Oct 10, 2014
I have been to the island of Capri twice before, and it is a beautiful place. However during the day it is usually crowded with cruise ship passengers.
Today I have no need to revisit sites from before. I am going specifically to have lunch at a restaurant that bears my name, even though there is no family relationship. At 9:30AM I board the boat to Capri at the port of Amalfi.
The trip is especially enjoyable since I love to be on the water and also because the scenery is spectacular. A stop in Positano to pick up and drop off passengers guarantees a wondrous perspective and photo opportunity for me. The entire town is visible by approach by boat and much differ any other view. So even though I am not visiting Positano this trip, I am fortunate enough to be able to have this great view on a perfect weather day.
By 10:45 or so we arrive at Marina Grande and this time rather than a taxi I decide to take the funicolare to the center of Capri. The ticket is €1.80 one way and the biglietti booth is to the far right of the pier. You must purchase a ticket prior to getting into line for the funicolare. At least twenty minutes in line makes me wonder weather the €5 taxi fare would have been a better idea. Too late now. After spending five days in Naples with Tina from Discover Napoli Destinations, that this entire area, Naples, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, is all built on tufa stone, from lava. So unique modes of transportation, like a funicolare, are essential ways to move from lower to higher elevations.
Before I look for Ristorante Longano I do need to do something. Unfortunately the battery to my camera is exhausted and no longer will take a charge. The two photo shops in Amalfi are out of that battery so I am hoping Capri may have. A photo shop with a battery. Well no such luck. The two shops here don’t even sell camera batteries. I could kick myself because my son Brian always reminds me to be sure to take an extra camera battery. He is right and after this I will always have a spare. At least I have the camera on my iPhone, and at 8 megapixels the photos are of good quality, although I will have to do without many features from the Nikon Coolpix. After I wander around a bit, and shoot a few photos, I am back in the piazzetta where Via Longano is. In Independence, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, there is also a street with my maiden name. Longano Drive actually was named after my grandfather since he developed the land. This street in Capri is not connected to my family, from what I know. Still, seeing the sign for it is pretty cool.
The restaurant is known for its pizza and pasta dishes, and as as soon as I enter the pizzaiolo is working with a wood-fired oven. I love it. After mentioning to the hostess that my name is Longano and asking for the owner, she explains with a smile that the owner’s name is not Longano. She clarifies that the restaurant is named for the street, Via Longano. So now the question is solved.
Lunch here proves to be a positive experience, especially because she seats me at a table next to a window with a view to die for. I am not that hungry so I decide to have the spaghetti with small pomodori and basilico and ask if they can serve it with penne pasta instead.
No salad, just some acqua naturale and bread. Good choice because I can’t even finish all the food. The pizza menu consists of more than twenty-five pizza including a Longano pizza, which is described as white pizza with Parma ham, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese. The prices are no bad especially considering this is Capri. This restaurant features a special menu of the day that offers a limited selection of a first and second course, vegetable, dessert, all for €16, including the cover charge. A 10% service charge is not included and either are neither are the beverages. After two hours in the center of Capri, I take the same funicolare back to the marina. Now a line is nonexistent. I am early for the return boat to Amalfi so I decide to have a gelato at a place where I can use the bathroom as well as Wi-Fi.
Bar Corallo is the perfect place to kill time and people-watch. The kind woman who is so accommodating also owns a jewelry shop that features Capri watches. The €8 cost for the gelato is pricey but typical for Capri and well worth it for the time.
After I arrive back in Amalfi I am tired but decide to see if the cathedral is open. Just my luck it is open from 5:00PM until 7:00PM and I am glad for the opportunity.
This cathedral is as impressive inside as much as it is outside. Originally built in the ninth century the Cathedral of St Andrew underwent massive renovations several centuries ago and now is an example of baroque and romanesque design. Opting not to have dinner I am back in my hotel room early to edit photos and relax.