The Azure Island

Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
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40
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Trip End May 20, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All prices in euros per person.

At cake shop I enjoy looking at almonds covered in pastel colored candy made into fake floral bouquets. This is a pre Easter tradition. If you'd like to see cakes without the calories, go to
pasticceriapansa.it

Get 10:30 am bus to Sorrento, a distance of 35 km. Half way is Positano. The 90 minute ride goes quickly since the views are great and I am enjoying my audio book on my Ipod. We drive through tunnels and see signs - trianges with an exclamation point saying “sporgenti rocco
(jutting out rocks). In Sorrento, we wait 40 minutes for the bus down to the port. It does not come so we walk. Marina Piccola (small) is pretty with a few restaurants.

Lunch is pasta and insalata rucola e fuicchio (rocket and fennel salad). I thought the pasta would have tomato sauce but it only had tomatoes and oil.

After lunch we get a hydrofoil to Capri – the 25 minute ride is 13.5E. There is also a slower cheaper boat. The island of Capri's tourist motto is “the azure isle” and the ocean is truly a lovely blue. At the Marina Grande (large port) the funicular *cable car) is not operating since its low season. Instead we get a bus up to Capri Town (1.4E). The buses here are small which is good with the narrow roads, but they have few seats so we need to stand. The bus lets us off near the Piazza Umberto and the Cathedral. The square is nicknamed “piazzetta”
since its not big. There is a tourist office here where you can get a map. Ask for the booklet Capri e or get it from your hotel. After the Cathedral the road is too narrow for cars but motorized carts carry supplies around.

The Cathedral has some good paintings. If you visit, go to the hallway behind the pulpit. One special thing here is framed embroidered linen. The linen has peacocks. “Colorful birds, such as peacocks, symbolize immortality and the glorious transformation of the soul when it arrives in Heaven” (DK Eyewitness Guide Italy). As in other churches, I enjoy the sound of the bell. It carries and its fun to watch it strike. There is a tourist office with a town map and a ferry schedule (to Sorrento and Naples). Go to the dock or call companies to confirms.

We find our hotel down narrow streets with lots of expensive stores catering to wealthy tourists. We stay at La Floridiana. At 85E (with breakfast) it is the cheapest place we could find on the internet and is a quarter of the normal rate. It is a fancy place. I enjoy the big bath since we almost always just have a shower. We get upgraded to an ocean view and look down on workmen building a pool. I've never seen women doing construction work. The men carry boxes of dirt up to the street. I try to lift one and fail.

Our hotel is very near the Certosa (Monastery) di San Giancomo. Its free but little to see. I read that restorers put rice paper put on damaged
paintings awaiting restoration to prevent them falling apart. The monastery also has a nice free garden. Nearby is the free Garden of Augusto. Both gardens overlook three projections rising out of the ocean near the coast  (the Faraglioni) which is a Capri landmark.The three rocks are: Isole Faraglione di Mezza, Stella and Scopolo. One of these used to function a lighthouse – a fire was lit on top.

Walk down Kruff spiaggia torre saracena, a wonderful covered footpath. Its a windy path that reminds me of some of the trails in the Grand Canyon in in sinuous nature. It leads to Marina Piccolo a swimming spot. The lighting on the limestone cliffs and pinnacles is lovely. On one cliff there is a solution hole with stalagmites. From the Marina we take a bus back up to Capri Town, so end up doing a great loop.

As in Positano *but even more so) locals are busy cleaning up, painting and preparing shops and hotels for the start of the main tourist season. Its a very clean town, but prices are high in the food stores. If you sit down outside some cafes, prices double. We met a couple who paid 6E linen fee at a restaurant. Most visitors come on day trips from Naples or Sorrento. population is 14,000 with tourism as main business.
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