Sunshine, Smiles, & the Isle of Capri
Impromptu trips are often the best trips—at least, that’s how I felt as my friend and I found ourselves separated on an afternoon train headed to Naples.
We had decided just a couple days before that we would spend Easter weekend along the Amalfi Coast in search of sun, granita, and a change of scenery. So after our Friday class of Pairing Food & Wine, we stuffed our bags and hit the train station.
I’d like to consider myself the queen of finding good travel deals. So when I found an Airbnb just outside of Naples for only €25 a night with a SuperHost rating, I figured it had to be a perfectly reasonable accommodation. There may have been a couple moments here and there where we thought we were going to get kidnapped or were concerned about some questionable furniture choices in the apartment, but the plot twist is that everything was actually completely fine. Plus there ended up being a great little pizzeria down the street where we got a large Margherita for only €3.50. Who cares when the pizza’s great, right? My mom is probably shaking her head right now.
Our first morning in Naples was all too excitable. We practically leapt off the train into Sorrento. Immediately, we stumbled into a coffee shop for espresso, impulsively bought fake leather backpacks for €10 each, and splurged on some ferry tickets to Capri. The sun was shining and we had the careless confidence only two Americans could have when the Amalfi Coast is considered a weekend trip. I wore my new copper colored jumpsuit and danced down the streets.
Snatching our tickets to the Isle of Capri (as Frank Sinatra and quite frankly, my grandma, would call it), we waited in line at our designated dock. Amid all the excitement and a riveting conversation about American Girl Dolls and NCIS, we quite literally missed the boat.
We arrived on the island shortly after a gentle boat ride past the Sorrento Peninsula.
Towering over tiny specks of colored buildings, the rocky shoreline of Capri came into view. Dolce & Gabbana commercials certainly hadn’t done it justice, because this place was surreal.
As soon as I stepped onto the island, I found myself witnessing a different side of Italy—one that was more careless and frankly, less city-like. I’ve come to learn that where there’s saltwater and sun, there’s a sense of freedom.
I found locals to be more forward and eager to talk to tourists like us. One shop owner even gave us free shots of limoncello—granted, this was probably a ruse to actually get us to buy limoncello, but I appreciated the gesture, regardless of intent. All of these little actions only helped to cement my perception of Capri as this warm, welcoming, and magical place.
My friend and I whirled around the island without a care, fully saturating ourselves in a day that seemed impossible to spoil. We took pictures along balconies and ate fresh pasta above the shore. We zipped around the island on another boat to see the blue grotto and arch formations that make Capri so iconic. I tasted saltwater as we glided over the waves. My hair whipped itself into knots. “This is the Mediterranean” I thought. “This is the Amalfi coast.”
Unable to waste a second of this day, we went in search of granita and gifts. Inside a corner store at the edge of the promenade, I purchased a small bell, the symbol of Capri, to remind me of my perfect day. The woman at the counter told me it was for “buona fortuna”—good luck.
Shortly after, we settled into a patch of the rocky coastline, and waited for our ferry to take us back to the mainland. I still hold onto my little bell from that day in Capri. Whether it brings me any buona fortuna or not, I’d consider myself lucky just to have visited Capri in the first place.