Ciao a tutti!
I know I’ve been missing in action for a while, and I apologise if you’ve missed me.
I’ve been travelling and having the Travelling Pantaloni blog re-designed and rebuilt by the talented Susan Cadzow from Red Pepper Graphics.
My first post, post holiday is about Capri. I hope you enjoy it!
The Isle of Capri has always been a mystical place for me. Hearing its name always conjures up images of glamorous Hollywood starlets sunning themselves on boats and generally looking fabulous, and of course wearing capri pants, something that I’ve also been known to do.
While I’ve been to the other two islands in the bay of Naples (Ischia and Procida – read about my travels here and here) I’d been putting off going to Capri. I think because it’s always been special to me, I didn’t want to ruin my perception of it with the reality of day-tripping tourists (of which I am one).
But it’s one of those places you just have to go to once in your life. So this year we were staying so close (on the Amalfi coast), I thought I’d just bite the bullet and get it over with.
My first glimpse of it was from the ferry, and all at once I was completely smitten (I may have yelled something like ‘OMG that’s IT!’ to Mr Travelling Pantaloni). I just couldn’t believe how incredibly beautiful it was, and that was just the port.
Of course me being me I’d read up on how to get around the island and where to buy tickets. But honestly I was in a bit of a daze for the first 10 minutes. It’s seriously crowded once you get off that boat. People everywhere. Once you’re off the wharf turn right and buy your transport tickets for the day. I bought day tickets (€9.60 each) which turned out not to be the cheapest option, if I went again I’d buy 4 single tickets per person (€1.80) which are good for the buses and the funicular, then line up for the funicular (straight ahead) or the bus (no idea where you get the buses from sorry but it must be close).
You’ll end up in the piazetta either way.
My first priority was to make a pilgrimage to La Parisienne, the boutique that supplied all those starlets with their capri pants in the 1950s and 60s. You can still have them made to measure, but if you’re in a hurry you can buy a pair off the rack for €380. I love capri pants, but not that much!
Once you’re up in Capri town and you move past the piazetta the crowds really thin out and that’s where the magic starts to unfold. About 5 minutes after you start walking it’s peaceful and you can relax and soak up the beauty and the atmosphere.
The first thing that hit me were the shops. I’m not one for shopping when I travel (it wastes too much time IMHO) but the shops here are incredible. All the major fashion houses are represented, and it’s like they’ve transported a miniature version of Milan and transplanted it here. Talk about eye candy! Mr Travelling Pantaloni was quite taken with a jumper in one of the stores. The prices were in the window (no doubt with the sole purpose of discouraging riff raff like us from entering) and both of us fell about laughing at the €1,200 price tag!
Anyway enough shopping, we’re wasting time!
The Giardini di Augusto is a bargain at the current €1 entry fee. It’s tiny and pretty and full of signs telling you what you’re not allowed to do there, (picnic mostly)
But it’s the views you’re here to see and they are INCREDIBLE.
After seeing all of this I ditched my list of things to see and we just wandered, lemon granita in hand, lured by the promise of more scenery like this.
We found ourselves passing gorgeous villas …
Peeking into gardens …
And admiring the views …
We eventually found ourselves at Belvedere di Tragara, with of course, more stunning views
There was lots more to see around here but since we only had a day we decided to go up to the other town, Anacapri, and have a poke around. We waited in line for a bus for what seemed like hours (probably around half an hour) and finally managed to snag the last two standing places on a bus. This trip is quite the adventure! It’s seriously squishy and it involves several hairpin bends around a cliff. I laughed when I saw an elderly passenger cross herself just prior to the first bend, but I blanched a little when the bus driver did the same thing!
One of the things I wanted to see in Anacapri was Casa Rossa, but being a Monday it was closed so I had to be satisfied with just seeing the outside and peeking through the gate.
Luckily the Chiesa di San Michelearchangelo was open. Famous for its extraordinary majolica tiled floor depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, it’s well worth the €2 entry fee.
After a wander through the pretty streets, Monte Solaro beckoned. So we took the chairlift up to Capri’s highest point. The views are spectacular but to be honest I was mostly worried about my shoes falling off into someone’s garden so didn’t take any photos. But I’m sure I looked something like Jacki O when she did the same thing several decades ago.
If you’re afraid of heights you might want to skip this bit. I passed several Japanese ladies (me on the way down, them on the way up) openly crying, and I don’t think they were worried about their shoes …
More incredible views and the perfect place to stop for gelato
Last stop of the day was Villa San Michele, the home of Alex Munthe, with you guessed it, more lovely views
And a gorgeous garden
You really can’t beat the combination of garden & views in my opinion
Sadly it was time to catch the ferry back to the Amalfi Coast.
There’s so much more to see but more importantly I’d love to stay here a few days and just soak up the ambiance and not do much of anything. I’m already plotting my return…
My final word on Capri: bring your patience and your wallet and prepared to be dazzled.
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Until next time, safe travels,
The Travelling Pantaloni