Spotlight: Capri + Anacapri
I’ll be spotlighting different destinations in the travel posts to come, and sharing their unique, lesser known qualities that you MUST experience! For the very first post in the series, I knew I had to start with our latest grand adventure – our honeymoon in Italy! I have SO many favorites from our two weeks exploring the southern Italian coast and I can’t wait to share each one. But instead of giving you an enormous overwhelming amount of information, I’m going to separate these posts on a town-by-town basis! 🙂
In the meantime, if you’re planning a trip along the Amalfi Coast, please reach out – I’d LOVE to share what I know!
I don’t like to brag about myself (doesn’t everyone say that? But seriously, I don’t!) BUT one thing I will totally own up to is my ability to plan a travel itinerary. I have no idea why but ever since I was young, I’ve loved researching travel destinations, finding the best of what the location had to offer, and making a plan, map and schedule to ensure all the “must-do” experiences can be done!
When I was still in college, I planned a girl’s trip for my mom and I to NYC. I had every mode of transportation, subway line, show seating chart and dinner menu from eateries across the city written down, pinned to Pinterest, logged into Google Maps and packaged into a comprehensive Travel Document (and totally on Google Docs, because how else am I going to get live on-the-go access to these hyperlinks?) And my insanity for travel planning only got worse – just ask my husband who lived through our two and a half week honeymoon itinerary through London, Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri and Anacapri and back! PS: He totally loved every minute of it.
With all that being said, I’ll try and keep it simple here! For the last leg of our honeymoon, we stayed on the tiny yet exotic, breathtaking island of Capri. Pictures definitely don’t do it justice.
While we were there, we stayed in a charming hotel,the Relais Maresca, right on the water overlooking Marina Cappolo.
Out in front by the pier, there was an unassuming little restaurant that didn’t look “overly” wowing but came highly recommended by locals. Though I wound up ordering calamari that turned out to be legit baby squids (face, legs and all..) our meal was incredible, and consisted of the most well prepared, fresh dishes we had on our whole journey!
The owner of the restaurant takes your order, with the caveat that there is no menu. Each and every day, according to the catch of the day and what’s fresh in the local markets, the menu changes and it lives in the owner’s brain where he will proceed to share it with you verbally. I don’t know how many times I asked him to repeat himself, but he was so gracious and kind – the epitome of Italian hospitality and warmth.
We showed up around 8p for dinner (which felt a tad bit late to us average Americans) and the place was empty. We were worried maybe we made a wrong choice since it was deserted, but by 9p folks started filtering in and by the time we left, it was packed. So, if you want to have a quiet and intimate dinner on the water, go early! If you want to feel the buzz of the Italian culture and liveliness of their late dinners, wait it out ’til at least 9 and then join in on the fun.
CAN’T MISS ADVENTURE:
You probably expect me to say the Blue Grotto. BUT, after spending so much time on boats ferrying from one Amalfi Coast town to the other (which was perfectly fine and pleasant), by the time we were on this last leg of our honeymoon, sitting on a tiny little boat in rough, choppy waters early in the morning to avoid lines, didn’t exactly sound like the piece of paradise we were hoping for. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t go! Plenty of folks have been and found it completely beautiful and worthwhile, it just wasn’t our top choice based on having trekked the Italian coast by boat the past two weeks.
There are SO many more “can’t miss” adventures I could name, but that you’ll probably find on TripAdvisor. If I absolutely had to choose ONE.. Ugh, I’m torn between going to the top of Mount Solaro and sitting at the base of the Faraglioni Rocks and swimming in the Tyrhennean Sea… Soooo, we’re going to call it a tie!
If you walk to the very end of Capri, through the town, and stay on Via Krupp, you’ll make it to a long winding trail that goes down to the Faraglioni Rocks for an up close and personal picture. Our first day in Capri, while I wasn’t wearing the best shoes for it, we made it about halfway down this trail before I called it quits. If I’d had on proper walking shoes, and ate something beforehand, we’d probably have been just fine, but that said – wear appropriate hiking/athletic shoes with traction! It’s a dirt trail down a rocky mountain/cliff side – but the views are absolutely worth it.
The next day, being properly fed + wearing the right shoe attire, we came back and hiked down the trail to the Da Luigi Beach Club (call ahead and make reservations, seriously!), which was the highlight of Capri. There’s something to be said for being at the rocks up close and personal, as opposed to from a distance. You HAVE to swim here, but keep in mind that there is no beach. It’s a ladder down into the water that’s a pretty steep drop off right off the bat. I had the Hubs grab me a floaty so I didn’t have to tread water or work too hard. That’s what vacations are for, right? Afterward, a boat took us from the Beach Club to Marina Piccolo and the views still didn’t disappoint.
Anacapri, Mount Solaro:
When you’ve had your fill of swimming, sun bathing and lounging, hop on one of the local SITA buses that crosses the island of Capri, over to its other side, Anacapri. Though Mount Solaro is the highlight (in my opinion) of Anacapri, there are plenty of lovely shops and dining options in the area. We actually ate at Trattoria Pizzeria Al Buco before heading up the mountain, and it was delicious! A relaxed vibe with good food.
The way up to Mount Solaro is via hiking, or, via chairlift. Kudos to you if you decide to hike, but the views from the chairlift are not to be missed!
Once you get to the top, there’s a little café and a lounge area under a trellis, perfect for soaking in the scenery. Your best shots of the Faraglioni Rocks are going to be from the tip top of this mountain, so spend some time making sure you capture it! It’s a once in a lifetime view.
We absolutely cannot wait to go back!
I’ll be sharing more from our Amalfi Coast trip, but if you’re planning a trip along the Amalfi Coast, please reach out – I’d LOVE to share what I know!