So many choices, so little time! What to do when you don’t know where to eat. Here are some suggestions for restaurants I have personally experienced and loved in Capri and Ana Capri.
Asheville caters to all sorts of people. If shopping is your thing, they’ve got it on all levels. If nature is your thing, you couldn’t find a more beautiful setting. Good food? You got it. If a luxurious spa is your thing, look no further. Some of the wealthiest people in America settled Asheville in the early 1900’s paving way for some of the most beautiful retreats in the nation, all of which are surrounded by lush green foliage, majestic mountains, and the serene sounds of nature. The following spas some of Asheville’s favorites.
While it is never my recommendation to visit Capri for one day, taking the time to visit just one of two of these areas on a day trip will guarantee a near, if not perfect, visit. Rich with history dating back to prehistoric days coupled with its panoramic beauty, it is difficult to become bored.
During our first trip to the Amalfi Coast, my sister, Dorine and I shared a king size bed in a sunlit room with hand painted tiled floors at the Luna Convento. They were not the original tiled floors of the 800 year old convent, but a charming match for this former 13th -century monastery’s Moorish style architecture. My best friend, Cat took the bed in the living area. We both had balconies overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We slept with the balcony doors open letting the salty air and sound of lapping waves lull us to sleep. Awakening to a warm bright sun and the chatter of waiters loudly scurrying around the hotel kitchen on the terrace below, we ordered breakfast in and took a luxurious hour enjoying fresh pastries and fruit while adorning sparkling crests of soft wave’s splash against the sea wall.
“Let’s take a boat ride today,” Cat said excitedly. “I want to go skinny dipping.” Seriously? I’ve known Cat my whole life, since third grade in fact, and I have never seen her naked. I have never been shy about my body and skinny dipping was right up my alley. “Sounds good to me,” I said. “What about you Dorine?” “I’m good. I’d love to be on a boat today,” she replied with a happy shrug. “But I’d like to find a boat in Capri,” Cat suggested. “What’s Capri?” Dorine and I answered in unison. “You don’t know what Capri is? It’s only the most beautiful island in the world. We can take a ferry and be there in thirty minutes,” she said all knowing. “You’ve been there?” I asked. “Well, no. But I’ve always wanted to go. It’s where the stars go to vacation,” she said casually, like she was one of them. “Stars?” Dorine chirped excitedly. “I’m in. You okay with that Donna?” “Sure,” I replied wondering what fantasy place we were about to visit. We finished up breakfast, packed a few clothes, and boarded the next ferry to Capri. Within forty minutes we were embarking on Capri’s port. The sight of the island we were approaching was something out of a dream, two gigantic mounds of lush landscape with colorful Italian villas strategically placed among cliffside lemon and olive groves, stacked over each other with a long windy road cascading in between going to who knows where. I had never seen anything quite like it. I didn’t know places like this existed. I thought Amalfi was a dream, and it was, but this island took beauty and magnificence to entirely new level.
We strolled down to the dock toward the port and found an adorable little panini shop to stop and enjoy an Orangina, a popular sparkling orange drink apparently found all over Europe. The waiter saw us walking and motioned us to come in and sit down. “Where are you from? Let me guess. German! No, American!” he said enthusiastically. He was a cute young Italian man with a beautiful smile. “You’re American, no? I got it right, si?” he asked as if he were on a game show. “Yes,” I chuckled. “You are correct.” “You are staying on Capri?” he asked. “No, just visiting for the day,” I said as he quickly interrupted. “The day?” he asked incredulously. “You cannot come to Capri for the day. You must stay and explore at least a week,” he said, waving his arm with authority and in perfect English. “Yes, well, we are aware of that now,” Dorine replied with a hint of comical sarcasm looking directly at Cat, who set up the entire trip. “Ah, si,” he said catching the look. “What can I get for you today?” he asked, ready to take our order. “A pizza pie? A Panini? A boat ride?” My ears perked up. “What?” I inquired. “A boat ride?
You know where we can get a boat ride?” Cat happily chimed in like a happy child ordering milk and cookies, “Yes an Orangina and a boat ride please.” “What is your name,” I asked. I am Marco,” he said. “I am very happy to meet you. And your names are?” We introduced ourselves. Marco took our orders and made a few phone calls to try and find us a local to take us around the island. Within moments he had found us a non-English speaking guide to take us around for a few hours. “He will be waiting for you when you finish, si?” he said, looking for agreement. We ate hastily as we wanted desperately to get on the water.
