Monday, June 02, 2014
If I'm being honest, I have to admit I don't really have THAT much to say about Capri - mostly what I have, are lots of pictures. We were only there for a few hours, but I think I learned enough about it to warrant a blog post, even if it's mostly just telling you how much I want to go back and stay longer next time.
The allure of Capri is undeniable. Even now, as overrun with tourists as it is - it's still one of the most popular vacation spots for people who can go anywhere they choose. Just the week before we were there, Beyonce and Jay Z had anchored their yacht in the harbor for a few days, and major Hollywood moguls are regularly spotted in the local restaurants.
When you step off the boat, you're in an area called "Marina Grande." Marina Grande consists of the funicular station and taxi stand, and a row of shops and souvenir stalls where we found this gentleman making sandals. Capri Town is up the hill - you have to get there by taking the funicular or an open air taxi. The funicular had a long line so we decided on a taxi, and then hired the driver to take us around the island all day for two reasons: one we had a three year old with us, and two, I had given myself a terrible neck spasm that morning. Luckily, it didn't dull my enjoyment of the day, it just gave it a slightly blurry around the edges quality.
At the center of Capri Town is a small town square or "Piazzetta" with an assortment of cafes, a lemon ice stand (heavenly) and a number of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating. We sat down at one of the cafes for some fresh lemonade and iced coffee (cafe freddo) which cost about 3x as much as it would have anywhere else, but was worth it just to enjoy the people watching and relax in the shade.
Just off the square is a little bakery and gelato stand called Buonacore. They're famous for a type of lemon almond cookie - sort of a cakey macaroon.
We had gelato. It was hot that day. So hot that at lunch, I asked the waiter for some ice for my neck, and just let it melt all over me.
A warren of alleyways and arcades leading to the boutiques, shops and restaurants extends off the square in every direction. To help you find your way, they have these lovely tiled signs up at the entrance to each tiny alleyway. It would be fun to get lost in these for a few days.
There are innumerable boutiques selling gorgeous clothes, shoes, bags, etc. Everything is very expensive, but really lovely - enough that it was fun just to look. This was the Valentino boutique. I didn't get a photo of the boutique where I actually bought something - Carthusia. It's a sweet little parfumerie where everything they sell is scented by botanical products of the island - lemons, flowers, olives. Their Fiori di Capri perfume was worn by Jackie O.
Speaking of Jackie O. - they still talk about her here. A lot. We visited the shop where Jackie bought her Capri pants, and lo and behold - they still sell them. They are beautiful and everything about the shop was impeccable.
I thought this silk pattern was especially fetching. These cost around $300 a pair - not completely outrageous.
Of course, there are also the Capri sandals. Canfora is where Jackie bought her sandals that launched the trend around the world. There are imitators everywhere but this is the original.
Prices range from around $200 for the most simple pair, to upwards of $500-600 with embellishments.
After walking around Capri Town, we had made arrangements for our driver to pick us up and take us to Marina Piccola for lunch. Marina Piccola is on the other side of the island, and offers views of the famous trio of rocks known as the Faraghlioni. It's also where that famous Slim Aarons photograph was taken.
We had a nice but not terribly memorable lunch at an open restaurant overlooking the famous view at Marina Piccola and then he took us to Anacapri - the island's "second town." It's a little quieter, and it's where most people live who actually live and work on Capri. There are a few nice hotels there, one of them being the Capri Palace. We killed most of our time in Anacapri relaxing in the lobby there and taking advantage of the air conditioning. The three year old napped, and we drank a cold bottle of Pellegrino.
There are definitely worse places to spend a couple of hours. I snapped a few pictures of the artwork in the lobby and the pool area which was gorgeous. It's a really pretty place.
We popped back into Capri Town on our way out to pick up a package of those famous cookies for our hostess, and some painkillers for me. (Ketodol is good stuff.) Then we hopped on the boat back to Positano. One funny thing about visiting Capri for the day - the last boats leave around 4:30 or 5. It must be really nice to be there after the day trippers leave. I plan to try it next time.
I'd also really like to do the hike to the ruins of Tiberius' palace, Villa Jovis. This link tells you how to get there, as well as how to visit the famous Grotta Azzura (Blue Grotto) and Bagni di Tiberius - Tiberius' seaside villa. One day was definitely not enough.
Posted by Alice Q. Foodie on Monday, June 02, 2014