Naturally every day on a vacation cannot be the best. Eventually a day must be, well just another day, right? Well il mio amico, today IS NOT that day.
I awoke late (says Franco). Told Pietro only fruit and espresso this morning (I want un altro fried calzone).
Franco says he will escort me to the bus stop, so we hop in this jeep/van thingy and head to town. As we pass the bus stop, a bus is just leaving. Franco says, that is no problem, “You look-a molto elegante, you must arrive by car.” -deal
We arrive in Capri and Franco gives me a few suggestions. “You must-a see Tiberius’ Villa Jovis. When you are there-a, you will feel as if-a you-a are live-a the Roman-a civilization-a.” He draws me a line on the map. I am surprised how long it is. He tells me that if I am not tired afterwards, I should, as he draws another line, walk down Via Mantermania to see the grotto. “A lovely, gorgeous, sight-a.”
Tired? Does this guy know I conquered Rome via molto pedi?
Today I decided to wear the tunic that my sweet, sweet friend Angel designed for me. I thought it seemed perfect for Capri. Here, there are many chic people.
Then there are those of us who are window shoppers. Capri has a style all its own…picture Jackie O and Princess Grace. Many shops have their photos hanging in the windows.
As I walked the alleyways of Capri, the breeze blowing, I found that I kept tugging on my tunic, afraid that the breeze was blowing my slits a bit much for comfort. WIth hands full of camera, borsa, map, sunglasses, glasses, I thought I could not fight this all day. I knew it would make me uncomfortable and impact my day. So, when in Capri….I bought white linen capri pants, easily slipped on under my tunic and ready to roam!
If I were to ever stay in Capri proper, I would check this place out.
Now to follow Via Tiberio. Quite the address! To bring reality back to you, all you need to do is go into a “grocery store”. Everyone knows each other and jokes. The place is small, cramped and multi leveled. I just popped in for a water and something salty.
Oh look. Here are mom and dad’s favorites!
When I left the grocery, there was an older woman sitting with her pull cart full of groceries. A young man walked by and offered to begin pulling her cart up the HILL. Although I could not understand their exchange, it was cute the way she continued to thank him as he vanished in the distance. Later up the HILL, he passed what seemed to be some friends and again their exchange was funny. They seemed to be laughing that he had gotten roped into this task again. I guess he just leaves them at her walkway, hoping the milk does not sour before she arrives.
If you look closely to the top left, the building and statue indicate where I am headed. No wonder Franco’s line was so long. However, it did not indicate the elevation!
Along the road (again, no more than 4 feet wide) I saw a little man step out, straighten his name tag, I assumed in preparation for my arrival. When I reached him, he began in Italian an invitation of sorts to the park off the road. hhhmmmm, I wondered. He was telling me that it will close at 2:00 and that it had “grande panoramicas”. I told him thank you but I was heading up to Villa Jovis. He went on in Italian….I am pretty sure he was telling me nicely that I was stupid not to enter. The Villa Jovis closed at 4:00 and his park at 2:00 and it was FREE. So, I decided what the heck.
Am I so glad I took this kind man’s advice. Grande Panoramica indeed!
On my way out, I thanked him profusely, “Tuto era Bello! Grazie Mille Signor! Grazie Mille.” We continued our conversation a bit. I made sure to ask him the name of the park. And then I took his portrait.
Villa Jovis, Villa of Jupiter, is a Roman palace built by Emperor Tiberius and completed in 27 AD. It is said that Tiberius bought the island of Capri from Napoli and made it his own. There are the remains of a lighthouse which would convey his orders to Rome while he enjoyed Capri….sounds familiar….
The park was closed.
The walk down was of course much easier than up, so when I came to the fork in the road that Franco had suggested I take if I were not tired, I had revived. On to Grotta di Matermania. Andiamo!
My continued energy was rewarded- An oasis within an oasis.
I was stunned as I walked up on this. I looked around for someone to say, “Can you believe this!!?” to. But I had to wait for you! I realize I am probably sharing too many photographs of the same thing but…..this is just a sampling of what I took. My only regret is that I could not get far enough back to capture the top of the arch and then the sky. The seagulls were showing off and I tried to capture them as well.
I told them they had chosen their home well! With the cool breeze it was difficult to leave this site. Seeing the boats below, I vowed to return with my family and lounge aboard one of those for a day. La Dolce Vita!
Ciao Capri! Back home to Anacapri.
As I walked back through town, Antonio called out, “Signora, you are looking lovely as ever.” About that time, his son walked out of the shop with mine and Avery’s sandals in hand. It was like magic….how did he know I was approaching? This place is swarmed constantly! “I had been thinking about you” he said….and I wonder why business is SO good!
Antonio tells me I am the first Americana with this design….sounds good though doesn’t it. Then he shouts to his son the size I had told him Dalton needed in the loafer. Again, how do they remember this stuff?! Antonio says, “We are still waiting on your husband’s size?” I tell him yes. I ask if I should pay for the 3 now? His son replies, “You are the boss-a.” I take mine with me, they hang onto the other two waiting for Blaine’s size and then they will ship…for free….and as a “very special gift”….an Antonio Viva t-shirt….silly but cute.
Let’s try this again. This time cafe and stracciatella! and this time, VICTORY!
I return to il gardino just in time for the sunset. I ask Franco if he has another cetriolo (cucumber). “Paige, I will pick you one imejiately!” and he rushes to the garden, returns, presents it to me and ecco! dinner.