Europe 14 - Day 32
Today we had a full itinerary on Capri. After breakfast at the hotel we wandered back up the steep path to the Piazzetta at the top of the cable car and from there we were bundled into taxis with manic drivers to take us up the steep hill to Anacapri. If we survived the trip we were then to visit the famous residence of San Michele, built by the eccentric Swiss Doctor Axel Munthe. We were also scheduled to take the small gondola up to the very top of Anacapri, if it was operating. After lunch back at sea level we crowded onto a launch for a tour around the island, to see the famous grottos, caves and islands. We did not have time to enter the famous Blue Grotto, so that will have to wait for another time. Dinner was at a more isolated hotel on the south coast of the island, again using the crazy taxi drivers.
Anacapri and the Villa San Michele
When we gathered after breakfast at the piazzetta we were not too sure where the road would take us. Aldo the tour guide pointed out a sheer bluff and told us the road went around it and up to the top, and if we looked hard we could see the road and a small white building that was part of Villa San Michele. Many people did not believe him - wishful thinking I suppose. We were bundled into small vans and the driver took off at reckless speed on the impossibly narrow road. We met cars and buses coming the other way and just when you thought there would be an impasse and a lot of shouting and gesticulating, one vehicle would dive into a driveway or narrow layby and we would sail past with millimetres to spare. We did make it to the top and walked down the pleasant path to Villa San Michele, the residence bult in the 1920s by Axel Munthe. He had visions of Roman ruins then went and dug them up to add to his house. One of these was a large granite Sphinx.
The heights of Anacapri and Monte Solaro
From the Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri there is a gondola to take you to the top of Monte Solaro for the view over the whole islnad. It is a great ride, but when we queued up it was not operating - something about an engineering inspection, which gave us a lot of confidence. But they soon got over that and we climbed aboard for the trip to the top. It is a small gondola, each seat only takes one person.
Around the Island by Boat
After the heights of Anacapri we headed back down to sea level to the Marina Grande harbour where the ferries depart for Naples. After a quick lunch beside the sea we boarded a launch for a trip around the island. We went past a lot of caves and grottos cut into the limestone. In all of them the colour of the Mediterranean was an amazing deep blue. We then passed amongst the Faraglioni Islands and back around the island to the harbour again. After a wander around the shops we took the funicolare back to our hotel.
Giardini di Augusto
Just beyond our hotel the path heads downhill to the gardens overlooking the Faraglioni Islands. We wandered through the gardens, took in the view and wondered who in their right mind would have built the Via Krupp that zig-zagged up the cliff. Then after another gelato we were ready for dinner. The crazed taxi drivers took us down the hill to a hotel on the south coast and we had a delightful dinner in the cool of the evening, looking at the Faraglioni.
Last updated: 9/11/2014