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<< Naples and Vesuvius
Posted Apr 28, 2000 by Ashley
Capri is the tiny island just out in the Bay of Naples. To get to the island, it's best to take a hydrofoil from one of the two marinas at either end of the bay. It takes about 45 minutes but make sure you get to see the marina as you pull in as the town of Capri is stunning.
Capri is famous for many things apart from the rich and famous who live there. Lemons are in season all year round and this is the staple for the drink that is made on the island - Limoncello.
Limoncello is a strongish aperatif tasting of lemons. There is a danger that the alcohol will burn the back of the unsuspecting throat - to counteract this, there is a brand of limoncello that has cream in it. Absolutely scrummy but a bit sickly in warm weather. Theree is a distillery in Anacapri, the islands second town.
The island is also famous for its perfumes - there is an old Carthusian monastery in Capri town proper which is now a school - however, next door there is a perfumery that has all the recipes that the monks used to produce the scents that the island is famous for.
Most tourists head for the Blue Grotto. To get there, youmust take a tourist boat from the main marina and the journey lasts about twenty minutes - on the way you past the houses of people like ferrari, the baths of Tiberius and an old set of Phoenician steps - all perched along the cliff faces. After the steps, you'll arriveat a watery bottle neck as there are numerous boats all waiting to get into line for the grotto. This is the brave bit - you have to transfer from your motor boat to a tiny row boat - you'll get three to a boat and an oars man. He will direct you to what looks like a sheer rock cliff - never fear though there is a tiny hole and you will have to duck - *very* low. Once inside the view is simply stunning. The blue of the water is so unique that I will not dare to describe it hear. The colour is caused by light refracting through water via a gap in the the rock face. The grotto was used by Tiberius as a baths and there are remains of Roman structures and a tunnel leading to a Palace above ground. The tour lasts about 15 minutes and the boat men usually sing opera - badly.
Once you come out of the Grotto, you have two options. You can either take the boat back to the main harbour or, what I would recommend is to take an open topped Mercedes Benz taxi to to Anacapri. This is the islands second town and is famous for the calm peaceful aura it projects.. There are the usual tat but i would strongly recommend going to the sandal maker's - he's made them for Jackie Onassis, Gracie Fields etc. The sandals last a life time.
While here, go visit the cemetery - morbid maybe, but not only will you get a great view but youcan visit the tomb of Gracie Fields - Lancastrian Songstress turned international super star of the thirties forties and fifties.
When you head back to Naples, be sure to get a seat on the outside of the hydrofoil and see Capri fading into the background and then the spectacular bay of Naples approach.
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