Isle of Capri

Italy by Bus

Day 5

Monday, June 4, 2001 - Inlaid Woodcarving, Isola di Capri, Dinner at La Stalla, Tarantella


Isle of Capri Excursion Today we witness the art of inlaid wood-working, one of the crafts of the Sorrento peninsula, before embarking on our excursion by ferry to the Isle of Capri. There's time to explore this lovely island with its white-washed houses, fashionable shops and restaurants. Weather permitting, why not visit the Blue Grotto before our return to Sorrento? Tonight we enjoy dinner in a picturesque restaurant. (BB)(HD)

Optional Excursions

Capri Highlights with Lunch Minibusses will take us on a spectacular drive to Anacapri with its magnificent views over the Mediterranean. Time for a spot of window shopping before visiting the villa of the Swedish doctor, Axel Munthe, with its cool white-washed walls and charming antiques. Out local guide will show us further highlights of this beautiful island before a lunch in a picturesque restaurant (wine/soft drink included).

Tarantella Show and Two Drinks
"Folkloristic evening in a Sorrento Night Club with a Tarantella dance Show in typical Sorrento 19th century costumes and Neapolitan music.

The Isle of Capri

Today's schedule included a visit to a woodworking shop before heading off to the Isle of Capri.

Inlaid Woodworking

Todays wakeup call was at 07:00AM, followed by breakfast. Then we walked to the nearby inlaid wood factory, Notturno, at 08:30AM. Here they showed us how they go about making their inlaid wood products, then we had some time to browse the showroom.

To the Isle of Capri

After a short while, we boarded some mini busses for the ride to the port, because the big bus couldn't make it down that road. There we boarded a jet boat (Endless Summer II) for the trip to the Isle of Capri. There was good news and bad news.
The good news was that, while the bay is usually very hazy this time of year, there was a strong breeze that cleared things up so much we could see Naples as we left Sorrento.
The bad news was, this same breeze made the sea very rough. The deckhands spent most of the crossing passing out plastic bags for people to get sick in. Fortunately, the trip only took about twenty minutes.

Marina Grande on Capri This is a shot from the boat in the port, Marina Grande, on the Isle of Capri.

When we arrived on the Isle of Capri, Marco directed us to meet in front of the Funicolare. This is an inclined railway that carries people between the town of Capri and the port. We are not riding it yet, this is just a meeting point.


Once everyone was gathered here, Marco told the people who were not taking the optional excursion where and when to meet for the ferry back to the mainland. Then the rest of us met our guide for the day, Andrea (a male), and were loaded into mini busses for the ride up to the top of the island to the town of Anacapri.
This road was even more narrow and winding than the Amalfi Drive. Several times the busses were passed by busses going the other way without even slowing down, passing each other by inches.

Villa San Michele This is a view looking down into a courtyard in the villa.

Villa San Michele

Once in Anacapri, we had about 20 minutes to browse and shop, and then it was time to tour the Villa San Michele.

Villa San Michele

This is Randy's photo showing the entrance to the villa
(with Lloyd peeking in the door).

Restaurant on Capri

This is Randy's photo of the inside of the restaurant
where we had lunch.

From the villa, we went to an open-air restaurant in Anacapri where we had spaghetti, followed by veal. There was wine on the table, of course.

As we waited behind the restaurant for the mini busses for the ride down to Capri, which is located about half-way down the mountain, I took the next two photos.

Marina Grande Marina Grande, where we arrived on the island

Castle of Barbarosa
Barbarossa's Castle on top of the mountain

Capri and the Gardens of Augustus

The minibus ride down to Capri seemed even more precarious than the ride up, although this may have had to do with the fact that I was riding in the front seat next to the driver!

At Capri, we followed Andrea down to the Gardens of Augustus.

Capri This photo was taken just as we started down the hill, from the main piazza in Capri.

Villa San Michele

The view back up the mountain from the Gardens of Augustus to the town of Anacapri.

Restaurant on Capri

I took this photo because, even though this is a photo of a walkway, it gives a good idea of what some of the roads were like.

Capri Karen with the ocean and the famous Faroglioni rock formation in the background

Below are some photos of the beautiful Gardens of Augustus.

