Visit Capri – the rough day on the sea
A memory of my conversation with Gonzalo, my Argentinian coworker who used to live with me in Brindisi, got stuck on my mind. We talked about the Capri island he with another friend visited for a few day while I was away from the Southern Italy.
”High-end island with high prices and beautiful views” he told me.
And this is exactly the expectation I had of Capri ever since. When cruising around the Mediterranean on board MSC Preziosa, our first stop was Naples port. We decided to take a boat through the Tyrrhenian Sea and visit Capri, the island made of limestone and also of volcanic origin.
I have to admit I have never been sea sick so far ever in my life. I did not really understand how people could get sick on a boat or a plane as it just did nothing to me.
But there is always a first time right?
It was a day of full moon, strong wind and massive waves and I guess it all took part in the adventure we were just going to experience. The staff was running around handing the sickbags every minute to a different passenger who just raised his hand. They also tried to walk as many passengers to the toilet or the back deck to get them some fresh air. The boat was dancing on the waves and seeing all those people throwing up and rushing to toilets was not anything I wanted to see.
I closed my eyes and tried to think of the calm Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica but it did not really work. I got a horrible headache from all the jumping around but thankfully managed to make it without any more drama until we finally reached the Marina Grande port of Capri half an hour later than expected.
If I ever thought our visit to Capri was going to be a relaxing few hours surrounded by the traditional houses, great ice cream and shopping, I was wrong. The 90 min boat trip was one of the most adventurous things I have survived in the past weeks. And it was not the end of it yet.
We hopped on a small bus and took a curvy road along the coast up to the hill. The views were rewarding but sitting at the window just above the cliffs while our driver was trying to squeeze the bus into other buses and vans coming from the opposite direction.
Marco, our guide, rushed us a bit as we were late and wanted to get a sneek peak of both parts of the island – Capri town and Anacapri built on the hill to protect the area from the pirates.
We could observe the 5,000 Phoenician steps staircase from Marina Grande in Capri to Anacapri town where both the people and loaded donkeys had to climb up until the 1950’s when the new road was finally built.
Marco explained us that the name Capri could be of 2 different origins – caprel meaning village in Fenician, or capreae meaning goat for which Anacapri is famous for; or it even could be capros – wild boar in Ancient Greek.
We made our way to Villa San Michele located just outside of Anacapri that was first recorded in the Story of San Michele, a book by Dr. Munthe in 1929.
After a short visit to Villa San Michele with typical white architecture, the sphinx statue and the chapel, we were ready to discover a very bit of Capri, the seat of 8 imperial residences back in time.
We strolled around the famous Piazetta Humberto I built in the 11th and 14th centuries. It felt like getting an ice cream was not the best idea as were not sure how the boat trip back was going to be. The views from Capri had to make it count.
And they did. Together with a lot of shops, a relaxed Italian atmosphere and also the very calm and sunny boat ride on the way back to Naples.
Shame it was such a short visit! There is a lot more in Capri to experience. Next time I will have to visit the Blue Grotto discovered in 1826, get the delicious ice cream and enjoy more of the views of the famous delightful island.
I could visit Capri as part of the press trip organized by the MSC cruises. It was a quick funny and adventurous excursion we did in one of the ports where the MSC Preziosa Maiden Voyage pulled over! All the opinions in this post are strictly my own.