Of all of the places we were to visit on our fall trip to Italy, the Isle of Capri was the one I was most excited to see. We planned this as a day trip from our base in Sorrento and booked ferry tickets for an early morning trip over and the last boat back. We got our full day on the island started with a cruise around Capri, leaving from Marina Grande. This main arrival/departure point for the island was beautifully bathed in the muted light of an early morning just before the sun came up over the island’s rocky cliffs:
I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in my travels to visit some stunningly beautiful places – Lake Louise, the fjords of western Norway, the Swiss Alps, and southern Iceland, among others. This day on Capri, and especially the morning cruise around the entire island, was right up there with those previous experiences of rugged, natural beauty. As our cruise left Marina Grande behind to circle the island, we were treated to the first of so many jaw dropping moments. Pretty spectacular eh?
Just before rounding the north eastern end of the island the captain of our boat pointed out this statue of a waving boy perched high on the rocks at the shoreline. A welcoming figure for those arriving, and bidding a goodbye to those leaving…
The eastern coast of Capri is particularly rugged with jagged rocks rising dramatically out of the Tyrrhenian Sea. I loved the dark blue of the sea here and the wispy clouds overhead.
The eastern side of Capri is also home to a number of sea caves beneath the towering cliffs. Our boat pulled right into this one and got so close that people on the lower level of our boat could actually reach up to touch the rocks.
We sailed past (and through!) the Capri faraglioni just off the south east coast. Those rocks are named (from left to right) Stella, Mezzo and Scopolo. Stella and Scopolo are a bit more than 300 feet tall:
As is the tradition, when we sailed through Mezzo, my wife and I kissed to ensure us good luck. Really nice tradition!
Fresh off of receiving some Italian good luck, here we are with the faraglioni growing ever smaller in the background:
On the southern side of Capri is a smaller marina (Marina Piccola) and the most expensive and exclusive properties on the island. Many of the world’s rich and famous vacation here:
On the southwest corner of Capri is the Punta Carena lighthouse. This lighthouse is the second brightest in Italy (behind Genoa) and was first opened in 1867.
Capri is probably best known as the home of the Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzurra. In the middle of the summer, tourists will spend hours waiting for a quick 2-3 minute visit inside. We opted to skip this. The line was a bit shorter on this October morning, but still quite a wait to enter the small opening of the grotto:
Our cruise wrapped up with some last views of the northern side of Capri including the narrow winding road up to the town of Anacapri on top of the island:
It was a spectacular way to start our day on Capri. As we made our way back to Marina Grande, we had a full day ahead of us to explore the terra firma of Capri. More on that coming up next…