become Nichole Morgan?

Welcome!

Continuing our walk, we were now drawn by the sound of soft guitar-playing and singing. The music led us into Bar Due Calipsi, an almost-empty outdoor cafe where a man was seated, playing his guitar and singing sweetly. Two other men and a woman sat next to him listening. We smiled and joined them.

The guitarist was playing an old Italian song familiar to me from my childhood when my parents used to play an album by Pola Chapell. It was always one of my favorite tunes.

Kris and Gino take a little break

Kris looked quintessentially Italian: his fashionable shirt, his stylish dark hair and sunglasses, his confident demeanor. He fit right in. During this walk, he was spoken to three different times by other Italians who assumed he was also a native.

An Italian guy with his girl.

They asked him for directions or wanted to know what lay ahead up the trail. I taught him to say, “Mi dispiace, non parlo Italiano.” But he resolved then and there that on the next trip he will be able to speak some Italian

On the way back to the piazza, we passed a restaurant called Mister Billy. We laughed because that’s what Kris calls Gino (don’t ask me, ask Kris).

Gino's ristorante on Capri

We stopped for a gelato (but not at Mister Billy’s), enjoying the corner where we lingered, busy with activity and color.

Forget the beer, just give me the granita.
It comes in several flavors here.
And check out the size of that lemon.

I don't know this woman, but I love this picture of her

A motorized wheeled cart drove past, precariously piled with luggage en route to some nearby hotel. We stared in amazement.

An efficient way to navigate these narrow alleyways with cumbersome loads.

Then we returned to La Piazzetta to meet up with the others.

Advertisements

Buzzing Around Capri

Our brief visit to Anacapri was over; it was time to meet our taxis at the appointed spot. After we piled in, Luigi and Pasquale zoomed us off for a quick tour of the island. This would, of course, include  more sensational views.

We pulled off to admire a particularly pleasing perspective of the Faraglioni. Kris, Gino, Allie, and I had already seen them from the top of Monte Solaro, but from this angle, they were every bit as impressive.

Nichole and Kris enjoying the view of the Faraglioni

As we stood there gazing, Luigi pointed out a nearby home with an astounding view, announcing it was “my house.” We followed his finger pointing at the ceramic sign posted at the entrance, and laughed. “Casa Mia,” it read.

Casa Mia

Kris claims Casa Mia as his own

Capri is definitely a destination for the jet set as well as common tourists like us.  Several celebrities call it home, and those who don’t own homes here come to stay in luxury hotels and relax.

Luigi told us how Bill Gates had been on the island just the previous week. Later, on the boat back to Positano, Kris overheard someone say they had seen Jerry Springer in the main piazza and had snagged his autograph.

Since we were just here as day-trippers, we wanted to pack as much sight-seeing into one day as we could.  With our two taxis, it was easy. I was very much enjoying being whisked around, not having to worry or waste time with bus connections.  This was definitely a very efficient and enjoyable way to maximize our time on Capri.

We didn't have to worry about a thing except having a good time

And enjoying the gorgeous sights

Candace and Sharon in Pasquale's taxi

After our whirlwind tour, we zipped along a tree-covered road towards Capri’s primary piazza of its main town: Piazza Umberto I, affectionately known as the Piazzetta (little piazza). We spilled out and plunged into the busy square.

Limoncello in Piazza Vittoria — Anacapri

Back at the piazza, we immediately ran into the rest of our group and shuffled en masse down the pathway on the upper side, lined with souvenir and art shops.

Colorful souvenirs in Anacapri

Souvenir bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

A limoncello factory appeared, filled with shelves of decorative bottles of both regular and cream limoncello, lemon-scented soaps, and other lemony things.

These lemon-shaped soaps really do smell like lemons!

Strawberry and melon liqueur in Italia-shaped bottles, limoncello in the middle.

Limoncello is a tart-sweet after-dinner digestivo traditionally made along the Amalfi Coast, especially on Capri and in Sorrento. Its flavor is imparted from the zest of the famous Sorrento lemons grown up and down this area. A small glassful is all you need. It’s like drinking potent sunshine.

Sorrento lemons are huge, more like the size of a grapefruit

Everyone who enters the ubiquitous limoncello factories of the Amalfi Coast are offered a free taste, which usually results in a purchase of some kind. After his tasting here on Capri, Tony placed an order for several bottles to be shipped home, surprising us with two of them.

Take your pick to bring home!


Kris was eager to try some of this authentic Italian-made limoncello. Since he had spent the last six months researching and experimenting with his own attempts at making limoncello, he was nervous to try the “real” thing. But he had nothing to worry about. His was every bit as good, if not better, than the stuff made here where it originated. Relieved, he gave himself a well-deserved thumbs up.

