Postcard 31.2: Isle of Capri, Italy

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What makes Italy so unique is that no matter which part of the country you visit, you’re bound to see something completely different from the last, yet equally as picturesque. Take the island of Capri, for example.

Earlier, I had explored the ancient ruins and historic architecture of Rome. I never imagined that just a few days later, I’d be gazing out at a steep, rocky cliff amid a vast, glistening ocean.

But that’s what made Italy so special: everywhere you went, there was something so breathtakingly beautiful to see. And Capri was no exception.

Our journey to Capri started at a port in Sorrento, where we boarded a ferry to get to the island. During this 30-minute ferry ride, I was lured into the ultimate tourist trap of shelling out $5 for one of those tacky souvenir tote bags. (OK, I wasn’t exactly lured since I made the decision of buying this. But until this day, it’s still one of my favorite totes and brings back fond memories of my time in Capri.)

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As we got out of the ferry, we were divided into smaller groups and put into the tiniest cabs to take us to Anacapri, a small town on the slopes of Mount Solaro. Ascending the steep, narrow and winding road, I then understood why the cabs were so tiny.

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We exited to a quiet and quaint area with a narrow walkway with small cafes and shops, including one which sold all lemon-flavored items.

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Side note, Capri — and Sorrento in general — is widely known for its abundance of lemon trees, which fill the landscape throughout the region. So, naturally, you’d expect lemon-flavored snacks as well as limoncello, a lemon-flavored liqueur, to be quite prevalent around here.

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Walking past all the shops, we approached a verdant garden surrounding a beautiful villa with overgrown ivy wrapped around columns and mossy marble pieces scattered about. This was the Villa San Michele, the dream home of Swedish physician Axel Munthe.

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Like the outside, the interior housed a collection of ancient artifacts — everything from  the bust of Tiberius to the head of Medusa — most of which were acquired during Munthe’s travels.

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And beyond the villa was the most magnificent and dream-like view of Capri one could ever imagine. It was like something right out of a movie. To me, it resembled the Greek island of Santorini, which I’d never been to but have seen a lot of in movies.

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I breathed in the cool wind that brushed against my face and exhaled while taking in what was perhaps one of the most stunning views I’d ever seen. I wish I could’ve stayed here forever.

We then perused the exterior of the villa and some of the shops, where I bought a lot of lemon goodies and also ordered an espresso drink since I was feeling a bit cold. What I realized about coffee in Italy, though, is that ordering an espresso means you will literally get one shot of espresso in a tiny cup, not one of those fancy drinks — like a vanilla latte that comes with milk — like you’d get back in the states.

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Anyway, we then got back on those tiny cabs and headed back down to the main town in Capri. That’s where we did a little walking tour for even more sightseeing of gorgeous ocean views and the renowned Faraglioni, or three giant rocks and Capri’s legendary trio of sea giants.

 

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A group of us then caught the funicular cable car to get back down to the port, where we would order a quick lunch and then say goodbye to this beautiful island.

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