WRITTEN BY CIARA DAVIS, SUMMER 2017
Capri is an island off the coast of Italy, world renown for its breath-taking views, luxurious shopping, and mysterious blue grotto which is unique to the island. The Sant’Anna Institute coordinated an excursion to Capri for all the summer students, so we were fortunate enough to spend an entire day enjoying the beautiful island. I could not have dreamed of a more beautiful place!
Early Friday morning, our group met in the center of town where we were introduced to our friendly tour guide. He walked us down to the hydro-foil, which is a huge speed boat. The inside reminded my friends and I of a plane, and the ride felt much like taxi-ing to the runway for take-off.
When we arrived in Capri, I was shocked to see how crystal clear and blue the water was. Coming from America, such pristine water is only seen in movies. Capri is a series of cliffs and mountains, met with coves and white stone beaches. From very high up, you can still clearly see each algae-covered boulder on the ocean floor surrounding the island. I have never seen such beauty in my life.
I will say that it’s a bit intimidating to take a bus up the mountains of Capri, because the streets are so narrow, curvy, and close to the edge of the cliffs! Italian driving is definitely a lot more aggressive and requires a lot more skill and risk-taking than driving in America.
Our first stop on the bus was a lift to the top of a mountain in Capri with a view of the entire island. The lift was a bit costly, but after seeing the view I can honestly say I would have paid double for the opportunity to see the sights that only the lift could offer.
Each seat on the lift was only big enough for one person, and there is just one small bar holding you in. There is no time to think about the upcoming journey, however, because the next thing you know, your feet are swept out from under you and you’re off!
The sights from the lift are simply unbelievable. I took some time on my way up the mountain to just enjoy the view, and let it sink in that I was actually on a lift on the island of Capri, Italy. Crazy!
Once on top of the mountain, one could see a 180 degree view of the island. My favorite sight was watching boats floating in the Mediterranean, a sight that I will surely never forget. All different types of boats were simply enjoying the perfect day, rolling along the waves of the ocean.
After the lift, we were taken to the Gardens of Augustus, which offered more surreal views of the coast. It is difficult to capture in words the views of the cliffs and water below. The garden also exhibits Capri’s rich flora, with flowers and plants of many colors!
When we had finished in the gardens, we walked the main strip of Capri that offers many shops, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment. My friends and I found a small art gallery which featured unique and inspiring exhibits. My favorite was a model sculpture of a swimmer, complete with beads of water running down her skin. The sculpture was so lifelike that part of me is still not convinced she was not a real-live person!
Finally, the group came back together and we headed to the beach. My friends and I decided to get Paninis at the little market. Little did we know, the market was a local hot spot, and we would have to shuffle through a crowd of people to ask non-English speaking Italians for a sandwich. We waited nearly an hour, which gave us enough time to ask some locals how to order. We ordered “Caprese per prosciutto”, which is mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, basil and a very thin ham. Surprisingly, we were able to order successfully and headed to the beach!
Capri is the first island I’ve ever been to with white stone beaches. Although it is a little rough on your feet, I prefer the stone over sand that gets all over my skin and clothing. The beach was absolutely stunning. It seemed like a fairy tale to swim in such amazingly clear aqua water. After swimming for a while, my friends and I tanned on the beach until it was time to leave the island.
Visiting Capri was one of the best days of my life. The island is truly a hidden gem, and having the chance to explore such an incredible place was so rewarding! Before I leave, I would like to come back to Capri and check out the blue grotto. Sant’Anna offers a few other excursions, so next week we will be going to Pompeii! I cannot wait to see what else is in store for me while I am staying in Sorrento!