Four friends on the island of Capri, that was the official name of our holiday. An unforgettable pre-Easter escape which I had been promising my 3 old school chums from Bologna for months.
And unforgettable it was: wonderful weather, fantastic food, visits to classic tourist attractions (like the Axel Munthe's museum-house, the Certosa, and Mount Solaro) and, the highlight of the trip: a walk we'll remember for the rest of our lives.
I wanted my friends to experience a Capri off the beaten tourist track, so I enlisted the help of Nello and Christina from Caprionline. They suggested we walk along the Sentiero dei Fortini coastal path.
We arranged to meet at 8.30, by the bus stop next to Anacapri's cemetery, armed with comfortable walking shoes, a supply of water and, of course, our cameras. We had decided not to do the entire walk (Nello, who had offered to be our guide, was not convinced that we would manage the whole stretch!) and so we missed seeing the Orrico blockhouse on Punta Miglio. We started the walk along a, immersed in greenery, in the direction of the Mesola blockhouse, Here we stopped to breathe in the sea air and take in an enchanting vision of the coast.
Nello told us that the blockhouses had originally been built to defend the island of Capri from Saracen attack and were then reinforced by the British troops during the 19th century. In 1998, the council of Anacapri obtained funds from the European Community to restore the tiny forts and the coastal path which links them. Restoration of the path included the addition of ceramic tiles, indicating the main sights on-route and, to my delight, the plants growing in the area too.
Continuing South wards, towards Punta Carena, we discovered a different kind of Capri: a wild and wonderful Capri where sun bleached rocks alternate with fragrant bushes of Mediterranean rosemary, rock roses and euphorbia. The colors of the dramatically beautiful landscape continued to change (if I close my eyes, I can still see that incredible green of the sea which I saw from Cala di Mezzo). In single file, we continued along the narrow footpath to reach the Pino and Tombosiello blockhouses and an awesome view of Cala del Limmo. Once at Punta Carena (let's forget that final 1km uphill climb to get there!) we collapsed on the rocks beneath the lighthouse, soaking up the spring sun, like salamanders.
We had arranged to meet Gianni for lunch at Anacapri's Ristorante da Gelsomina, close to the Migliera viewing point. Happy and hungry, we took our seats at a table on the panoramic terrace, ready to commence what proved to be a veritable feast of antipasti, ravioli alla caprese and mixed meats. I only had the merest morsel of dessert (I swear!). Relaxed and replete, we made our way to the nearby viewing point overlooking Punta Carena to take a few hundred photos of the Faraglioni and the surrounding seascapes. Ok, we may have seemed a bit like Japanese tourists, but we needed to return to Bologna with plenty of ammunition if we wanted to make those who had only ever seen the Piazzetta and the Grotta Azzurra die with envy!