Last week I gave you a taste of what a few hours in Rome can get you, and now I’d like to show you a few days in paradise. Growing up, our family vacations rarely ended up at a beach. We went to Myrtle Beach once in middle school and that was it. All this to say, I didn’t have a ton of experience with the typical sun and beach getaways until Kim and I got together. I’ve been getting practice, and it’s been getting better.
People typically think of Santorini, Greece as the end all be all of island destinations. While I thoroughly enjoyed our time there, I can honestly say I’d pick Capri over Santorini any day. One of the biggest reasons for this was the people. Italians are some of the most friendly people I’ve encountered. They treat you like family from the first moment they meet you. I also prefer the views of Capri over the relatively brown landscapes in Santorini. Both islands are easily accessible by ferry, but Capri is a bit easier to hike around on foot, and it takes 10 minutes by bus to get from Capri to Anacapri. Prices are comparable, but the food is better almost anywhere in Italy.
As always, we utilize public transit as much as possible, so we caught a ferry out of Naples after a day trip in Pompeii. It’s a fairly short ride over to the island, and it’s nearly impossible to screw up the bus system once you arrive. There is a bus stop at the port, and your options are driving to Capri, or Anacapri with a few stops along the way. We were discussing the directions to our Airbnb on the bus and a lady took it upon herself to find out exactly where we were going and made sure the bus driver got us there. We would have made it fine, but the gesture was welcome. We found that staying in Anacapri vs Capri allowed us to save some money, and actually kept us closer to a couple of the places we wanted to visit. A 10 minute, $1 bus ride dropped us back into the more tour-centric town center in Capri.
The most Iconic view on the island is of the Faraglioni, also known as “those big rocks on the coast”. You can see them from most of the southern coast of the island, but the Giardini di Augusto offers an amazing overlook, and happens to be a beautiful garden worth the $2 fee alone. The garden is also one of the access points for Via Krupp, a coastal walking trail that you will probably see as a “must do” on a lot of lists, but in reality is blocked off due to falling rocks. If you head to the other end of the road, we found the locks were busted and could do the walk anyways, though it wasn’t the highlight of our trip.
The Blue Grotto is also a major stop for visitors. In ideal conditions, you enter the cave on a small boat and the inside is illuminated by the sunlight refracting through the crystal blue waters. However, the water was choppy while we were there and we were unable to actually go inside. If you are going to visit, be aware that it’s a tourist trap, you will feel like sheep being herded, and possibly harassed by the boat operators for tips. You don’t have to tip them. You’ve already paid to go in, they will lie to you. Just keep your money. If you can’t take a tour in, you can always just hop in and swim.
The locals hangout on at the beach down by Marina Piccolo, though I much preferred swimming off the rocks near the Faraglioni. The locals seemed (rightfully) annoyed by tourists running around the beach and being loud, and Faraglioni offered plenty of spots to jump in. The water was a bit cold, but crystal clear. There were a few areas that attracted jelly fish and anemones, so look before you jump!
We spent two nights and nearly two full days on the island. We ate a different restaurants for lunch and dinner, none of which jumped out as life changing. I would recommend venturing into the smaller plazas and find a nice authentic restaurant. Get pasta and wine, and enjoy yourself a bit. People swear by Limoncello, but I must confess it didn’t do it for me, and I’d much prefer more wine. The hosts we stayed with at Betola del Re were fantastic, and they’ve earned my recommendation. Full breakfast spread with espresso and cappuccino made to order. If we go back, I can’t imagine we’d stay anywhere else.