After five days exploring ruins and museums, Kess and I were ready to venture a little further afield to see some more modern sites.We had seen travel shows on the AmalfiCoast and decided that would be exactly the adventure we were looking for. Donning our walking shoes, we walked about a mile to the nearest train station and dropped 4 euros for two tickets south to Sorrento on the Circumvesuviana rail line. A short trip landed us in the beautiful town of Sorrento and the train station had tourist maps and information that we found to be extraordinarily useful. Some of the pre-trip planning we did included checking Trip Advisor’s website here, and we were able to have a good idea of what we wanted to do before we got off the train. We did manage to pick up some history on the city despite the lack of any ruins, including the Greek account of the founding of Sorrento by Liparus, the son of Ulysses and Circe. Furthermore, we were told the street layout preserved that of the ancient city, and the modern town also follows the line of an ancient wall used to defend the city. Although we departed from our pattern of ruin hunting, there was limoncello to sample in many of the stores we passed on our way to the Marina Grande. Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that has garnered some fame in the last few decades around the world and is made using the zest from Sorrento lemons. The alcoholic content of the limoncello we tried was labeled as 25%, but the taste was not overly alcoholic – rather tart with a sweet aftertaste.
Although we could have spent the entire day in Sorrento, we decided that a jaunt out to the Isle of Capri would be a more exciting expenditure of our time and so we descended a winding stone staircase down to the marina and booked ourselves a spot on the ferry. Two roundtrip ferry tickets cost us $60, and we soon found ourselves heading across the Gulf of Naples into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Although there were a fairly large number of people on the crossing, the ferry was clean and spacious and we were definitely pleased with the cruising nature of the crossing, which only took about 45 minutes from Sorrento to Capri’s harbor, Marina Grande.
Once we landed on the island, we decided to make the trek up to La Piazzetta, the little square, in the historic city center. The path from the marina to the city was all uphill but one of the most scenic walks we took on our trip. The concrete walkway was lined with walls and gates that provided privacy to the local inhabitants but also created a very unique walking experience – the high walls made us feel almost like we were venturing through tunnel. It took us about 40 minutes to make it to the top, but we enjoyed every minute of the trek thanks to some of the amazing views we were afforded.
**Trip Tip** – you don’t have to walk from the marina, there is a lift and there are also taxis and busses. But walking is free and affords you the time to take in your surroundings! More info on taxis and transportation can be found here.
Once we reached the top we stopped for some lunch at one of the cafes in the city center, all of which featured the outdoor seating that transformed La Piazzetta into the center of activity in Capri. Unfortunately, the lift to Mount Solaro was not operating during our trip and the water was too choppy for a trip to the Blue Grotto, but we decided to make the best of our day and explore the island on foot until our ferry left to head back to the mainland. We set out south from the city center and soon found ourselves wandering aimlessly towards the southern coast. We explored the Certosa di San Giacomo and saw many beautiful villas complete with extravagant pools and gardens in bloom. When we got back to the States we learned that one of the villas was for sale with a price tag of 6.6 million dollars – I would have paid 5 million cash, but I didn’t have it on me at the time…… and I still don’t for that matter.
Anyway, back to reality – after a few hours of exploring we headed back to the city square and did some shopping. I picked up a pair of earrings for my youngest sister made of coral and my wife bought a hand painted mug to add to our collection. I got myself another pin for the collection and then we headed back to the ferry. The ferry took about an hour and a half to return us to Sorrento, where we walked around a shopped for a few essentials before returning to Pompeii via the Circumvesuviana. In all, it was a great way to conclude our trip to Italy and all the walking allowed us a great night’s sleep before we flew back to the States.
Check out the slide show below to see some more of the Capri photos we took, drop us a comment and let us know what you think, and as always – we hope to pass you on the road!