There is truly not a more magical place to visit than the island of Capri off of the Amalfi Coast. I’ve always believed that the true beauty of any island is discovered once you get in a boat and take it all in from the sea. This is especially true in Capri.
We knew we were going to take a boat trip around the island, but we hadn’t booked it when we had lunch at Paulino or the Lemon Tree restaurant. The manager at the restaurant gave us her father’s business card. Vittorino is one of the most experienced boat tour guides – although that’s not really the best word for his many talents – on the island.
Vittorino met us at the marina and we set sail on our adventure. He pointed out the different rock formations and caves along the way. One of the “must see” items on my list was the blue grotto and Vittorino helped me fulfill my wish.
To gain access to the blue grotto, we had to get out of his boat and into a much smaller boat with a different captain. We paid these guys and were on our way.
I wasn’t sure what to expect really and when I saw where we were headed, I began to have second thoughts!
The entrance to the blue grotto was a really tiny opening along the side of the cliffs. Keep in mind that Capri is one giant piece of limestone that stands straight up out of the ocean. There aren’t any long sweeping sandy beaches. It’s one humongous rock with cliffs that drop hundreds of feet straight down into the ocean. As we approached this small opening, I didn’t know what was about to happen. Our boat captain – speaking enough English to keep us all alive – said, “lay down in the boat”. We were already sitting on the bottom of the boat at this point. I’m one to do as I’m told, so I stretched out as best I could in the bottom of the little boat as we were pulled through the tiny hole in the side of the island. For a split second, I thought I was screwed!!!! I quickly had a wave of claustrophobia set in as we were moved into the grotto.
As my eyes adjusted to the dark vast opening, and I sat back up in the boat, I started to feel a little better. And again, using his select English phrases, our captain told us to turn around and look. Once I turned around, I could see the dark cave was lit up in a beautiful shade of electric blue.
The sunlight shines down on the water and reflects under the cave creating this beautiful blue color. It was truly magical.
And of course, I jumped in the water! It was freezing cold. I’m sure my lips were as blue as the water by the time I got back in the boat. To add to the magic of the experience, our boat captain began singing in Italian which echoed beautifully throughout the cave. For all I know he may have been singing the theme song to SpongeBob Squarepants at a slower tempo, but it sounded amazing boucing off the walls of the cave and the water. Mother Nature is the best sound technician afterall.
We made our way out of the grotto
and back to Vittorino who took us around another point and tied up the boat so we could take a swim in what he called our own personal Italian pool…
and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of caprese salad with tomatos from his garden with lemon juice from the restaurant, Paulino, which sits under a 100 year old lemon tree grove.
He also surprised us with home grown capers and some really good wine he made himself. It was a perfect lunch for a perfect day in the waters around Capri.
Vittorino, seen here with me and Mark, took us back to the marina after our six hour tour where we reluctantly unloaded and said our goodbyes or rather our ciaos.
Promise me one thing. When you find yourself on an island in the near future, please drag your lazy bones off the beach and get yourself on a boat and soak up the sun from there. That’s my view from up here or rather down here off the coast of Capri.