– i should really call this post escaping to Capri. i alluded to a deflection to the isle just off the coast of Naples in my last travel diary and i am back to explain myself. we arrived in Tufo ( 30 mins outside of Naples ) to find out that we would be packing up and leaving, after only 1 day, to head to another Zia’s place in Naples. we packed for 4-5 days ( as we were told to do) and ended up in a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 people, 1 bathroom and no air conditioning or wifi access. now the wifi thing wasn’t really a problem, every cafe and restaurant has it and they let you dial in no problem. the problem was 6 people – 1 bathroom – no air conditioning and 4 of the hottest, most humid days on record in Southern Italy. so needless to say we needed to get away for a little family time ( the excuse to shower as many times a day as we wanted in an air conditioned environment).
– we found a great deal ( for Capri) on Trip Advisor for the Hotel La Residenza, which is just down from Marina Grande in Capri. it’s an older hotel ( by Capri standards) but the hotel itself and the grounds looked like they had been modernized recently, the rooms were older with the shower very small and sticky sliding doors but we did not care. the view from our room overlooked the pool, mountainside and ocean and it was gorgeous. they also had quite a nice continental breakfast which was included in our room price and set us up nicely for the day.
– we took the 40 minute ferry from Naples, and as a side note let me tell you there are 2 types of ferries. the fast and the slow, take the fast ferry if you can ( better in the mornings before 12pm and evenings after 5pm) and be prepared to haul your luggage with you as there is no direct to hotel drop off in Capri. the ferry dropped us off in Marina Piccolo and we made our way to the taxi stands ( you can also take the tram up the mountain to Marina Grande) for the scenic way up the mountain.
– after hauling our 2 suitcases, stroller and Mattias down to our hotel we needed a refreshment and these granite slushes are all over the island. you can even get a mojito style one with alcohol in it if you want to get your buzz on. they have quite a few flavors but get the lemon one at least once, they’re made exclusively from the lemons grown on the island.
– after our refreshments Diego and Mattias headed back to the hotel for a shower and a nap and i went out to explore the island.
– one of my tasks during my wanderings was to find Diego a place that he and Mattias could get their hair cut. i happened upon this place ( the smells coming from it were AHMAZING and at first i thought it was a spa. turns out Carthusia is a perfumery that has been on the island for years and is famous for using the lemons grown right on the island in almost all their fragrances. we picked up the majority of our gifts and a couple of things for ourselves here.
– attached to the retail location just down from Marina Grande and our hotel is Salone da Barba, it is only open for tourist appointments from 4-8pm and during the rest of the day stylist Armando Aprea gives cuts to the men who live on the island. let me just say that in my 13 years in the beauty service industry i have never seen such attention to detail when delivering a haircut. you can tell he takes pride in his work as every detail was paid attention to, from how he put the cape on, to parting his clients hair. Mattias so enjoyed his haircut and was enthralled by all that was happening he sat so still and just watched.
– all in all we had a wonderful experience on Capri, the one thing that i would warn against is do not expect a great meal (or an inexpensive one ) when dining at any of Capri’s Coffee snack bars. prices are double for mediocre offerings. we made that mistake only once and were advised to head to Verginiello, a family run establishment just off the main road ( by stairs) and with a stunning view. Diego had the best pasta of the trip there and we went back twice. the people watching is first class, the shopping is great if you have lots of money to blow ( we did not), but the window shopping is perfection. if you can’t afford at least $200 a night ( hotel/Air B&B) it’s an easy day trip from Naples, a 40 minute ferry will get you there and they sail every 45 mins to and from. that’s it for my Italian adventure, but stay tuned for Monday’s post where we talk must have beach accessories!