28 August 2012

Benvenuti a Capri, Part II

The view from our rooftop brunch at Il Relais Maresca

One of my favorite things about Italy was having delicious, gourmet meals in the most picturesque locations. We had wine with just about every meal and were regularly served Capri's signature liqueur, the Limoncello, after finishing dinners. I only went out to a club once the entire trip and was pretty turned off by the experience for two reasons. It was, first and foremost, annoyingly difficult trying to determine whether a guy was gay or simply European and secondly no one could dance. White people, I'm telling you...

Thanks so much for the bottle of Dom Pérignon sent over to our table one night!

I really enjoyed people watching atop the Square in Anacapri, especially at night when everyone is out and about having drinks between dinner and their later plans. There's a gelato shop near the square for which people lined up around the block day and night but it was well worth the wait. I would typically grab something there and make my way to the Grand Café for a Bellini.

San Francesco di Paola

When poking around Naples I realized why it was referred to as the armpit of Italy. It's not exactly the most beautiful of Italian cities, especially when compared to Florence, Rome, and Milan, but it was a little too grungy and industrial for my liking. Many buildings were hidden away behind scaffolding as they needed their infrastructure updated so I was happy whenever I found an historic landmark in full view, including a few statues as well as the San Francesco di Paola which was modeled after the Roman Pantheon.

Pompeii was absolutely marvelous and we had a really great tour guide to show us through the ruins. The television specials on the history channel don't do justice to the wonders of the ancient city and they've never shown its current state. It is so well-preserved that you are still able to see some of the original mosaics and frescos that cover its walls. It's amazing how the famous Pompeii red remains ever vibrant against the stone streets and buildings even after the city's destruction nearly two thousand years ago.

After the tour we made our way to the Naples National Archaeological Museum to view some of the artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. I forgot how much I really enjoyed going to museums and wandered off on my own to explore the galleries. My favorite sculpture was a gorgeous marble of Pothos, one of Aphrodite's erotes. I audibly gasped upon walking into a room located on the second story of the museum which featured amazing paintings hung along its walls and a gorgeous fresco ceiling. The best part about it was that there weren't many people visiting that day which meant I was able to enjoy art in silence and solitude, allowing me to soak it all in for what felt like hours.

On one of our last days in Capri I made sure to visit a little shop on the island known for its beautiful, handmade sandals. Da Costanzo is a footwear shop in Anacapri that was first started by Costanza Ruocco, but his son has since taken over and continues to craft custom sandals for both men and women. Each sandal is made to fit each customer and their choice of design. Notable figures known to have frequented the shop include Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Sophia Loren - so I had to have a pair!

Happy birthday, Geo!

We celebrated Jo-vanni's twenty-third birthday during one of the last days of the trip by taking another boat ride around the island, exploring different sea caverns, and swimming (or in my case sitting on a foam noodle) in the sparkling blue waters, and finally wining and dining the night away. He was presented with a birthday cake ready at each meal and we had his birthday dinner along the Anacapri's main strip, entertained by a singing child and whacky chef. I definitely had a blast and a half on this trip to Capri and recommend it as a great holiday spot for anyone looking to go to Italy!

Caption THIS!

Check out more pictures from my 2012 trip to Italy here!

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