Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Naples and the Isle of Capri, Italy November 17, 2009

We arrived in the port of Naples at 7 AM after sailing from Santorini at 6 PM last night.

Since we visited Pompeii and Herculaneum when we were in Naples before, we decided to go to the Isle of Capri this time. The shore excursion to Capri was to last all day, so we were up early and off on the tour before 8 AM. We left the dock at Naples on a hydrofoil boat, which took about 45 minutes to get to Capri. We have had really enjoyable and educational tours so far, but this tour was very disappointing. For one thing, it was much too long. There just isn't much to see here, really. Our guide was totally caught up in the "glamour" of the island (famous people who have been there, the exclusisve merchandise in the shops, etc.) We ate lunch in a restaurant with a view of Mount Vesuvius, which she never mentioned until asked! Her sole purpose seemed to be to get us from shop to shop and get us to spend money there. One fellow malcontent traveller commented as we stood outside yet another shop, "I didn't pay $150 to stand on the sidewalk in front of shops!" We did finally get back to the ship however -- just in time to sail. We had to get packed up and get our luggage set outside the stateroom, which I just finished doing.

Here is the information I gathered on Naples and the Isle of Capri before we left Rome, GA. I have included pics of the clock tower which identifies the square and of me standing there.

  • The average temperature in November is 47-62. Pickpockets are a concern on the Isle of Capri, which is always crowded with tourists.

  • Pizza was invented in Naples in 1830

  • Sant'Elmo is the name of both a hill and a beautiful fortress in Naples, which is located near the Certosa di San Martino. Together, the structures overlook Naples and they are the most visible landmarks in the city. The name "Sant'Elmo" is from an old 10th-century church.

  • The Villa Comunale is the most prominent and visible park in Naples and southern Italy. It was built in the 1780s by King Ferdinand IV (later known as Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) on land reclaimed along the coast between the main body of the city and the small port of Mergellina. The park was originally a "Royal Garden", reserved for members of the royal family, but open to the public on special holidays such as the Festival of Piedigrotta

  • San Gregorio Armeno, heart of the historic city, is traditionally home to Naples' artists, artisans and Medieval guilds. Contains San Gennaro Cathedral with its Gothic crypts and Baroque masterpieces, was largely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in the 15th century. It boasts Perugino's painting of the Assumption, Gothic crypts including the tomb of Pope Innocence IV, masterpieces of Baroque painting and the truly extraordinary Treasury of San Gennaro Museum The Cathedral's Treasury Museum is a repository of art, manuscripts and precious liturgical objects donated to the cathedral over the course of nine centuries by Popes, kings, nobles and notables.
The Isle of Capri:

  • Piazzetta square - Capri's main square is in the center of town and is a good place to shop or enjoy a drink.

  • Garden terraces, and historic churches and villas - visible all over town

  • Anacapri is another small village near the town of Capri. You can take a chair lift to the top of one of the highest peaks on the island and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naples.

  • Villa San Michele - contains a collection of antiquities and a beautiful garden.

  • Gardens of Augustus - The gardens were founded by Augustus Cesar himself. They are filled with many species of plants and from here you will have fabulous views.

  • Faraglioni, a picturesque rock outcropping.

  • Marina Grande - a touristy old port lined with colorful fishermen's houses.

  • Monte Solaro

  • Hill of San Michele

  • Villa San Michele - The beautiful villa of Axel Munte, Swedish physician and author, features an interesting collection of antiquities while the garden offers a magnificent panorama of the Bay of Naples.

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