Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sink/Let It Sway: Capri, Positano, Amalfi

(I'd like to quickly preface my next blog post by asking that you watch the above video and by saying that every time I was on a boat this weekend, I thought of the song that is also the title of this post.)

Signore e signori, I took my first legitimate inter-Italy trip this weekend. A few friends and I worked out accommodations at a friend's house in Sirignano, which is a little town near Napoli. I've been mistaken for a local in Rome before; Italians ask me for directions, speak to me entirely in Italian, and sometimes even ask if I'm Italian (I guess I'm a "maybe she is, maybe she isn't" kind of Italian). No such thing would ever happen in Sirignano. It truly is an "everybody knows everybody" type of town, and so we were met with a lot of skeptical stares. We were also met with a lot of stray dogs. One of them, which we named Carlos, followed us around the entire town both nights we were there.

My new best friend, Carlos.
After a light dinner of home-cooked Neapolitan meat, meat, and meat and a sparse night's sleep, we arose at 6 a.m. to drive to Napoli to get on a ferry boat that took us to our first weekend destination: Capri (pronounced "Cah-pri," not "CaPRI," like the sort-of pants). The first thing we did was get on a smaller boat that took us around to il Grotto Azzurro, which is, as translated, a blue grotto. In order to enter into the grotto, though, one must lay down completely flat in the boat so as to avoid decapitation by the top of the entrance. It's quite comical to watch. The laying, not the decapitation. Which I didn't see.

This is what you do to get in the grotto. The water is more than slightly rough in a boat of this size!
Then, you float around the grotto, admiring its naturally blue water from your little boat!
  It's very dark in there.
Having successfully avoided seasickness, we returned to Capri and took a trolley to the top of the island, where the main piazza is, then proceeded to walk around the town for a few hours before heading down to the beach. Note to all future travelers: look for buses down to the beach FIRST. DO NOT attempt to walk down on your own, unless you're on some kind of suicide exercise routine. And, for the love of God, don't even think about trying to walk up. You won't make it.
The next day, we arose at the *bleep*crack of dawn to catch a bus to take us to yet another boat. This boat was much smaller and seated just about the entire town of Sirignano comfortably, with room for Carlos. The boat took us out first to Positano, a hill town with a lot of shopping and not much else. There's no denying Positano's beauty, though. And there were a lot of little animals to photograph.
Following our short stay in Positano, we re-boarded the boat and set a course for Amalfi, a far more crowded mountain town with lots of beach space and limoncello.

Amalfi from the boat

A more detailed photographic account can be found on my Flickr page on the right hand side of this blog. We stayed a short while on the beach, cooling off in the clear, salty water before walking through the town's main piazza and connecting streets, which were lined with delicious food and stores that were so expensive I could hardly bear to look at them.

My favorite part of the whole trip? It's a three-way tie.
  1. Capri: This is easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The foliage is expertly landscaped, yet it looks like it's grown naturally. The views from the cliffs are simultaneously overwhelming and scary (but would be much, much scarier if there were not handrails or natural walls). And the views of the cliffs are, well, on the right.
  2. Carlos: Some would say I'm obsessed with this dog. If I lived in Italy, I would take him to the vet, get him all his shots, and take him home with me.
  3. Our Weekend Host-Mom: Otherwise known as Teresa Mulé. She made sure we were completely accommodated at all times and was so much fun to travel with. There's absolutely no way we would've been able to have such a perfect weekend if it hadn't been for her. Thanks, Teresa!
More weird observations and stories on the way!

Ciao, amici!

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