Friday, July 20, 2012

ITALY Capri | Day 2

DAY 2: Our first full day, I had planned a day trip to the island of Capri. The island did not disappoint.  We woke up early and walked down to the dock {25 min walk}, hoping to grab breakfast and coffee on our way, but since it was so early most of the bakeries and restaurants were closed and we didn’t want to miss the early ferry since we knew the later ones would be crowded.  We made it to the dock just in time, bought our tickets and hopped on the fast ferry.

A Slice of the Almafi Coast: Capri
Caremar fast ferry to Capri
We saw an area on the ferry with some espresso machines, water and snacks, but it wasn’t open yet. Finally someone came to open the bar area and Jake got his first taste of Italian coffee.  He ordered a cappuccino and I had sparkling water to drink.  As the ferry was coming into the dock, we saw someone go out onto the deck area outside where you could see a gorgeous view so we followed him! The view was amazing, as we were pulling into the Capri dock.  Then, we noticed no one else was back there with us and I saw a “crew only” sign.  A crew man told us something in Italian and we quickly exited the “crew only” section.  Oops.  A nearby Australian tourist chuckled and said it was OK.  He said that there was no good spot to see the view from outside on the deck {it was all restricted for “crew only”}. We talked with him a little bit (he was very nice) and he gave us some advice for our visit to the island. 

Marina Grande Harbor, Capri Island
Once we arrived in Capri, we grabbed some pastries from the first place we saw – we were starving! We walked around a bit to get our bearings.  We saw the friendly tourist from the ferry who said that we should do a boat tour of the entire island, but not to bother trying to go into the Blue Grotto because it’s so expensive and the row boaters only take you into the grotto for 5 minutes or so.   We were just planning to do the Blue Grotto, but he convinced us to do a boat tour of the rest of the island and boy, were we glad that we did that!  It was absolutely gorgeous.  One of the things we noticed was how blue the ocean water was.  It is just really hard to describe and photograph - you HAVE to see it in person. 

On our way out of Marina Grande
The gorgeous blue water {and my sock bun}
Faraglioni stacks
The Green Grotto {looks more blue to me}
Faraglioni stacks in the background
We did a 2 hr boat tour around the island as well as a stop at the Blue Grotto {we did spend the 25 euros to go into the actual grotto and it was pretty amazing to see the water lighted up like that, all naturally}.  It is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.   

Waiting in line for the Blue Grotto on our row boat

The Blue Grotto!

The water in the Blue Grotto is naturally lit up in the cave from the sun!
We had lunch right on the water at Bar Corallo, next to the Marina Grande in Capri.  I was wondering why each city in Italy had a marina named Marina Grande and Marina Piccola when I was looking at a menu and noticed piccolo means small. Then it hit me! Each place has a small dock and a large dock! After our tour, we took the tiny orange SITA bus to the other side of the island, called Anacapri.  The bus was full, so we had to stand and the ride was pretty quick, but boy, was it wind-y. Not windy, wind-y.  There was so many switchbacks, that I felt like I might get sick…and I never get motion sickness. Jake took his Dramamine, so he was set for the day! Once we reached our stop, we took the Monte Solaro chair lift to the top of the island, took in the view and walked back down via a 30-minute trail. It was the best view of the entire island.   

View from Monte Solaro chairlift of the entire island
Faraglioni stacks from top of Capri
Fortino di Bruno (remains of early 19th century fort)
Rick Steve recommended that you take the chairlift one way and then walk down via a 20 minute hike back to Anacapri. Sounds pretty easy right? The trail was tough because it was pretty steep, very hot and I was wearing my merrill’s that ended up not being the most comfy shoes.  I was also wearing pants {not sure why I chose to wear pants that day, but oh well…} and it was probably 95 degrees.   

huffing it down the trail
 At this point, we had seen a couple of stray cats and there was one that scared Jake.  It was pretty funny. On the trail down, the cat was laying sunbathing, kind of hidden and once it came into view, Jake was like whoa! But, the cat was totally not a threat.  She just kind of laid there and sunbathed. Jake joked it was his worst nightmare to have cats running around everywhere {which is kind of how Italy is}. 

I was pretty dehydrated, so we stopped for refreshment. We had fresh squeezed orange juice, lemonade and ice all blended together.  It tasted like I was drinking an orange – soooo good!   Then, we walked around Anacapri {I bought some citrus smelling perfume} before we made our way to Villa San Michele.  I didn’t really know what it was, but we had it on our itinerary, so we went.  It ended up being one of our favorite places!  Villa San Michele is now a museum, but it was once the villa of Axel Munthe, a physician turned author that loved the island of Capri. He wrote the famous book called The Story of San Michele.  Jake and I both are planning to read it. We walked through his private villa including gardens, statutes, art, etc.  Incredible!
Villa San Michele
Villa San Michele view
We bought a poster of Villa San Michele to remind us how much we loved it.  We also tried limoncello at a restaurant overlooking the beach in Capri. It was good, but we didn’t realize it was a liquor {we thought it was more of a light spritzer type of drink} so we both felt a little buzzed. 

Limoncellos at the beach
 We took the latest ferry {6:45} back to Sorrento.  

We walked around a bit more in downtown Sorrento and found Pizza da Franco – which our hotelier and travel agent said was the best pizza in Sorrento. We let the waiter pick our meal and we ended up with way too much food. It was absolutely delicious, but that was the last night we did that. It was kind of funny because we couldn’t even finish our appetizer and then he brought us an entire pizza. We were like what do we do? It was totally affordable {and tasty} and we ended up eating the leftovers for dinner the next night.  It all worked out in the end. Something funny that happened during the day is that I accidentally said “gracious” several times {going back to my espanol classes in high school} instead of grazie. Oops. Our taxi driver said that happens a lot. 


  1. omg. kim. that water is just beautiful! im so happy you guys had a great time! i def have to check it out sometime in the future!

  2. are you kidding me right now?! I would never want to leave!! So jealous!

    1. Thats my comment above, oops! Emilee

  3. Love the pictures (and the sock bun!) - so beautiful!