We were into the ride just about an hour when Cat spotted a nice cozy cove. She motioned the driver toward the private bay. He took us right in and anchored the boat in the secluded inlet surrounded on three sides by rocky cliffs. A woman and her small son were sitting on the lowest ledge dangling their feet in the water. There was a narrow set of stairs leading to the top of the cliff where a small home rested. Cat was the first one to get in the water. She jumped in the thirty foot crystal clear pool and began to swim away from the boat toward the mouth of the cove. I followed not too far behind. Dorine stayed in the boat trying to communicate, to no avail, with our sweet Italian boatman. The water was crisp and salty enough to heal any skin ailment. Cat started treading water while trying to undress herself so she could fulfill her dream of skinny dipping in the Italian sea. She carefully loaded her bathing suit onto her arm. I hung mine over my neck and, under one arm, so there was no chance of losing it.
We frolicked separately, enjoying the warm sun. I felt the velvety feel of the sea moving slowly with the movement of my limbs, enjoying myself immensely until moments later when I noticed a rather large boat coming our way. “Cat. There is a big boat coming and it looks like it’s full of people. I think we should swim back to our boat,” I warned her. “That’s way too far away. It’s not coming over here,” she said blowing off the warning. “Okay” I said, knowing full well that boat would be within a few feet of her fully exposed porcelain skin in a matter of moments. Cat was notorious for her lack of common sense sometimes. My mother used to refer to her as a moth that occasionally buzzes into a lightbulb. She can speak six different languages, but common sense often eludes her. Can’t say I am any different, but on this particular day, I knew when it was time to go.
“Let’s go Cat. Come on!” I urged. Nothing. Not a peep. She floated aimlessly as the vessel of camera laden foreigners approached. I quietly put on my suit and started my swim back. I began to laugh at the thought of such an encounter, Cat’s pasty white breasts and lily white derriere for the viewing pleasure of a boat full of tourists lenses open and ready. Her triple sized cream puffs topped with cherries on a plate of Italian salt water was just too much for me to take. The thought of it made me howl. “Oh my God!” Dorine whispered in delight as she stared in Cat’s direction. I turned back, still treading water, to see Caterina, exposed with her love jugs, appearing large as watermelons, being photographed by a boat full of tourists. She was mortified. “Donna! Help me! What…what do I do?” she asked hopelessly trying to slip into her wet bathing suit which was clearly not cooperating. She gave up that task in lieu of a more promising undertaking, flipping over in an attempt to doggy paddle her way back to our boat. She lost part of her suit on the way, the part that kept her girly parts in place, a good thirty feet down, leaving her with no other way to swim. Some of us have runaway breasts or at least a mind of their own. Cats would have surely attempted to float away. I was beside myself, laughing so hard that Dorine was concerned I wouldn’t be able to hold myself up much longer. “Do you need me to come in and get you?” she asked sounding half worried and half hysterically laughing.
We both had a good hearty laugh at the expense of Caterina’s skinny dipping fiasco, but it didn’t end there. As Cat approached the boat, she tried to finagle her way up the ladder, one arm to pull her up the ladder and one arm to hold her topless twins in place. When our sweet guide saw her struggling, he turned his head away to give her some privacy, and put out his hand to try and help her. We all did. Ignoring his gesture and ours, she tried to inch her way up the ladder to no avail. She fell in the water over and over again finally demanding that everyone turn and look the other way while she used two hands to make her way up a ladder which she claims she kept falling from because she had a phobia, unbeknownst to all of us, of small boat ladders! When she finally made it on board, she put on her dry clothes all the while cursing the Italian Gods. The entire boat ride back to shore she mumbled complaints to herself about her skinny dipping misfortunes. “I’m going to be on the cover of some raunchy magazine. Just you wait and see” she retorted indignantly. And then just as quickly as she was angry, she wasn’t. As we tied up the boat, she burst into a fit of laughter. We all did. Dorine handed over a generous tip to our darling, yet traumatized host. He was so gracious and would certainly be able to entertain his friends, for years to come, with Cat’s skinny-dipping fiasco.
People come in droves on the hydrofoil ferry, follow the crowd to the funicular cable car up to the center of Capri, and spend just enough time to walk down Via Camerelle, visit the church in the main square, shop, eat, and fight the crowds to get back on the hydrofoil from whence they came. No wonder some people find it overrated. I’ve done day trips to Capri and week-long stays and can’t seem to get enough. The more I visit, the more I want to visit. I have never heard anyone who has been to Capri say, gee Donna, wish I had come for just a day. When you stay, the crowds leave at the end of the day and you are able to enjoy the splendor and serenity of life on Capri.
The gentleman was facing my table. We glanced at each other occasionally sharing meaningful smiles with direct eye to eye contact, the kind of smile that beckons questions such as Who are you? Where do you come from and what made you come here on this day? I could see his bright baby blues from where I was sitting, cradled by what I call love wrinkles. Most people refer to them as crow’s feet. But his were clearly love wrinkles, lines gradually telling the story of a lifetime. Love, appreciation and gratitude were gently imprinted in this man’s face.