Marina Grande, Visit Capri

Marina Grande

Capri Self Guided Tour – Molo Beverello Ferries

We stayed at the UNA Hotel Napoli on the Piazza Garibaldi in Naples.  First thing in the morning, we headed out for cafe latte and pastry at a local cafe on the square.  We knew the Italian routine by now.  Buy at the cashier and then present your voucher to get your food and drink.  Back at the hotel, they arranged for a set price cab ride to the Molo Beverello Ferries.  We set off on our Capri Self Guided Tour.  The high speed catamaran to Capri is one of the Molo Beverello Ferries.  The Disney Magic was in port there and passengers we met said Disney is a great ocean cruise experience.

Marina Grande Tourist Crowds, Capri Self Guided Tour

Marina Grande Tourist Crowds

Capri Self Guided Tour – Capri Funicular

The high speed catamaran docked at Marina Grande on the island of Capri.  The island was another Italian tourist extravaganza.  Multiple boats arrive regularly from the mainland, which causes Marina Grande to swell with tourists.  Once you arrive, you still need to get up the hillside to the town of Capri on the island of Capri.  You buy tickets for the Capri Funicular at the harbor, a short distance from the Capri Funicular.  Those tourists who aren’t familiar with the process end up in the long funicular lines only to find they can’t get on without a ticket.  After getting our tickets, we waited about 20 minutes for the Capri Funicular.  People jammed the streets a the top of the hill, in the town of Capri on the island of Capri.

Natural Arch, Arco Naturale, Visit Capri

Natural Arch, Arco Naturale

Capri Self Guided Tour – Natural Arch

We began walking side streets in Capri.  I’d brought a copy of a recommendation for a walk that I’d found on the internet.  This turned out to be a highlight.  We walked the Via Matrimonia to the Natural Arch (Arco Naturale).  The walk was peaceful with few tourists and pleasant partly cloudy weather.  After a few twists, turns, ups and downs, we reached the arch.  The Natural Arch was magnificently large.  You could look down the steep drop into the blue green waters below.

Buses Squeeze by Each Other, Capri Self Guided Tour

Buses Squeeze by Each Other

Capri Self Guided Tour – Bus to Anacapri

Next we both proceeded to make ourselves ill on the bus to Anacapri.  The fare on the local bus to Anacapri was only $1.40 per person.  The bus is jammed full of standing room only tourists.  Then the bus to Anacapri rushes up the hill, bouncing over speed bumps and barely missing on coming traffic on the narrow road.  I was at the back of the bus near the outside edge,  The view from the bus to Anacapri was frightening.  Three quarters of the way up the mountain side, you go over a section where there is almost no rail.   A concrete platform suspends the road over the steep hillside and the ocean below.  From my viewpoint, it looked like we were going right off the road.

Gardens, Villa San Michele, Anacapri, Capri Self Guided Tour

Gardens, Villa San Michele, Anacapri

Capri Self Guided Tour – Villa San Michele

Tourists were everywhere in Anacapri, just like they were in Capri.  We felt ill from stress of the bus ride.  We decided to take the short walk to the Villa San Michele, which was the highlight of our Capri self guided tour.  The 6 Euro fee at the Villa San Michele was just enough to keep most tourists out.  The villa was a lovely spot.  The visit included a tour of the house, free time in the gardens and the best view on the island.

Sphinx, Villa San Michele, Anacapri, Visit Capri

Sphinx, Villa San Michele, Anacapri

The Sphinx of Villa San Michele

The Swedish physician Axel Munthe adorned the Villa San Michele in statutes and roman art.  At the edge of the garden, the discovery of a stone sphinx made my Capri self guided tour extra special.  The stone sphinx of Villa San Michele is set in a corner, overlooking the islands, Capri and Marina Grande.  You can touch the sphinx, but you can never get into a position where you can see its face.  The sphinx of Villa San Michele seems to command you to look with it instead of at it.  Sitting on the nearby bench, you can gaze with the sphinx over Capri, Mount Vesuvius and the mountains of the Amalfi coast.  I spent a long while at the Villa San Michele and had no desire to spend time anywhere else on the island after that special experience.

Villa San Michele view of Capri

Villa San Michele view of Capri

Capri Salad

A Capri self guided tour wouldn’t be complete without a capri salad.  I enjoyed my salada caprese (Capri salad) while we waited in Marina Grande for the ferry back to Naples.  Capri salad is made with tomato and mozzarella.  The tomatoes and the spicing they use in Italy can’t be beat.  When the ferry docked at Molo Beverello, we cabbed back to the UNA Hotel Napoli on the Piazza Garibaldi.  The noise, honking cars, sirens and chaos seemed a world away from the peace and quiet at Villa San Michele on our Capri self guided tour.  What an amazing day!

Capri Tour Slide Show

Visit Capri – Plan Your Trip