Gardens of Augustus

Gardens of Augustus Randy's photo

Capri The building on the corner of the road that leads back up to the town of Capri

Gardens of Augustus
Capri Randy's photo of the town of Capri

We had about an hour of free time before we met at the entrance to the Funicolare. In Randy's photo above, showing the main piazza in Capri, the entrance to the Funicolare was near the clock tower. There, Marco gave us our tickets for the ride down. This was not as scary as it first appeared that it might be.

Back to Sorrento

Then we boarded the ferry for the ride back to Sorrento.

Marina Grande in Capri

In this photo, taken from the ferry as we left the Isle of Capri, you can see the Funicolare in the middle of the frame. It looks pretty tame in this photo, but I was a lot steeper that it looks in this view.

Vesuvius from Bay of Naples

This photo of Vesuvius, taken as we left the Isle of Capri, shows just how clear it was. Fortunately, the ride back was not as rough as the ride over, but you can see from this photo that it was not exactly smooth either.

Limoncello Recipe Limoncello Recipe

Free time

Once back at the hotel, we had about two hours before dinner. We walked to the shops with Jasmine and Lee, and Doris and Ken. Jasmine found a shop (Lucy's on Via di San Cesareo) selling things with the recipe for Limoncello on them in Italian. They had the recipe in English on paper, and they gave her a copy of it. She made some copies for us, and Karen has made two batches of it so far, although one was a birthday present for someone.

Dinner at La Stalla

At 7:00PM, we left the hotel, following Marco into Sorrento to La Stalla (the stable) for our included dinner at a "picturesque restaurant". We ate dinner in the midst of a citrus orchard, with a peacock in a cage to one side, commenting frequently. As this was an included dinner, we had to pay for any wine that we wanted. We had bread, gnocchi with tomato sauce, eggplant, veal and potato croquettes with nutmeg. For desert we had cake with lemon and coffee.


After dinner, we had about forty-five minutes free time, and then went to a nearby club for the Tarantella optional. Every evening at 9:30 o'clock 'Tarantella Show' involves you in traditional Neapolitan songs and dances with the typical 19th century customs of Sorrento. We were seated in the front row, and were given a class of wine when we sat down. A little while later, they came around for our order for our second included drink. I ordered a beer, and was given a Budwieser, although I would have preferred an Italian beer. The show was very good. Many times throughout the show, the entertainers came into the audience and picked people to participate. Personally, I would not have been disappointed if I had missed it, but I know many people enjoyed it very much.

We were back at the hotel by about 11:00PM. Before we went to our room, we talked with Lloyd for a few minutes. While we were talking, it came out that the next day was our 20th anniversary. He wanted to buy us a drink, but we told him to wait until the next night.


Marilyn and Beth

Commentary from Marilyn and her daughter Beth about their Best of Italy tour, September 7-20, 2001, reproduced here with their permission.

Day 5, Tuesday, 11 September, 2001 - Isle of Capri

8:00 am and we were all off for our included outing to the Isle of Capri. We took a ferry from Sorrento to Capri; it was a short ride about 20mins. You then had a choice to go off by yourself or go on the optional "Guided tour of Capri with lunch" $46 pp. For those that did not go on the optional you had all day on your own. They were to meet us for the ferry ride back to Sorrento at 3:30. This was one optional you could miss and do yourself.
Anyway, the tour took us up to the top of the isle to Anacapri, you then had your choice of a guided tour of Dr. Munthe's villa or go up the mountain on a tram (like a ski lift) for a wonderful view of the surrounding area.
We meet the tour guide around noon and walked to the restaurant for lunch. It was a salad, a choice of entrees, dessert and wine.
After lunch it was back down the mountain to the town of Capri and free time for shopping, we also had a tour of the gardens. We met at 2:30 for ferry back to Sorrento. We were back to the hotel at 4:00.
Today was the day of the WTC attacks and we heard about it around 5 and were all in shock. However life goes on and we left for our included dinner at 6:30.
Prior to dinner we had a short tour of the inlaid wood factory. The dinner was held outdoors, it was a beautiful night and the dinner was great with unlimited vino again. After dinner we walked around town to shop and talk with the locals, they were really nice and concerned about what was going on in NY. We were back to the hotel around 11 pm.

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Contents © Copyright 2001 Author: Lee Briggs except where noted. All rights reserved.