Capri... from the other side...


Wait! Something is wrong”, these four words can get a brave heart also racing, and here they were whispered to me. Standing on one end of Piazza Le Boffe, my heart just stopped and I turned back and looked at my friend, she was trying to hear something that was happening just ten steps ahead of us. It was late at night and we were two girls trying to make our way back to our hotel, which was a zig-zag walk down hill from the town centre. The place is Anacapri, the quainter, quieter and the higher area on the island of Capri, which is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy.

Before we even began our journey to Italy we were warned about the notorious happenings in Naples and had a sign of CAUTION! Stamped in our minds. However, after reaching Anacapri we took our hotel managers word and set out to explore the very safe Island. The welcome in the city was perfect as the help was instant while trying to find our hotel, a girl called Clara walked us down to our hotel, which was far from the town centre. The first night was even better when at the club Red in Anacapri we were treated as special guests and given free drinks. We danced the night away.

The morning started with the most amazing Italian cappuccino and a swim in the pool of our quiet, small but rustic resort. “the roads in Caapri go up and dhown, up and dhown so you have to eat a goodh breakfasth”, this was Carlos, the hotel manager in his Italian accent. It was time now for us to explore the city and we planned to do it on foot. Our first stop was Grotto Azzure or Blue Grotto, Grotto’s are sea caves and when inside sunlight creates an illusion and the water turns electric blue, which is beyond imagination. After this wonderful experience we completely forgot the rough downhill walk. Luckily we got a ride back on one of the cute little orange busses that run every half an hour along the full stretch of the island covering Capri and Anacapri. I am sorry for the inappropriate use of the phrase ‘cute little orange bus’, but one has to see them to believe it.

City Centre of Anacapri is a constant reminder that you are on a holiday with quiet streets, cute little cafes lined on the roadsides, local shops selling cloths and goodies made out of local Italian linen and leather. If hiking is on your mind Mt Solaro is perfect, though one can also take a chair lift to this highest point of the island. No points for guessing, we chose to hike. Without any map in toe or sense of direction we just started following the roughly paved way alongside the chairlift. It took us two hours to reach the small café at the top; “the hike is worth the experience and you better not give up now”, Stephanie had said, while Dave had nodded in agreement. This was the couple that we bumped into along the way. Their reassurance was much needed as there were no signposts, nor were there any prescribed markings on the way for us to know if we were headed in the right direction. The only consolation was the fresh sea breeze and the magnanimous views. Once on top you will see a complex of belvederes including the remains of the "Fortino di Bruto", a blockhouse built in the early 19th century during the battles between England and France. On one side is a beautiful Statue of Emperor Augustus and when you look far below in the Tyrrhenian Sea from this very point, you can get the most spectacular view of the Faraglioni rocks or the three stacks.

It was our first night on the island most famous for celebrity honeymoon couples, after restaurant hoping we were headed back to our hotel in Anacapri. In spite of many taxis available we decided to walk, making our way away from the town centre through the narrow lanes, ‘buona sera’, we hear from someone passing by and we greeted him back. It was now that my friend whispered, “wait! Something is wrong”, as she could no longer here the footsteps of that passing person once he had gone out of the narrow opening from Piazza Le Boffe. We could see a shadow of a figure standing right behind the wall, we would never know what his intentions were? Whether he was standing there for us or something else? We would never know as we ran uphill in the opposite direction to hale a taxi. This was one incident, which I would never forget as those fifteen seconds of decision-making felt like an eternity.



S Anand

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