When I was looking for a way to fill a few days in Europe on our 2007 trip there (my dream problem), it was only natural that Capri would be my default position. It was summer, we had no kids coming and we were already planning to visit Positano, another impossibly chic and retro coastal setting, as well as Mykonos and Santorini. I like to pack a punch when I travel all the way from the Southern Hemisphere, so I came early to visit Israel for a week on my own as well.
Two Positano hotels that I wanted to get bookings for were unavailable over a 2-day gap so I took lemons and made lemonade, thinking of- it as an opportunity to revisit Capri !! Its locale in the Bay of Naples is within spitting distance of the Amalfi Coast, just a hop southwest around the Amalfi peninsula. This is somewhere we knew well: we had already visited the island five times since the year we got married. I have jogged every single road, uphill and down - and boy are there hills in Capri ! I know many of the shop owners and every corner has a memory. Although I am Mr. ‘What’s next, what’s new?’ Capri had definitely got under my skin, so I was thrilled to be so close by.
Sheira and I had an exciting reunion in Milan and traveled together to Naples. Most of the time we fly economy on all Europe domestic flights as I just can’t justify the ridiculous cost of Business class European travel. But I always regret it once in Europe as the lines are crazy long, and I’m usually holding my breath that we are not going to be overweight.
MONEY TO BURN
We had a booked a hire-car to take us on the 20-minute drive to the port of Naples (55 Euros). From there most people use the regular Hydrofoil or ferry boat service to Capri, which in high season is just about every hour through the day and into the evening. From June to September boat connections from the Amalfi Coast and the island of Ischia are added as well. I was after something different.
I decided to book a private speed boat for the 25-minute transfer to the Island. (CAPRI BOATS). We needed our own boat two days later anyway to explore the wonderful little coves and bays of Capri, and travel on to Positano – so why not get into the lifestyle right from the start ! The remarkable owner of Capri Boats, Julia - who lived up to her Swiss nationality by being unbelievably efficient - arranged everything, even the driver. Yes, arriving in Capri on your own boat is extravagant when there is pubic transport available for 14 Euros. But sometimes you have to spoil yourself when it is totally worth it; I like to cut costs where it’s smart but go for it when it will make an experience pop! In this case, I had only 2 days in Capri and wanted to skip the public ferry service, and if it meant an extra 2 hours in Capri doing it this way, then that’s 2 extra hours that count ! I just loved our gorgeous, blue 39-foot scarab boat, “Papino”- with its navy blue and white terry toweling sunbeds. This really was arriving in Capri in style !!
I had to pinch myself, as we pulled out of beautiful Naples port with the sea wake leaving a frothy path, and Naples disappearing as we moved further away. It was one of those sunny, surreally perfect Mediterranean days with not a cloud in the bright blue sky as we saw the dramatic rock formations and soaring cliffs of Capri rise out of the sea.
The island is divided into three sections. We berthed at “MARINA GRANDE” where the ferries and boats arrive, one of two prominent bays at the foot of the rock (The MARINA PICCOLO port is on the Southern shoreline). ANA CAPRI is on the gorgeous, less developed voclanic western peak.
To get from the Marina Grande to the small town of Capri there are taxis, which are long, makeshift convertibles that have had their roofs removed, or the red funicular railway, which has been hauling the less wealthy sightseers uphill from a picturesque little station with tumbling geraniums and a lovely old clock tower since 1910.