Living on The Edge - How we (sweet husband and moi) ended up going to Capri, Italy for a friend's daughter's wedding on a 'moment's notice.'
I have written so many blog posts on Paris in the last year that I thought this time I would start with my 'holiday' in Capri, Italy and then finish up with my trip to Paris.
Capri, ahhh Capri. What can I say other than - You must go and you must go soon. And, if not there (Capri) than somewhere that you have always dreamed about going and talked about going but never dared to put into reality.
I hope that my new 'moment's notice' attitude and 'living on the edge' lifestyle is contagious. My sweet husband and I are already in talks (negotiations) of where to go next summer (I say back to Capri and he says let's try a different island), and we have only been home a few days. (It's healthy to have goals.)
But, back to Capri and all it's glorious-ness.
Like anyplace (incredibly romantic vacation spot) really worth going to, it will take you the better part of the (night and) day to get there and several modes of transportation.
Houston, Texas to Rome, Italy - you should plan on going by plane
Rome, Italy to Naples, Italy - by plane (30 minutes) or train (3 hours). If you are in a hurry, take the plane. If you are going to stay a few nights in Rome and see some sights then take the train.
Naples Airport to Naples Ferry Dock - by taxi (30 minutes) and a real experience. Sorry, it's unavoidable. Be sure to use the restroom at the airport before you jump into the taxi - think 'balls against the wall' roller-coaster ride. Like I said, 'living on the edge'.
Once you arrive on land (Capri), a porter wearing a blue shirt will take your bags (filled with all your favorite holiday clothes) and toss them recklessly onto a small brown cart. He (porter) does not wear a name tag and he will not give you a claim ticket. (At this point, your toes begin to reach for 'The Edge'.) It's o.k. you tell yourself because that other intelligent looking tourist let the blue-shirted porter take his bags too.
I snuck a picture of the guys who took our bags, just in case I never saw my bag (or favorite Pucci dress) again.
Up you go. This odd mode of transportation takes you straight up the mountain - think vertical subway.
It is a Short Stroll Through Town to Your Hotel.
Did I mention that you will be doing a lot of walking in Capri? No taxis and no mopeds permitted in the town of Capri.
You can stop along the way at either the La Palma Hotel or the Grand Hotel Quisisana for a refreshing libation while you wait (and pray) 45 minutes for your bags to be delivered to your hotel.
Capri ***** Hotel Travel Tip: Do not order a Chianti in Capri, especially at Hotel Quisisana - Your waiter will rebuke you and tell you The Hotel Quisisana does not serve Chianti, slightly embarrassing and very touristy.
That particular scenario would not be construed as 'living on the edge' as much as perhaps living on 'the wrong side of the tracks' - big difference, huge.
The only recourse to save face at that point is to ask surly waiter for a wine recommendation (that will surely cost you $$$$).
"Something by the glass, red perhaps."
The waiter turns and walks off without writing anything down, muttering something about Americans, class, stupido, . . . .
My husband leans over and whispers, "Do you think that I ordered a glass or a bottle?"
We Stayed at Hotel Mamela ****
Bride's Guests stayed at La Minerva Hotel ***
Groom's Guests stayed at La Floridiana Hotel ****
Other guests stayed at Hotel Luna ****
Where to Meet - Center of Town
I've worn this Pucci dress so many times (and on all the best vacations) that I could pass it off as vintage by now.
What to do on the Island of Capri - Eat (no dieting), Pray (thank whoever your God is that you are on holiday in Capri, and Love (those shoes in the window at Prada!)
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The Island of Capri Has 2 Towns - Capri and Anacapri
Capri (the town) - population 9,000
Let me think, how do I explain the difference . . . . . Capri (the town) is Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton, Jacqueline Kennedy, Princes Grace of Monaco, Tony Curtis - very chic, very sophisticated, very glamorous - very Hollywood 40's & 50's . . . .
And, the shopping . . . . Gulp.
