Italy Stories and Tips

Capri and Naples

Exterior of the blue grotto Photo, Naples, Italy

I WENT TO CAPRI!!!!!!! I know, I know. Too exciting, eh? WOOOHOOO.

Only disappointment: no aliscafo. We got down to the imbarcadero too late to board it so we took a ferry boat instead. The water was absolutely gorgeous. As Fausto would say, "the colors are tremendous, they knock me on my ass." There were deep azure blues and light patches of turquoise blue mixed in with emerald green. Ah.

We went on a boat tour as soon as we got off the ferry in Capri. We saw a bunch of famous rock formation like the natural arch that the guide said "looks like an elephant" but doesn’t at all but maybe a little, and the "love arch" that if you kiss ya luvah underneath it you’re supposed to have good luck. Then we reached the green grotto. The guide let all twenty of us jump in and swim underneath it. Oh god it was wonderful. The water was so cool and refreshing (though excessively salty as I swallowed about four mouthfuls). The water was so clear that you could see your legs through it and the way the sun hit the sea floor made the colors reflect on your skin. It was this pale sea greenish blue under the archway that we swam underneath. OOOoooh. It was wonderfully wonderful.

We finally reached the blue grotto, but our driver and Sal, the professor from UT, didn’t want to wait in the hour and a half long line. I was unbelievably upset. This was the only thing that I wanted to see in Capri. UGH!!! But it was a really beautiful boat ride and it was totally worth it just to get to swim underneath the green grotto.

We ate lunch at this cute little pizzeria right on the coast. Julie and I once again "Helen-Kellered" and got Caprese salad, naturally as it was invented in Capri, and grilled calamari. When we ordered I asked for the water in Italian, as one is want to do in Italy. The waiter was stunned. I guess he sees so many tourists that he is surprised to hear that.

The calamari was delicious. I got a little weirded out by the fact that they served the calamari rings with the tentacles, but they were truly tasty. And of course the Caprese salad was awesome. The waiter came back and had a little Italian conversation with us about the places we’d visited and where we had studied. He told us we had to come back to see Naples and Sicily and visit him again!!! He was really nice.

From there, we went and got tickets for a motoscafo to take us to see the blue grotto. That was a cool ride, but I bet the aliscafos are cooler. We had to wait for an hour to get into the grotto, so Julie and I headed to the front of the boat for some tan action. These two young Italian kids were staring at us the whole time, it was a little discomforting.

Finally, we managed to hail a little rowboat to take us into the blue grotto. Julie, Janie, and I got into one with these two old British ladies. One of the ladies was petrified to get in and caused me a great deal of laughter. It was a little unnerving getting into the little opening to the grotto because the waves were pretty violent and the hole in the trough of a wave was barely big enough for a boat with people lying down in it to go through. Just as we were entering a little wave came up and I hit my head on the blue grotto. Amazing huh? My DNA is on the blue grotto.

When we got in it was just this huge dark cave lit from beneath by the sun reflecting up through the blue water. The color was brilliant. The drivers of all the boats were either chanting or singing. Our driver was singing Corey’s favorite Andrea Boccelli song. It was weird how it echoed throughout the cave. I took about a billion pictures. It was a really cool trip.

When we got back to our motoscafo, Julie tried to get out of the boat first. The problem was, the waves were really rough. Just as she got one foot up onto the boat, a huge wave came up and knocked her off of her feet. She fell backwards onto the driver, and both of them fell onto the British ladies. I almost wet my pants laughing at the scene. As Janie describes it, one of the British ladies’ noses was squished sideways underneath the driver from her vantage point. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the driver, when he finally got up after Julie’s leg cramp went away and she could get off of him, kept saying "Mamma Mia!!!" Too funny!!!

When we got back we realized that we still had an hour to hang around. I really wanted to take the funnevia up into town, but we really didn’t have time. So, we looked at postcards and the other trash that they sell along the coast. I got a pair of shoes from one man. I was so glad that I had learned that conversation about buying shoes now!!!

And then we decided to have a little dessert. We went back to the little pizzeria. The man started just shooting off Italian at us. It was almost overwhelming, but I got it all sorted out in the end. We Katherine, Janie, and I had dolce Caprese, and Julie had cioccolato e fragola gelato with champagne grapes. The caprese dolce was awesome. It was a moist chocolate cake with chocolate syrup and chocolate flakes with crema gelato and real whipped cream. I think the whipped cream was my favorite part.

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