After a lot of strenuous adventures this semester in Rome and other cities in Italy, there was mutual agreement that a girl’s relaxation vacation was needed. I mean, it is spring break! Six of us decided to go to the beautiful island of Capri, which is along the coast of Italy about three hours south of Rome. This was the perfect time to catch up on some leisure reading, get my tan on, and enjoy beautiful scenery.
To get to Capri, we had to go through Naples. Apparently, Naples is the birth-place of pizza, but it is also a huge place for crime. The Italian Mafia is a very real thing especially in Naples. Before we got there, I didn’t think much about this because obviously we were going to be careful, and also people say that stuff about Rome even though I have survived there for the past two months. However, when our train got close to the Naples train station, there was a definite shift. The buildings were run down, the people started looking less friendly, and every inch of wall was covered in greasy graffiti. It was so bad that we all looked at each other with disbelief, and I said, “this is a God-forsaken place.” From what I saw, Naples is a pit.
Luckily we didn’t go anywhere in Naples besides the train station. Finally, after getting seam-rolled on and off the ferry by a giant Japanese tour group, we were on the island. It was a little foggy the first day we were there, but the scenery was still very lovely. It felt like I was in Florida because there were palm trees, lemon trees, and crystal blue water as far as you could see. The only thing absent from the island was all the sandy beaches we saw in travel photos. We learned pretty quickly that Capri is rocky everywhere you go. This wasn’t too big of a disappointment, however, because the weather was in the high 60’s, which feels warm to a Minnesotan but not quite warm enough to swim in the sea.
Our first day out, we went all the way to the cliffs, which involved a tram ride down to the marina then a bus ride to Anacapri then another bus ride out to the coast all while we were extremely confused about where we were. The cliffs were gorgeous, and there was a nice flat place close to the water where we could relax and read a little. We had the place pretty much to ourselves because major tourist season isn’t for a few more weeks. The only other person we saw was an Italian man in a speedo who kept going up to the water like he was going to swim in it. This was completely absurd because the water was super rough, and it was way too cold to wear a speedo. We couldn’t help but laugh when we kept seeing him walk up to the water and shy away multiple times that afternoon.
Our second day, we went to the most beach like area on the island, which was pretty rocky but exciting nonetheless. The sea is really cool to me because I’ve never been to the ocean before. It’s so beautiful! Why don’t I live by the ocean? The water was ice cold, but I couldn’t resist putting my feet in.
The last night that we were in Capri, I was feeling pretty adventurous. I was at a restaurant, looking at the menu, and thinking that I was sort of bored with Italian pizza and pasta. I decided to take advantage of fresh Mediterranean Sea food. I ordered mixed seafood risotto. I felt super daring. i wasn’t sure what “mixed sea food” entailed–probably whatever they caught recently. I was worried that it might have anchovies in it. This is what I got:
It was calamari and mussels! The calamari looked weird and tentacle-y, but it was actually delicious. I felt so brave when i tried it, and I loved every bite. Success!
Now, I’m back in Rome for Easter before I leave again to go to Poland. I’m feeling a little homesick and wishing I could be home to go to the Easter Vigil in English and celebrate with my family. I miss everyone dearly! I realized that I have crossed the halfway point for my travels. Before long, I will be returning to the Minneapolis that I love so much. Thank you for reading about my adventures thus far.
Love from Roma, Lizzie.