After a spectacular cruise around the Isle of Capri, we had the rest of the day to explore the island on foot. We took a bus from Marina Grande up to the town of Anacapri, about a ten minute ride away along cliff-hugging winding roads. The bus let us off in a public square beside Mount Solaro where we made our way over to the chair lift station and headed up the mountain. The ride up the side of Mount Solaro was a peaceful fifteen minute trip. The air was perfectly still and quiet and there were numerous interesting gardens and houses beneath you…
… and the sweeping vista of where the western end of the Isle of Capri met the Tyrrhenian Sea off to your right:
The views from the very top of Mount Solaro were no less impressive. We could trace parts of our earlier morning cruise around the island, in particular, the path through the Capri Faraglioni. Those off shore rock formations that looked so imposing from the water, take on an entirely different view from 1,700 feet above:
While cruising around the island earlier, we spent a lot of time looking straight up at the rock formations rising out of the sea. To be up at the very top of the island only an hour or so later looking back down cemented the view from both perspectives. The sharp angles of the rocks and the dramatic fall to the sea below were breathtaking:
After the chair lift ride back down the mountain, we stopped at an outdoor cafe in Anacapri for a perfectly Italian lunch (caprese salad and fresh lemonade for my wife, a panini and a Peroni for me). With that as fuel, we set off on a leisurely stroll through Anacapri. Nearest Piazza Vittoria, the streets are a little touristy, but the further from the square, the more residential and peaceful they became. Below are a few pictures from the streets as well as La Chiese di San Michele, an 18th century church of Neapolitan design:
After getting pleasantly lost on our walk, we found a bus stop and headed back down to the town of Capri, stopping at its main square, La Piazzetta, high above the water. The views, like just about everywhere on the island, force you to stop and stare out to sea:
We wandered a bit through the elevated part of Capri. The streets were lined with high end stores, the kind where a handbag would set you back more than my monthly mortgage payment. More interesting to me were the narrow lanes leading down to Marina Grande. On about a twenty minute walk back down to the water, we stopped a number of times to peer into private residences through their wrought iron gates. Just about everyone had lemon trees and a lush garden:
Back down at the water, we pulled up a couple of chairs on a patio and shared a bottle of local red wine made on the island. The wine was pretty good, but in truth, it would be hard to have a bad glass of wine with this as your view:
By this part of our trip, we were really starting to miss our dog Chewy, and our conversations would frequently turn to wondering how he was doing back home. There were a number of loose dogs who took our attention on this trip, but none gave us the enjoyment that this fellow did. As we sat enjoying our wine, we nicknamed the guy below “Hop-along Hobo” (every time I see this picture, the theme music from “The Littlest Hobo” runs in a loop in my head). He had a pronounced limp (our guess: he’s been hit by many a scooter) and devilishly ran in and out of the cafes lining the water looking for food. Later, while we were waiting for our ferry back to Sorrento, we watched him run onto a large ferry and could see people inside taking photos of this dog running up and down the aisles of the boat. My kind of dog!
With a bit of time until our ferry was to depart, we headed over to a public beach and settled onto a couple of lounge chairs of a private club that no one was monitoring. Once the club started rounding up the chairs at the end of the day, we both took off our shoes and waded into the Tyrrhenian Sea. As someone who lives on an ocean, it’s impossible to turn down the chance to dip your toes into another body of water somewhere else in the world:
Our day trip was drawing to a close. We headed for the ferry, maneuvered our way into seats on the back of the boat facing west and said goodbye to the island as we pulled away:
For everything that we enjoyed on this day trip, the views on the ride back to Sorrento are what will stick with me forever.
With the wind and salt sea spray in my hair and with my wife in my arms, I watched the sun set into the sea and I cannot imagine a more perfect end to a perfect day off the coast of Italy.