Limoncello: made with pure alcohol infused with the zest of lemons and served ice cold after dinner. YUM!

I do love the stuff Kris makes. And no, it’s not just because my son made it. His has a freshness, a crispness, a less-cloying texture to it. Served ice-cold in a tiny glass, it’s the essence of lemons…with a bad-ass kick!

What Goes Up Must Come Down

This view from the top of Monte Solaro could elicit tears of joy

We couldn’t get enough of the amazing panoramas from Monte Solaro, the highest point on Capri. Gazing across the sea, we spotted the Bay of Naples, where we would be headed tomorrow.

In the distance, the Bay of Napoli and Mt. Vesuvius

Kris and I had a hard time tearing ourselves away from the view

But it really was time to go. We followed the sign back to the funicular.

After making a complete circle around the summit, we jumped back on the chairlift for the trip back down to the piazza to meet up with the others.


The ride was so peaceful: no noise except for the occasional scrape of the funicular’s cables as they whirred across the connecting points overhead.

A group of Japanese on their way up waved at us as each one floated by. Now and then someone would call to a friend, either in front of or behind them. It was a relaxing respite.

Kris kicks back on the way back down to Anacapri


Gino, me, Allie, and Kris -- all glad we made the trip to the top

At the Top of Monte Solaro

The funicular whooshed us to the top of Monte Solaro, the highest point of Capri. The views from here were spectacular.

Gino arrives at the top of Capri

Catch your breath before you look out and lose it again

True, we were at the summit, but there were still a few steps to navigate before reaching the relative flatness of the tippy-top.

I don’t know these three women,
but I love their obvious determination to make it to the top.

Once at the crest, there is more than just views, grand as they are. A small restaurant with a wide terrace and tables provided a 360 degree panorama.

It could be dangerous to sit and have a drink here.
You might forget to leave.

Kris cools off in the pool.

As we picked our way around, we happened upon various leftovers of bygone eras, including an empty swimming pool from an abandoned complex built in the 50’s. Kris took a dip. Remember, I said “empty.”

Fortino di Bruto

Several decades older, a statue peered out from a 19th century blockhouse. Built in 1806, Fortino di Bruno once served as a military fortification. Today, it just makes a nice photo.

After that swim, Kris needed a rest on this decorative bench

Allie takes her turn on the bench

We followed this stony trail to the edge of the world

A dazzling vision spread out before us.  Scarcely able to comprehend the beauty, we simply stared.

Since it was a sunny day, everything was crystal clear. The vibrant blue water below was dotted with boats, looking like tiny toys from this height.

Anacapri spread out below on one side, and the Faraglioni on the other. The Faraglioni are the unmistakable symbols of Capri, despite the world-famous Blue Grotto. These three mammoth rocks jut upwards just off the island’s coastline, which together create the signature stone formation that reminds you, “You are on Capri!”

The famous Faraglioni, signature stones of Capri


Monte Solaro — Going Up

After lunch, we split into groups. Gino, Kris, Allie, and I were the only ones who wanted to brave the funicular to the top of Mt. Solaro.

The funicular from Anacapri takes you to the top of Monte Solaro

The others mistakenly thought the chairlift carried you high off the ground, when in fact you were never far from terra firma.

Kris didn't hesitate to hop on

As you can see, the ground is not all that far below Allie's feet

The lift hugs the mountain’s surface as it floats you to the summit. Staring straight down was not heart-stopping at all. Rather, the ground below was strewn with an array of interesting sights.

Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

Residence Two Pines has a very talented gardener

Gino enjoying the ride

Cruising through the air, we looked down from our lofty seats
and day-dreamed.

And what a view from the top.

In the far distance, you can even catch a glimpse of Mt. Vesuvius

Lunch in Anacapri

When you're on Capri, and the weather is perfect, this is the only way to go!

Hopping back into our waiting open-air taxis, we zoomed off to Anacapri, the upper town.  Our drivers had it in mind to let us poke around a bit in Piazza Vittoria, the small, but happening square, then whisk us off to a place for lunch. We, however, had other ideas and told them we were hungry now.

The pizzeria on the corner seemed just fine so Pasquale alerted the owner that a big group was coming in.  No problem.

Kris, Nichole, and Allie sip wine while waiting for lunch to be served

We were seated immediately.  The waiters were very friendly, and we took pictures of each other in between bitefuls of pasta and sips of wine.

Candace and Chris can barely contain their excitement

Seafood to make you swoon

But since this is mainly a pizzeria, someone HAS to order pizza!

Let's not forget Caprese Salad! After all, this dish is named after this island.


Where's my fork?