Italy · Uncategorized

A Day in Capri

We took the mid-morning ferry from Positano to Capri.  A few notes about the ferries – the ferry between Positano and Capri does not run year-round.  It starts running in early April and ends around late October or early November.  If you visit in off-season, you will have to take a taxi to Sorrento and take a ferry from there to Capri. If you want to skip the coastline you can also take a ferry straight from Naples to Capri as well.  In Positano, you need to have your bags packed and ready for pickup by the porter an hour ahead of the ferry departure time and then you need to walk down to the beach area to catch the ferry, which takes about 30-40 minutes to reach Capri.  The views of Positano from the ferry are breathtaking.

I know I am not the only person that has a spouse that feels compelled to give you a thumbs up in most pictures
View of Positano from the ferry

Once you reach Capri, it’s easiest to get in line for the funicular but you can pay extra for a private taxi to take you up to Capri town.  A representative from our hotel, Villa Brunella, met us at the Capri dock, took our bags and gave us prepaid tickets for the funicular, which takes you up a steep hill to Capri town.  There are no cars inside the town so you will need to walk to your hotel or villa.

Our hotel, Villa Brunella, was on a quiet side street about a 5-10 minute walk from the main square of Capri town.  It had amazing views of the island, Capri town and the coastline and they upgraded us from a garden villa to an ocean view room, which also sported a large terrace, huge bedroom and spacious bathroom.  That being said, the room was again rather dated and I found the linens in the bathroom and on the bed to be thin, scratchy and of poor quality.  The hotel staff was super sweet and helpful and the restaurant at the hotel, where we ate our first night, was a great meal with an incredible view.  So, some other more upscale options that we also checked out are La Scalanatella, La Minerva and Capri Palace.  Personally, I think La Scalanatella seemed  to have a quiet, understated elegance and was architecturally stunning with its white and blue  buildings similar to what you see in Greece so that would have been my first choice.  It had an incredible view as well and was actually  next door to Villa Brunella so the view is the same as you see below.

The view from our hotel room balcony – seriously

We dropped our bags and went out to grab lunch and explore Capri.  We walked through the town which is essentially one main street just lined with luxury boutique stores – Chanel, Versace, Bottega, Hermes, Stella McCartney, Rolex, Tod’s, Burberry, Ferragamo, Bruno Magli, Louboutin, etc… It was fun to window shop but I wasn’t there to drop big dollars on a new purse that I could get in Dallas anyway. The main square is very small and quaint and lined with little cafes that are overpriced but nice for a quick cappucino, espresso and to people watch.

Main Square of Capri town


Cappucino in the main square

We headed to the Gardens of Augustus and along the way spotted a small restaurant advertising seafood that clearly had a great view.  I do NOT recommend this place.  I believe it was connected to the Hotel Gatto Bianco.  Now, the view was great, the food was fresh and tasty and the service was bordering on fawning.  What was my problem?  At the end of the lunch, after we ordered and ate everything and ordered a 50 euro bottle of white wine, the waiter tells us “credit card machine no work-uh” and demanded cash only.  We made him go back and run the card 4x jus to be difficult and we’re pretty sure he wasn’t doing it anyway and just wanted cash.   This is a practice we run into all the time in the Caribbean on small islands and its a total scam there as well and incredibly annoying to both me and Steve.  If you want cash, just say so upfront and we will usually agree if we have it on us but don’t let us order and eat and then spring it as a surprise. Not cool.  Also, this restaurant was connected to a hotel so I find it hard to believe there was no way they didn’t have a working credit card machine.  Further, they didn’t even bother trying to find another way such as taking our information, etc… Steve and I had been very frugal with our cash and still had tons on hand so we finally paid in cash, left no tip and let them know we were not happy with the song and dance.

Mussels in saffron broth
Steve’s prawns and pasta
The waiter insisted that we fake kiss for this picture

Determined to not let that ruin the day, we walked to the Augustus gardens, which are lovely and cost 2 euros each to enter.  I then had a great idea to walk to the Villa Jovis, which is the emperor Tiberius’ ancient summer palace built around AD 27, complete with crumbling mosaic floors, the remains of the brothels and is supposed to have a great view of the island.  It seemed like such a good idea.  We kept following the signs for it going down tiny alley after tiny alley and even walking past a grotto and some amazing views.

View of the Faraglioni rocks on our walk


View towards Italy with Mt. Vesuvius to the right
More views of the Capri coastline

We finally realized Villa Jovis was at the top of a very steep hill and was going to be quite a climb.  By this time, Steve was not happy with me and my “it must be just around the corner” bit. However, he was so mad that he said, “we’re doing it so keep walking” which was my punishment.  We finally made it to the top and we were both pouring with sweat and miserable.  We walked in and a man that looked like the crypt keeper with long stringy hair and the dirtiest fingernails I have ever seen told us he was closing in 15 minutes.  We walked around for 10 minutes and then left but not before catching the crypt keeper relieving himself on the side of the building.  So, long story short, if you want to visit Villa Jovis, go early and wear  a hat and good walking shoes.

The crumbling remains of Villa Jovis


The small amount of Villa Jovis we got to see

Defeated, we headed back down to Capri town and our hotel to shower up and get ready for dinner at our hotel.

I never got tired of this view
Sunset view from our terrace

I was so wiped out by the walk to Villa Jovis, which was in direct sunlight the entire time, that I didn’t even want dinner.  I just wanted to lay down and sleep and drink tons of water (I must have been dehydrated).  The sad part is that dinner at Villa Brunella was wonderful and I didn’t enjoy at all – I eschewed the wine and almost fell asleep at the table after picking at my food.  Steve was more than annoyed with me at this point but I told him to take the wine to go, he could finish it on the balcony and I was going to bed.  I think I was asleep by 9pm that night.

View of Capri town from dinner (with reflection of candles)


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