For the next leg of our Italian adventure, Kevin and I hopped on a ferry from the Naples port for the quick 40 minute ride over to the beautiful island of Capri. Situated just to the west of the Amalfi Coast, Capri is a tiny island, spanning only four square miles, which is known for its expansive views and crystal blue waters. We had two days to explore this little paradise, and we made it count…rain and all!
That’s right…rain…and plenty of it. Upon arriving in the evening, we barely made it to our room before the heavens opened and a crazy storm came bearing down on us, complete with some of the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard (apperantly very unsual for these parts…lucky us).
Since it was storming, and there was no restaurant in the hotel, we called the front desk to inquire as to dinner options. The sweet manager let us know he was running into town to pick up…wait for it…pizza!!! Oh no…no more pizza!!! Haha, we had certainly had our fill earlier that day so, instead, when there was finally a break in the storm, we hitched a ride to town with him to hopefully find something open. Most of the places had shut down for the night due to the crazy weather so we weren’t left with a ton of options. We stumbled upon a place called Ai Faraglioni, and unfortunately ended up having the most expensive, but least memorable, meal of our entire trip. We’d found all of the meals up to this point to be super reasonable so we had a bit of sticker shock when we got the bill (which we’d been warned could happen in Capri).
The weather was a little touch and go the next day. We had originally planned for a two hour private boat tour around the island that day, with a stop off at the famous Blue Grotto. However, as you can see in the pic above, dark clouds still loomed with threat of more rain so we opted to postpone the tour till the next day. The sky was kind of crazy because there was this really drastic dark layer of clouds up high covering the moutains, but the lower half of the island was absolutely gorgeous. We just decided to squeeze in as much sight seeing as possible and hope that the rain held off…which it thankfully did (for a while…).
Ok, so let’s talk about the views, shall we?
The views were just absolutely amazing!! We couldn’t stop taking pictures. Every direction you looked, it was breathtaking. It felt like another world with those massive rocks jutting out of the water. Apparently there was some kind of earthquake activity that created the island some ba-jillion years ago.
We took in some of the best views from the Gardens of Augustus, which only cost 1 Euro for entry (worth it) and .50 Euro to use the restroom just outside (not worth it, but very necessary after morning cappuchinos).
From the garden we were able to get a look at the insanely gorgeous Via Krupp below, a pathway that zig zags its way down to the marina. Unfortunately, the path is not open to the public, but still pretty great to get a look at it.
After our rip off meal the night before, we were in no mood to overpay for mediocre food when it came time for lunch that day. Luckily, we stumbled upon the amazing Buonocore. We were lured in by all of the goodies in the window, which included an assortment of savory bites, pastries, and gelato. We ended up with, oh you know…fried mac & cheese…and a fried grilled cheese (aka: crostone). How can you go wrong there?! As can often happen, I got food envy over Kevin’s crostone so he switched with me (#27…so true).
We loved Buonocore! The food was miles better than our dinner the night before, and we got out of there for less than 15 Euro with drinks. If you’re heading to Capri, this simply has to be one of your stops!
Fueled up from our lunch, we headed off for more walking/hiking to take in a view of the Arco Naturale. The walk there was so quaint, passing through a long curving foot path, between rows of houses and down some stairs. We had kind of a Griswold moment when we arrived, “ok, great…there it is…how gorgeous”…picture, picture, picture…head nodding…and we’re off!
We wanted to be sure we had enough time to squeeze in a visit to the other town on the island, Anacapri, to experience the chairlift ride up to the top of Mount Solaro. We jumped on bus for a quick ride over there, and grabbed our tickets to the heavens…
In true European fashion, there were hardly any instructions or safety precuations. In the U.S., you probably would have had to sign a waiver to get on this thing. But not in Italy. They were single seaters so it was a very peaceful ride to the top, with gorgeous views…at least for the first half of the journey…
Once we started making our way up the mountain, we disappeared into the fog…
WHAT an A-mazing view…haha…ok, not so much. But a fun ride nonetheless.
Back in town, we did what we normally don’t do on vacations…we returned to Buonocore! I’m usually fanatical about trying new places when we travel, but we were a little hungry again and there were so many things there I still wanted to try there. This time we tried the arancini (ridic!) and the lasagna pie, and they were terrific.
After our day of exploring, we were ready to just chill back at the hotel for a bit. We stayed at the Capri Wine Hotel, which was about a 10 minute walk from the main town. We absolutely loved our hotel, and would definitely recommend it for the price. Maybe if it was our honeymoon, we would have splurged to stay at one of the really fancy places up in the main town, but we were quite happy with Capri Wine Hotel.
We learned that the property actually used to belong to Francis Ford Coppola, which is pretty cool. True to its name, they specialize in offering an array of Italian wines. You order the wine at a cute bar within the lobby, which they prepare with some “snacks” and will deliver to wherever you like within the hotel. We chose to take ours on the balcony in our room.
This “snacks” thing is a pretty cool thing throughout the Amalfi Coast. Whenever you order a drink somewhere, they give you free generous snacks that go way beyond the simple bowl of nuts you may (sometimes) get here in the U.S. It was usually a few bowls of things, and it was particularly generous at our hotel where we got tons of olives, cheese, mortadella, and these curlicue cracker things that we kept seeing throughout our trip. If you factor all of the free snacks into the cost of the drinks (usually around 10 to 12 Euro), it ends up being a pretty good deal.
We were actually so full from our second Buonocore visit and our snacks that we didn’t even make it to dinner that night (we may have also taken a longer than expected snooze…please see bottle of wine above). When the manager was explaining the wines to us, she kept saying “you can also get them by the glass”, and we were like “no, no…we’ll take the whole bottle, thanks.”
The next day we woke up naively hoping the crummy weather had cleared enough to allow our boat tour and a visit to the Blue Grotto. No such luck. Not only was it completely pouring, but the hotel called to confirm that the grotto had in fact been closed for the entire rest of the day.
It was a little bit of a bitter pill to swallow. I’d like to think I may get the chance to return to Capri someday to see the Blue Grotto, but probably not. There are too many other beautiful places on this planet I want to visit, and that’s a long way to go to see a grotto. So we shall see. (This is the part where I would love for people to tell me “you’re not missing much”…so feel free to chime in).
We may have missed our boat tour in Capri…BUT…there’s always a but…this meant we had time to squeeze in a day trip to Sorrento on our way to Positano, which turned out to be very delightful. So that’s up next!
(Sorry to be dragging out all of these Italy updates. It’s taken me a bit longer than I expected to organize all my pics and put the posts together. I found so many blogs that helped in my own travel planning so I’m trying to be thorough and thoughtful with the content, in case other travelers may find it useful. Thanks for understanding!)