Oh, Capri. I will never cease to sing your praises. If it was Southern Italy who winked and charmed me across the way, then it was you who took me by the hand and twirled me breathlessly about the room.
Just off the mainland, this small island is easily reached by short ferry ride. Pulling into the colorful harbor you’re immediately taken by the rising backdrop dotted with lemon trees and stacked with cliff side houses and buildings.
It’s tempting to pull up a chair at any number of cafes lining the water, order an espresso and watch the boats come and go the entirety of your stay. But despite the welcoming buzz of activity, the heart of this dreamy island lies upward.
Whether by short taxi ride up thru winding back roads or escalator-like lift that sweeps you over the treetops, arrival at the center of town is even more enchanting than pulling into harbor, if that’s possible.
Piazzas filled with café tables and sweeping views of the island and Mediterranean below greet you warmly, making you feel both at home and transported all at once. The winding walkways are lined with boutiques and cafes, lush flowers and draping greenery blending seamlessly with the architecture.
White columns, hibiscus flowers, sunken lemon groves, limestone cliffs, all of it captivating. It isn’t a place I’d choose to visit in the height of travel season when tourists descend and fill the narrow alleyways to irritating capacity, but then we don’t travel anywhere at the height of travel season. (we’ll discuss that tip in more detail in an upcoming post) We find a stark difference in visiting a place during peak versus off season, when local life and culture is authentic and organic.
Italy in October is glorious. Kind, relaxed, warm. It's as if the entire country breathes deeply and kicks back with an espresso to break from the swarm of tourist season. We few stragglers who wander the quiet streets are greeted with lazy smiles and nods, embraced as old friends rather than a potential souvenir sale.
And particularly in the quiet of off season, Capri feels otherworldly. Its beauty is truly stunning, said even to charm emperors in centuries past.
We had packed an overnight bag and jumped on the ferry from the tiny harbor at Positano. We spent our first afternoon revisiting the gardens of Augustus, letting Everyn run giddy circles thru the flowers and fountains perched cliff side overlooking the infamous faraglioni rocks.
We wandered the paths and alleyways reminiscing, stopped for coffee and strawberry gelato, laughed about how different life looks now than it did all those years ago when we last strolled these streets. We were slow and deliberate, taking everything in every step of the way, enamored still.
Much anticipated plans for dinner finally lured us back to our room to clean up. We’d been looking forward to this particular dinner for months ever since reading one singular line in a book.