Wednesday, June 20th
Miles & Miles did it again. They helped us book a private boat for our family and the Welsh family to motor over to and around the island of Capri. The boat was ours for the day and what a day it was!
The owner of Restart Boats picked us all up from our hotel at 9am and drove us by car the short journey to the Marina Piccolo where our boat and captain, Marco, waited for us. Restart Boats is owned and operated by the Pollio family, and they are fantastic. The boat was beautiful, comfortable and large enough to accommodate 12 people with a bathroom, downstairs lounge, padded seats and sun deck. It was perfect!
Shortly after leaving the marina, Marco pointed out the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa on the top of a cliff and the private swimming hole of a queen down below. Then we turned and headed for Capri.
To get to the town of Capri from Marina Grande (which is the smaller marina actually), you have to take a funicular. It costs 2€ and is an easy ride. Once you get to the top, you have an entire view of the Bay of Naples.
The town itself is a fairly typical tourist stop with shops, art galleries, gelato and restaurants everywhere. There was a cool sculpture made of links from bike chains just as you entered the main square.
We made the obligatory gelato stop and window shopped while we ate and then made our way back down to the boat. We did not take a bus up to Anacapri, but feel we got a pretty good sense of the place, plus everyone was ready to swim!
Marco met us and took us around to the Blue Grotto. Capri is made up of several grottos all around – Blue, White, Red, Emerald, Heart – and we saw them all. The White Grotto is filled with stalagmites and stalactites. At the very top, there is a stalactite hanging down that appears to be the shape of the Virgin Mary praying. The Blue Grotto looks blue, the Emerald Grotto looks green, and – you guessed it – the Red Grotto looks red because of all of the red coral growing around the circumference of the cave. The Heart Grotto has a section with a heart impression in the back.
The Blue Grotto is the most famous one. You can pull up to the area, pay 14€ each person to get on a small boat and they take you into the grotto for about a minute. It was very crowded, so we decided to skip seeing the inside in order to have more time for swimming. Marco found a perfect swimming spot and we all jumped in. The water temp is about 71° – slightly warmer than Barton Springs. Marco prepared a platter of sliced melon and cherries and served us Prosecco in the water. Pretty perfect way to spend a day.
Marco was amazing. Every time I called Marco’s name, all of the kids shouted out, Polo! He is from Sorrento and he works for his family in the summers. The rest of the year he works on a cargo ship. As we pulled into our swimming area, he waved to another captain – his twin brother! Turns out he has 3 brothers in total, so that’s 4 boys his mama had to deal with, but he says she’s lucky because boys are way easier than girls and now she has 3 granddaughters.
Just as we turned for home, the rain started, cooling the air and darkening the sky. By the time we reached the marina, it stopped long enough for us to reach the cars taking us back to the hotel. Marco’s mother and father shuttled us to Da Franco’s Pizza(Marco’s favorite) for dinner and then it started pouring! We made the mistake of ordering 2 pizzas and 1 calzone. The menu said each item was for 2 people. Not really accurate. We had enough food to feed a small army. Left-overs for the drive to Tuscany tomorrow. Fantastic wrap to the Amalfi Coast.