We made so many jokes with the word Capri and I totally missed the opportunity to actually wear Capri pants while we were there (probably for the better). This Gate 1 add-on excursion from Naples was the most expensive but the majority was for the ~1 hour Ferry. One of the aspects that disappointed me the most that they neglected to inform us of the extra cash we should carry for suggested extra activities, not included in the price of the original excursion! (Didn’t help there was no BNP Bank in sight on either of the islands.) I dropped the rating one star because of this and suggesting that we eat at the local tourist trap for lunch! Don’t get me wrong they suggested awesome activities such as the chair lift in Anacapri (Seggiovia Monte Solaro) €11/person round trip and 45 minute boat tour in the bay of Capri €15/person round trip. We only brought enough for lunch and light shopping so I had to borrow money from our Tour Manager, Johnny, to cover the boat ride! Well at least Dana replaced his long lost hat from our Amalfi Coast day trip.
Thankfully we were on the fortunate end of the capricious weather and it was sunny the whole day. In retrospect I should have more liberally applied the sunscreen to the barely exposed parts of my arms as well. (Only location where I got a sunburn! Why did I have to roll up my sleeves?)
As we disembarked from the large ferry to Anacapri, Johnny introduced us to Lucca and we set off on another bus ride with the last of the “Mamma Mia” views! (While in Rome, we did not traverse any steep mountains with sheer drops and stunning views, only traffic caused possibly by our commander in chief’s visit.) Our first stop at 11 AM was at the base of the Monte Solaro. He suggested that we seize the opportunity of no line and take advantage of the view up top. I was hesitant at first as I was wearing slip-on Birkenstock sandals imagining every type of scenario where one (or both) of them would slip off mid-ascent on the solo chair lift. Yes that’s right each person gets their own chair secured only by a lap bar. I also saw another woman from our group wearing high heel mules getting on so that reassured that I could do it too. The chair seat itself tilted you backwards so I felt secure. Dana might be filming a short video of himself on the lift directly head of me with his backpack on his lap. Seriously we saw other distracted tourists using wild selfie sticks. Someone reportedly doing their makeup. Take it from someone who is notoriously obsessed with taking photos of every moment — sometimes it’s better just to sit back and enjoy the view uninterrupted!
Simply WOW! The top of the lift yielded one of the most spectacular views of the bay! We had a strict time limit so we had less than an hour to take in all of the sights and barely enjoy the cafe. The Monte Solaro was definitely the highlight of our trip and I’d highly recommend anyone add it to their itinerary. There’s also the option to climb the hill by foot, but it was a hot day and we didn’t want to strain ourselves. You can also purchase a one way lift ticket up for 8 but the round trip difference was negligible. They didn’t even check our ticket for the way down!
We joined our group that opted out. Our sneaky tour guide suggested a quick stop restaurant called Le Terazze, which unfortunately turned out to be a tourist trap. He touted the location as a great deal since it included a beverage and dessert with the order of one of their featured entrees. The food itself was alright, but it just felt downright slimy that we were hustled in like livestock to sit with the rest of the group separated by tour groups. It is a smart way for them to get money and split it with the tour guides. We also only had about 40 minutes to eat and head back to the bus so it created a situation where this was our only option or we’d go hungry!
The bus awaited us and one of our travel companions straggled behind as they somehow got lost. Dana managed to also find a shop to buy a replacement hat for the unsightly bucket hat he lost! (He originally purchased it in a San Francisco Hemp shop. I still have my red hat covered in cannabis leaves.) Capri did not disappoint us with its beauty! Lucca led us through the narrow streets and to the luxury brand shopping strip under the hot beating sun. No hate for tourists who do this, but I can’t fathom why some people would travel to a foreign country to purchase goods from the same brands? I barely even buy any souvenirs these days since most people I know have enough clutter. We moved slowly through the cobbled and hilly streets with no interest in the actual shops. We just waited until our afternoon boat ride. In order to descend back down to the pier we took another funicular! This one was enclosed and each cable car fit about up to 15 people.
No unfortunately we did not venture into the mythical and possibly over-hyped Blue Grotto. Our tour guides warned us several times that visiting the Blue Grotto was a bad value as boats have to line up in order to go in and you really are only in the Grotto for a few minutes. However, we did take a lovely boat tour of all of the beautiful Faraglioni rock formations and around the less popular Grottos led also by our local tour guide, Lucca. (I only remembered his name since it was the same as a lovely Tuscan town we had just visited earlier on the trip.) One of our travel companions also took a photo of us as we kissed under the fabled “tunnel of love”!
“Let’s keep cruising, keep cruising, keep cruising.”
– Lucca, filler in between scenic sightings (not sure why this quote sticks out)
The boat ride also included some people who purchased tickets independently not part of our Gate 1 group. Lucca used both the Gate 1 Whisper devices and the boat microphone to narrate the sights. The sound of the boat combined with the crashing waves proved difficult for us to hear everything. The photos show beautiful rock formations known as Faraglioni where you can see the water and tide erosion. It reminds me of the tidewater glaciers we saw in Alaska but on a smaller scale. There were many mythical stories behind them, but I can’t seem to recall any. We concluded our day after the boat ride and enjoyed another higher speed back to Naples! I tried watching something with Dana but promptly fell asleep.
Rating: 4/5 ★★★★