One of the many highlights of our Italian adventure was our day trip to the gorgeous island of Capri.
Capri is a favourite home-away-from-home for Hollywood stars, fashion identities and the wealthy 1%! We’d fit right in 😉 During the peak season of July and August, this 4-square mile island can become very congested with hordes of tourists and day-trippers from the cruise ships which dock in nearby Napoli, however, if you know where to go, there are plenty of places to escape the crowds. Fortunately we visited in April, which is shoulder season, so it wasn’t overly crowded.
After arriving on Capri, we headed out for a boat trip around the island with one of the many dozens of locals who flock to each arriving ferry (that’s another post in itself – stay tuned!). Once back at the marina, we boarded the funicular (sloping railway), which took us up to Anacapri – a very pretty town on top of a large limestone hill. We found it to be super clean, with rows of gorgeous white-washed houses draped with bougainvillea, set amongst a myriad of laneways. Most people walk around these streets – there are few cars, which is very refreshing, but you do have to watch out for the odd crazy scooter rider! We wandered around, checking out some of the sights and found ourselves meandering down a back lane or two, resulting in a few locals asking us if we were lost. We weren’t – we were just sticky-beaking, hoping to get a glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Would it be too much to expect to be invited in for tea?
Possibly the closest thing to this daydream is the impressive Villa San Michele in Anacapri. Set on the edge of a ridge, the villa enjoys some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. No tea party here though, unless we purchased it ourselves!
The mansion was built in the 19th Century for Axel Munthe, a Swedish doctor who lived there until 1949. His gorgeous home is now open to the public (for a 6 euro fee).
The house is very white, very beautiful and rather restrained by Italian standards. You can just imagine a wealthy goddess of the 1940’s, dressed in a floaty silk kaftan, swanning down the pure white hallway or sunning herself on the marble tiled terrace. It’s surely the ultimate holiday villa for the elegant woman – we can only dream!
Having said that, I’m not sure how many women would have enjoyed this home. During Munthe’s time, the villa was a meeting place for Europe’s gay artsy community. Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawrence were among the regulars. This was at a time when you could be imprisoned for being gay – or worse!
The house, with its display of antiques, statues and historical displays, and the beautiful garden filled with flowers, are well worth a visit – even if it’s just to take in those spectacular views.
The Besties Do Italy series details how Seize The Day Project’s Lyndall and her long time best friend ventured to Italy to celebrate a significant birthday – sans husbands and children. Shhh, don’t tell anyone they’ve gone!
Read more posts in this fascinating series here:
Positano, you stole a little piece of my heart – Exploring Lake Como: The Greenway Walk – Eternal Rome: I only just met you, but I think I love you – Some Enchanted Evening in Venice – The journey to Cinque Terre: When things didn’t go according to plan
Linking up with Four Around the World for #SnapShotStory