Capri, Italy

Last summer, during our visit to the Amalfi Coast, we took a day trip to Capri with the Caremar ferry from Naples. Our choice not to stay on the island, or in any of the other towns like Sorrento or Positano mainly had to do with costs, and as two students backpacking for more than two months we thought it was best to base ourselves in Naples and see the Amalfi Coast from there.

We arrived in Capri at around lunchtime, and jumped into one of the first restaurants we passed – Caffe Augusto – facing onto the harbour. The view was incredible; with the water just a few steps from us, but the food was less than impressive and in hindsight, we should have went for food in the town atop the hill.

We spent a couple of hours on the beautiful, packed, rocky beach at the Marina Grande before walking up to the main town in the early afternoon. Just minutes away from the Marina the streets quickly became empty, giving us our own unparalleled views of the quaint little streets of the island. Bare brick paths and walls were flooded with the light of the afternoon sun, and the bright white homes were stark against the bare blue of the water and sky behind them.

The closer we got to the centre of the town, the more refined the homes became, the more attention to detail was spent on the street signs and the more decorated the streets themselves were. Less frequent was the stone and now came whitewashed walls, pale pinks and blues. Higher into the hilltop, the more visible the white rock amongst the greenery became, the buildings complimented the surrounding landscape so wonderfully. Through the narrow streets in the old town, crowds rushed passed each other, darting in and out of the incredible shops that lined the streets. The tiniest and most tasteful boutiques I’ve ever seen, with flowers and lemons in abundance framing their store fronts. The whole feel of the town was so fresh, so light and bright with so many beautiful floral arrangements everywhere you looked. Shrouded by shops and homes it was actually very easy to forgot where you were, and when we stopped to sit and look out across the water our height and surroundings were quite overwhelming. We tried some freshly made lemon sorbet for our retreat back to the marine, and took one of the local buses down so we could see some more of how people actually lived on the island. Navigating the narrow streets on a bus was quite unnerving, but we were able to see families in their gardens, people cooking in their kitchens and kids playing on the streets. It was quite far removed from the ostentatious scene atop the hill, and quite refreshing at the same time.

I loved Capri, but I’m glad we visited only for the day. If ever we were to return to the Amalfi Coast, I’d do better research in terms of where to eat but otherwise our day there was absolutely perfect.

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