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.
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 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.
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.”
Was this a serendipitous omen for what would transpire just four days from now when Nichole Del Pozzo would become Nichole Morgan?
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 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.
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).
We stopped for a gelato (but not at Mister Billy’s), enjoying the corner where we lingered, busy with activity and color.
A motorized wheeled cart drove past, precariously piled with luggage en route to some nearby hotel. We stared in amazement.
Then we returned to La Piazzetta to meet up with the others.