Tuesday May 31
I took an early bus to Amalfi and from the took the boat to Capri. The views of the Amalfi Coast, and particularly Positano, were spectacular from this vantage point.
On approach to the island of Capri, the boat circled around various locations of the island, making for fantastic photo ops! The water near Capri is an emerald green, so beautiful.
I was surprised that Capri is mountainous with cliffs, just like the mainland along the Amalfi Coast.
This huge rock of an island seems so imposing as the boat got close to the shore.
I had planned on going to the Blue Grotto and walking around the town of Amalfi. Instead I opted to go on a walking tour with Vincenzo, who comes from Sorrento, knows the area well, and speaks fluent Italian and English. After finding out that it would take two buses to reach the Blue Grotto and two to return, and a lot of time waiting around, I decided against it. I had heard from quite a few people that the Blue Grotto was highly overrated anyway, that 3000 tourists a day wait in line for a two or thee minute visit. So for only 20 euros, Vincenzo showed us all around the island of Capri, including the mountaintop town of Anacapri and the non-touristy areas I probably never would have seen. It was a good decision.
There was plenty of free time in both towns so I had a gelato in Capri and did a little shopping.
Vincenzo took our small group, which he referred to as his family, up the “Mamma Mia” road to Anacapri in small buses. Once up there, the views were even more beautiful than from Capri. At Vincenzo’s suggestion for a restaurant with authentic Italian food, I had lunch at Barbarossa, and then browsed around the center of Anacapri. I found an internet point and bought a train ticket from Salerno to Bojano for Friday.
On the bus ride back down to Capri and Marina Piccolo, I met two friendly guys from Vancouver, and we shared travel stories about our time in Italy. We had some time before the boat was going to leave and they kindly invited me to have a glass of wine with them. I guess I will remember them forever since their names were David and Brian, the same as my sons’ names.
I enjoyed talking with them and hearing about their travel planning and accommodations they arranged in the town of Minori, which sounded like another wonderfully quiet place. They refused to allow me to pay anything, they were such gentlemen. Thank you David and Brian again for the Pinot Grigio and great conversation. Buon viaggio and maybe our paths will cross again one day in Mexico sometime.
I took the boat all the way back to Maiori, now that I realized I could have taken it from the dock across the street from where I am staying, and saved the bus trip to Amalfi. (I would have missed that great experience of my bus backing down the street to make way for the oncoming one)!
After I returned to Maiori, I walked down to the end of the promenade and found the ceramics shop I had read about, Ceramica L’Arte Vietrese in Maiori. The ceramics are from Vietri, 10 km from here, and the prices as well as the products and selection are excellent.
I spent a lot of time conversing in English with the owner, Pasquale. When he translated for his wife Maria, I spoke Italian so she could be included. Not only did they both treat me well as a customer, but as a person. They were so personable and I instantly liked them both. It was very apparent in the way Pasquale spoke of and treated his wife that he had great respect and love for her. It was such a nice interaction with them.
I felt like I wanted to stay there and just hang out! I bought some small ceramics I needed for some gifts, and then I could not resist one more piece for myself. I will definitely return there before I leave Maiori just to say good-bye.
On the way back to my room, I bought a piece of pizza and enjoyed the walk along the Lungomare, feeling the breeze, seeing the waves in the sea and watching all the families outside enjoying life.
I came back to Casa di San Francesco and sat outside on the veranda to write, with the smell of lemons all around me. It doesn’t get much better than this.