The weekend trip to the Almalfi Coast had finally arrived! A few of my friends from DU (Maria, Caroline and Katie) and I had planned this trip before we arrived in Rome and had been anxiously awaiting it! We hoped on a train to Naples on Friday morning and then had to catch a local train to get to Sorrento, where our hostel was located. Being that Naples has the highest crime rate in Italy, we were holding on to our bags for dear life. Luckily, we made it through the train station without any run-ins. A fellow American (obviously American, baseball hat and all) had his wallet stolen while getting on the train…it was in his back pocket. He looked like he was about to cry the entire train ride…sucks to suck?
While on this dirty, hot, long train ride Maria and I finally managed to find a seat after holding onto the poles for dear life. We thought we could finally relax and enjoy the view. Negative, we became a spectacle for a group of Asian tourists. They decided to give us a piece of candy that tasted like leaves. Then we apparently became celebrities because they started posing in pictures with us and giving us even more candy. It was one of the more bizarre things I have experienced.
Once we got to Sorrento we made our way to our quaint hostel. It was a family run business that doubled as a cooking school. We met up with another friend from DU and a few of her friends from her program in Florence. It turned out that the owners of the hostel also owned the company that did the tours of Capri, made life easier. After we got settled into our hostel we walked a few blocks down to the beach. It was so gorgeous. We spent the rest of the day eating and laying out watching the sun go down.
Saturday was the day for our yacht trip around the island of Capri. We started the long day around 9am. This was one of the most incredible days of my life. We started out traveling across the water from Sorrento to Capri. The yacht was to circle around the island and stop at each of the beautiful grottos and providing food and unlimited drinks. The whole day I felt like a celebrity or I should have been in the music video "I'm On a Boat". We first stopped at the white grotto, the water was so clear that I could see all the way to the bottom. We anchored near the white grotto and jumped in for a swim. The water was the clearest and saltiest water I had ever been in. We then continued around the island viewing all the cliffs and tiny towns.
The next stop was the green grotto. Here our driver told us that we could get out and swim through it and he would pick us up on the other side. It was one of the most unreal things I have ever done. The water was so bright teal it was hard to believe. It was also so clear I thought I could have touched the bottom, when in reality the bottom was a good 15 ft. below us. The water made the sunlight reflect off the cave, which made it even more magical. After swimming through the grotto we checked out another cave and swam really deep into it to the back where there was a tiny beach. Apparently this is where ancient Romans took their lovers sometimes. The water was the perfect temperature we never wanted to leave.
Finally, we hopped back on the boat and broke out the sandwiches and peaches (delicious in this area, btw). We boated by the famous Blue Grotto but we decided not to pay extra and wait for hours to try to go inside. It is something I would like to experience next time I am there but swimming through the green grotto was enough for me! After that we arrived at the Marina Grande, which was how we would get to the town of Capri. Once off the boat we got tickets to take the trolley up to the main town. When we reached the top the view was incredible and the town was so picturesque. We walked around for a bit and then stopped for some gelato and drinks while taking in the view. After relaxing we decided to explore some more and ran across a bakery with delicious looking cookies. Obviously we had to try some. They were even BETTER than they looked. They were yummy cookies with authentic Italian ingredients like lemon, hazelnut and almonds in them. After stuffing our faces we headed back down to the boat to ride back to Sorrento.
Once we arrived back in town we decided to rest a little before we ate dinner at the hostel. They provided a 4-course dinner for only 18 Euro, made by the cooking students. The food was to die for. We had a zucchini pate, homemade spaghetti with peppers and capers, some delicious fish and a rum soaked sponge cake for dessert. All accompanied by white wine and cappuccino of course. That night we walked into town to explore a bit and then came back and passed out.
Sunday we spent the day relaxing by the water before having to catch the train back to Rome. What a great weekend we had. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I am actually doing these incredible things. More to come soon!