Prada, Tod's, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Eres, Bulgari, Cartier. . . . . all very expensive. Just the type of place you would like for your 'boyfriend' to take you when his 'wife' is out of town visiting relatives (having a procedure and laid up to rest/ recover), tee hee. I only say that because there appeared to be several ahem 'nieces' with their much older, generous (affectionate) 'uncles' going in and out of the shops and taking a respite from their shopping (his credit card hemorrhaging) to enjoy a glass of wine.
Even the Local Dogs are Chic in Silk Louis Vuitton Scarves.
Our Favorite Restaurant - Aurora
You never know which famous celebrity you might run into at the Aurora.
xoxo - We'll never tell.
Gardens of Augustus
Via Krupp - Pathway (descent of a winding intestine) from Gardens of Augustus to Marina Piccola.
Headed to the Beach via Via Krupp
I Get Dizzy Just Looking at This Photo.
My husband and I took this path to the
beach, much easier descent than the Phoenician Steps. Let me put it
this way to you - a woman pushing a baby stroller passed us. Exercise
Level - beginner.
Gelato stand conveniently located next to entrance / exit of Via Krupp.
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Anacapri - population 7,500
To go between Capri and Anacapri, I recommend a taxi or, ahem, the local bus.
Our first trip to Anacapri, my husband insisted that we take the bus with the locals.
From then on out, my husband hailed a taxi.
Taxi drivers make great tour guides, and are usually crazy friendly.
In contrast, Anacapri is more traditional, more what I was expecting - a charming, quaint, Italian town. More local artisans and a whole lot less bling.
Antonio Viva Shoe Emporium
Nice Hat, tee hee.
Sightseeing - Villa Sain Michele, Axel Munthe's Beautiful Villa.
The Breakfast Room
Axel's Bedroom Suite
Garden Path Leads to Dreaded Phoenician Steps
Phoenician Steps - 800 steps down, 800 steps back up. (We did not participate in this 'exercise,' obviously. 3,000 year old path from Anacapri down to the sea invented by totally OCD masochists. Exercise Level - off the charts. Recommended workout gear not Havaianas.
Jacqueline Kennedy Enjoying the View of Capri from a Chair Lift
Notice - J.K. is Wearing Her Cute New Capri Sandals.
I love the contrast (visual & financial) between the two towns. The apparent ying/yang personalities of the two towns only makes the island of Capri that much more interesting to visit and fun to hang out.
But then again, I struggle with that kind of duplicity in my own personality on an everyday basis on so many levels- diamonds and flip-flops.
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Where I would love to stay some day when my ship (ferry boat) comes in, ha ha. Very pricey.
Punta Tragara Hotel *****
Caesar Augustus Hotel *****
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The only draw back of the island of Capri is that approximately 10,000 tourists arrive by ferry boats (presumably linked somehow to cruise ships docked in Naples or nearby) each day, ughh. Now, I don't mean to be rude but really . . . . 10,000!
From Every County.
I get that I am a tourist too. And, I get that I arrived by ferry boat also. So, what's the difference, you may ask?
First of all - I am staying at a hotel.
Secondly - I do not walk through the overly crowded streets in slow moving packs of 30 or more.
Thirdly - I try to blend in.
Fourthly - I do not irritate everyone in my wake.
Guided Tour Mentality - 'Sure, I've been to Capri - loved it, did everything. I was there for a whole 5 hours.'
My Travel Advice - Stay off the cruise ships! Don't be a cruise ship droid.
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For All You Young Brides (and their mothers) Thinking About the Possibilities of Having a Destination Wedding . . . .
Live on The Edge - Just say YES!!!
Nothing Could be More Memorable!!!
For You or Your Guests ;}
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People are always asking my husband and me about the heritage of our beautiful Briard dogs. Even our new rabbit Macaroon has quite the pedigree (Belgium), but my husband and I have always been a little reticent about what to say in response to such questions (lineage) concerning our cat who we adopted from the SPCA.
But Now . . . . .
...we are confident that Itty Bitty Kitty is a direct descendant from the ancient line of Phoenician Gattos that have inhabited the island of Capri for over 3,000 years and are praised for their inherent characteristic of being able to sleep through anything - including having their picture taken by annoying blogger, ha ha.