Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adventure Wednesday on an Italian Honeymoon... Part 1 on Capri!

It's Wednesday morning and I'm feeling good!  Kicked butt at Slimmons last night, and we've been cooking like crazy, too.  Today I'm supposed to find out when my surgery is scheduled (finally!)  And the plumbers are ripping out the ceiling in our bedroom to fix a leak coming from our newly-moved-in neighbors.  Whee.

As always, today I'll be taking you on another Wednesday adventure, but this week it'll be a little different.  Since last week was our fourth wedding anniversary, that makes this week the fourth anniversary of our honeymoon in Italy.  I never managed to put photos of it online, so I figure there's no time like the present!  I hope this will be fun for some of you, and if not... well, unlike the days of yore when bored friends and family had to suffer through vacation slideshows, you can just click on out (and hopefully come back tomorrow, for a new recipe we've been working on!)

So!  Honeymoon.  After the wedding, we chilled out for a day, and then hopped a cross-Atlantic flight.  Several delayed flights later, and after a day spent running around Heathrow trying to get one of the three airlines we booked to take responsibility for our delayed flight (lesson learned - use one airline if possible) we landed in Rome, where we slept overnight.  Early the next morning, we hopped a train to Naples (which may be my least favorite city anywhere) where we caught a ferry over to the island of Capri.  (Which may be one of my most favorite cities anywhere.)

How did we end up choosing Capri?  Well, thanks to a kind gift from my parents, we were given a week's worth of Marriott points to use on our trip.  So we researched Marriott properties in Italy, and stumbled upon one in Capri.  We researched the area, and fell in love. (Plus, it was an easy day-trip to ancient ruins in Pompeii and Herculaneum - a must for my ruins-junkie husband.)  But, alas, the hotel's bookable rooms for point-holders were full.  Already too excited about what we'd researched, we decided to go anyway.

Marina Grande, the main port for the island.

And a shot of us on our balcony at the Hotel Weber

The left side of our balcony

The right side of our balcony.

I usually color-correct my photos, but I skipped color correction of any of these photos involving the water, because the Mediterranean was so beautiful.  We spent the first evening out exploring the lower city of Capri.

There are two cities on the island - Capri is the big city closer to sea level, and Anacapri is the small town up the cliff.

I didn't take a picture of my dinner and I bemoan that, because it was possibly the best thing I've ever eaten.  (Lemon ravioli, made with some of the local Capri lemons they're famous for.)

Relatedly, they're famous for their Limoncello.

We did manage to snag a picture of dessert - a fragolini tart. 
They're like tiny wild strawberries, but with a creamy texture.

Capri is really freakin' beautiful.

I may have left a piece of my heart there.

We also visited the smaller town of Anacapri, which has more locals.  We had to take a bus to get there, which went up the cliff's very winding roads.  Tom and I were crammed into the stairwell of the bus, and when we went to the edge of the cliff, I could look down through the doors and see the water, many many stories below us.  I'm not usually afraid of heights, but... stairwell. Glass. Cliff.  Water. Many stories. Was kind of (really) terrified.

 We happened to catch it
on the day of the Festival of Saint Anthony (their patron saint) and bumped into their procession.
I took so many photos of the very long procession, but this one was my favorite.

St. Anthony, being carried by Anacapri locals.

The next day, we caught a ferry headed toward Pompeii, the famed ancient city that was buried by the explosion of Mount Vesuvius.  Tom is a nut about ruins.  Did I say that yet?  Tom is a nut about ruins.

Looking out over Pompeii.  Since it was buried and then dug out, we had to climb all the way down into the excavation.

Tom, inside the ruins of a house.

This is maybe my favorite picture I've ever taken.

Tom standing guard at the Basilica.

It is astounding to me that all of this remains. (The ancient stone, not the modern water spigot!)

Even the roofing and the fountain spaces remain.

These were the "fast food restaurants" of their time. Bowls would rest in the openings, with fires underneath.
There were a lot of these throughout the city. (McDonald's on every corner?)

Here I am, outside my favorite Pompeian building - the brothel!

The frescoes over the doors to all of the rooms display each lady's specialty. 

Tom dances - we have made it all the way to the Anfiteatro!
I was very out of shape, so I didn't think I'd make it.  AND make it back. But I did.

I was SO tired after walking and climbing all day.  So we took our time walking out... and missed the ferry. Whoops.  We had to spring for a private boat cab back to Capri, which ended up being pretty romantic under the stars.

We spent the next day on the island.  GORGEOUS.

We ate lunch at a little restaurant on Marina Piccolo, below our hotel.

View of our hotel from the little island port. (It's the yellow/blue one.)
It was an EXCELLENT hotel, with the best hotel breakfast known to man.
Again, I did not color-correct this photo - that's the actual color of the Mediterranean in shallow water.

We spent the afternoon on a boat tour around the island.

It was amazing.

So many little caves and grottos.

The best of them was the Blue Grotto, one of Capri's claims to fame.  It's a sea cave with two openings for light to pass through - one, the itty bitty above-water entryway, and two, an opening below sea level.  It makes it appear as though the water is glowing blue from below. We had to transfer from our larger boat to one of the tiny tourist rowboats in order to get in, and lay flat in the boat in order to pass into the entryway without knocking our blocks off.

We wanted to get out and swim SO BADLY. But it wasn't allowed.
Yet again, no color correction here. This is how it looked. (Well, it was even more beautiful in person)

We spent our last day in the area at Herculaneum, another volcanic ruin that is less famous (but, we thought, far more beautiful) than Pompeii.  It was a smaller, more prosperous city, and the way that the ash and tuff buried the city, it is almost completely preserved.

Did I mention that Tom is nuts for ruins?

As you can see, it's still being excavated.

The mosaics that remain are still in vivid color.

I can't believe they just dug out all the dirt around this stuff.  Look at the detail!

Vivid frescoes still remain.

Even the second story is still standing!

I loved the mosaic on the floor of the bath house.

Tired, but having fun.

And that was our last day around Capri.  We hopped a one-way flight to Venice, followed Florence, and back to Rome.  But that, dear friends, is an adventure for another Wednesday.

I hope you enjoyed this departure from my norm!  I'll be back tomorrow with a new recipe and an invitation... and until then, keep taking care of you!


  1. Wow. Um, wow. Um, wow, wow.

    Ok, I leave for Italy in 6 months. Planning starts right now. I will put it off no longer. I have a lover, I'm going!

  2. ZliKiSm, you indeed must go. But wait to make decisions on which cities to visit until you see my photos of Venice/Florence/Rome, hee hee. Tom and I would be happy to make some recommendations on lodging and food. There's a restaurant book that made ALL of the difference for us. Every single place we went to, that this author recommended, was stunning. (More on that next week.)

  3. Lovely lovely lovely!

    The tide was in for us and we didn't get into the blue grotto.

    And now I want...NEED...some limoncello.

  4. Wait... I'm not sure I heard you correctly. Is Tom nuts for ruins?

  5. I believe we climbed that hill in Capri and it nearly killed us. Too cheap to pay for a bus! I love that you stayed on the island and had such excellent views. Next time, Herculaneum, holy crap!! Makes Pompeii look like a pile of rubble (and it was amazing). Looking at your photos helped me reminisce, too - Thanks!