Day 7 was a true sensory standout of the trip, an excursion by car to Amalfi, followed by a boat trip to the Island of Capri (and its higher echelon compaction, Anacapri). Stop one was in the City of Amalfi as it was easing into its Saturday Morning.
As we have seen time and again, Amalfi’s landscape is dominated by its cathedral/Duomo. In this case, a Duomo dedicated to Saint Andrew. The melding of cultures is evident by the Moorish architectural details represented on its facade. We eagerly climbed the steps and "made a visit" - as my father was fond of saying.
The Duomo may dominate the skyline, but does so in very close quarters with its neighbors.
We ambled up the pathway (actually a road - which we continually forget until a vehicle or two reminds us), but did so with enough awareness not to miss the narrow passageways intersecting. Each one offers a glimpse into the local life of Amalfi’s residents.
Dogs were everywhere we have been, and in Amalfi it seems they are looked after quite well. The Duomo stairs offered many a chance for a quick respite as the sun rises higher, reawakening the heat monster. The added sunlight also enlivened the colors of the town.
Clearly the vibrant colors offset the swelter to a large extent. Our time here was limited, as we must return to the docks for a boat ride to Capri.
The coastline views from the water coupled with the rising sun, brought stunning color and contrast, and great delight for the eyes. We also spotted a rather curious sight a large cave-like void in the hillside, seemingly underpinning massive residential structures built above it.
Arriving at Capri we rejoined larger civilization immediately, and found a bustling coastal city, and a myriad of energetic vendors eager to hawk wares upon the new arrivals. Undaunted by this, our guide reassures that this is a light crowd, and instructs us to proceed to the Funnicular (think Los Angeles’ Angels Flight) which will take us to our rendezvous point with our local tour guide. Both of us were too busy taking in the sights and sounds to capture the short upward climb on the funnicular on camera.
A potpourri of local sights provides a glimpse or two into the sensory feast. Who knew that lingering in front of a shop window was criminal? An actual alarm sounded on some friends who stood too long and too close to one display!!
In view of the heat, and mindful of our own limitations, we make a decision to ditch the local specialist, in favor of shade and a quick bite. We sheepishly watched our group being led down a corridor that we will explore ourselves at leisure. We later receive confirmation that following our instincts was a good decision.
Our self guided tour yields colorful dividends, including a visit to two churches that seemingly back up to one another.
Before long our free-time is over, and we reconvene with the group for the open air taxi-ride to Anacapri.
The two main options at Anacapri were the Villa San Michele, a 19th century villa constructed by a Swedish physician and author, famed for its art collection and scenic gardens, and the skyway (think single seat ski lift), to the top of the island - which will offer near panoramic views of the island and its surroundings. Doing both is possible but not without quickening the pace. We chose to aim for the top, and the reward is quite handsome.
The initial part of the skyway took us over terraced farm property.
The views from up here were breathtakingly gorgeous, and we saw the famed “Blue Grotto” in a way that the hordes visiting below miss out on. We even found a snack bar and a place to enjoy a cold drink in solitude. We communed with the handful of fellow travelers from our group who made the same choice as we did, and we all agreed this was the best choice.
Alas we couldn't stay here forever, and instead must venture back the way we came. The way down offered vistas which went unobserved on the climb upward.
Theresa took advantage of a few moments of time to check out the perimeter of San Michele.
Reunited with the group, we took a speedy cab trip back down to the tourist-bustle of the Capri harbor. The changing sunlight enhanced color and detail invisible at the time of afternoon arrival.