Capri is an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples. It is known for its rugged landscape, high end fashion boutiques and upscale hotels. I first visited this island when I was 19 and I was also fortunate enough to visit the Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto is a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue.
My last visit to this enchanting island included my husband and son. When we arrived, via ferry, with a group of locals and the usual group of tourists, instead of opting for the funicular (tram) to ferry us up the mountain, we decided to walk. Not one of my stellar ideas since the day was quite warm and we neglected to bring enough water. That being said, we determined to reach the La Piazzetta. La Piazzetta is a great place to people watch. Everyone from North European royalty, to Italian actors, to the fellow tourist who fell asleep next to you on the ferry, might be spied at a neighboring table. It took us approximately one hour to make the climb. If you’re not that ambitious, you can take the funicular or bus
Once we reached the top, we admired the view from the top. Even my husband, who is not easily impressed, fell in love with the charm of this quaint island. As we walked along the streets, noting the exclusive boutiques and quaint outdoor restaurants, we found a little cafe off the beaten path. We enjoyed some delicious pasta, pizza and unobstructed views of the marina below. We even ate our pizza like the locals with fork and knife.
After a relaxing lunch, we explored the Chiesa San Michele. The church was built during the 17th century and is known for its statue of San Michele and splendid antique ceramic floor.
After an aperitif to fortify ourselves for the trek back to the marina, I was determined to find a boat that would take us into the Blue Grotto, Grotta Azurra. Imagine my distress when I discovered that no boat would be entering the Blue Grotto that day due to high winds. I attempted to convey the beauty of this sight to my husband and son. The cavern is considered the most famous site on the island. Pictures alone, do not do it justice.
Weather permitting, to enter the Blue Grotto, first you climb into a wooden rowboat. The rowboat typically holds four individuals. To pass through the opening, the skipper has everyone lay back in the boat because the stone portal opening is typically only a meter high. As he pulls the boat through the opening by a metal chain attached to the cave walls, you feel as if you are entering another world.
Sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the sea water creates a blue reflection that illuminates the entire cavern. As I mentioned, the water appears to be electric blue in color. Objects placed in the water appear silver. The time I visited the cavern, the skippers of the boats started singing. I longed to jump into the magical warm water and never leave.
Since we weren’t able to explore the cavern, I decided we would take a boat tour around the island. Traveling around the island gives you a better appreciation of the beauty of this location that the locals love to visit on the weekend. As we passed yacht after yacht, I mentioned to my husband the proximity of a small cruise ship. He informed me that it wasn’t a cruise ship, but a yacht. The night before, the pilot of the boat gleefully informed us that Dolce & Gabbana rented out the two most expensive hotels on the island for an exclusive party. After that, I kept a sharp lookout for celebrities on the water.
I wish we had more than a few hours to spend on the island. Better yet, I would love to have one of the floating palaces I saw, I would even settle for one of the small yachts. I would love to return and explore more of the island, I especially wanted to visit the Villa San Michele which is considered the pearl of Capri. It was built around the turn of the 19th century. Some people have described it as paradise on earth with its beautiful garden.
If you have the opportunity, explore this beautiful island. Ciao.