Ursula Wiegand

From these rocks come out the energy of 2500 years. “How much sun did they accumulate”, tells enthusiastic Lorena, my tourist guide. With devotion, she puts her hands on the rocks full of fissures of the phoenician stairway. It was realized by greek immigrants, who, in the 5th century B.C., carved the serpentins in the rocks. Any way the phoenician stairway remained till 1874 the only one connection from Marina Grande harbour to Anacapri. The goods were carried on the shoulder. “Going down hill it is possible to do easily the 500 steps” tell us some people coming from Villa Saint Michele, which was the house of the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe. In 1929, he provoked a sensation with his “book of Saint Michelle. The Phoenician Steps end by Saint Costanzo Church, which is consecrated to the Saint Patron of Capri. In a short time, we are in the middle of the port confucion. Ferry boats come and leave continually with daily tourists. The parvenus rush to the cable car railway. The fishmen in their multicoloured boats provoke few interest. They will meet each other in the Piazzetta ( wellknown as Piazza Umberto 1, in Capri town.) Very early in the morning the tables at the feet of the clock tower are just full of people. Over there, you will find too, the touristoffice information, where you can rent an audioguide for only 3 euro. The joung people seat on the steps that take to the ex Saint Stephan Cattedral. ( till 1818 bishop’s seat ). Capri is concentrated where if not here. You can discover the rural Capri going through the path that takes to Villa Jovis, which was in the past the residence of Tiberious Emperor, situated on the North –East side of the island. Tortuous ways lead to some villas and to wanderfull gardens. Soon, you will find along the way vinegard, meadow in bloom, olive-yard, olive grove, cactus and the stormy top of the pine-trees. Nearby the ruins of the roman Villa, you can admire steep rocks in the enchanting and shining sea by the turquoise color. The rushian poet Ivan Sergejewitsch Turgeenjew praised Capri as “ the incarnation of the beautiness.” In the similar way the roman Emperor Augustus had just perceived it. In 29 B.C. exchanged Capri with the notable bigger island of Ischia. His successor Tiberious governed from Capri the whole empire for 11 years ( 27 –37 A.C. ). He built 12 villas on the island. He choosed as his Emperial residence the sumptuous Villa Jovis, which had big cisterns and broad thermal baths with halls, terraces, room and walws. As bedroom Tiberious needs a solitary room without windows. It did not remain anything of the precious furnishing, nothing by the ruins. “It was all sacked” tells Lorena. Than we go to the Natural Arch, a pecular rock’s arch in the sea that go down through a wild and indented steep coast. A narrow path takes up and down through the steps in front at the “Grotta di Matermania”, a roman nympheu. In a short time, we arrived to the famous Faraglioni, three pointed rocks, which rise from the sea till 109 metres of height. By the first one, there is too a seaside resort. The path led in Tragara street and than goes straight ahead to Camerelle street. Here and all around the square they contend for the wealth and the beauty, Hermes, Dolce e Gabbana, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Moschino e Brioni. The most original accessories are offered as “fashion accessory” in the small shops, which are crowded. Of course, there is no vacation on Capri without visiting the Blue Grotto. The tourist concourse is very high. In front of the very low entrance, the tourists have to lie down on the row boat to safeguard their head. Inside, the water really shines of an indescribable blue color. In the evening, when the boat service is finished, I go inside swimming, tells me Lorena. When we go out again, we jump on the dry land and we go up to Anacapri. In the Red House, a marble statue of 2000 years agò gives us the wellcome, it rappresented Livia, Tiberious’ mother. It comes from Villa Jovis. Perhaps the lady by the bare-feet would had with pleasure slip on a pair of sandals, handmade by Antonio Viva, who makes happy his customers. ( Via Orlandi n. 75 ) Next to the shoemaker’s shop , Francesca Lucca makes nice ceramic objects. Here, this art has very old tradition. It proves it the wonderful majolica floor in the Saint Michele Church. In 1761, the Neapolitan Leonardo Chiaiese drowed there a fabulous Earthly Paradise. Adam and Eva would been threw out of it without doubt. Many-coloured birds admire impartial inside, in the someway the dog with the funny twiningtail, the young leon and the cat by the frowing glance that looks irritated. It takes about 50 minutes from the church to the view point on the south-west side of Punta Carena. A lit bit before the view it whets our appetite the restaurant “Da Gelsomina”. (Via Migliera n.72) We order “pennette Aumm Aumm” that is pasta with aubergine, tomatos, basil, mozzarella cheese, garlic, olive oil, than rubbit and delicious green figs from their garden. You can tell “Aumm”, when you are eating something very good, extraordinary. Coming back to Anacapri, we go up to “Monte Solaro” by chearlift. (589 m. Heigh) From the top, you enjoy an enchanting view of Capri town, the Faraglioni , Villa Jovis and the Italian dry land. From this animated sight, we walk through the “Passitiello” path down to the mountain, to Capri town. The descent, not far away from “Santa Maria di Cetrella Chapel” is marked by red stones. Along the way, we do not have to lose them. It is a continuous and hard going up and down, through rocky steps with exceptional view through the high and scented Maquis. In May the Genista in flower covers the dry ground with a mantle of intense yellow colour. Similar beauty attracted in 19th century interesting people as Gorkji and Lenin and romantic German as Rilke. The square of the Artists, (now Punta del Cannone), a view point up to Capri town, offered to the artists this idyll with pencil and paintbrush on the paper. What throw into ecstasies our eyes too, is the walk that from Marina Piccola takes to Capri center, through the elegant and serpentine Via Krupp. It was built by Friedrich Alfred Krupp in 1902, who made it as a present for its lovely island. Next to Augustus Gardens, Saint Giacomo Carthusian Monastery, the elegant Hotel Luna and again the Faraglioni rocks, lighted by the sun set.

Anacapri: Sight on the Faraglioni from Monte Solaro. Picture (3): Ursula Wiegand
Tourists in front of the Blue Grotto entrance

Informations and brouchures in German: Azienda Autonoma di Cura Soggiorno e Turismo di Capri, telephone 0039.081.5308, e-mail touristoffice@capri.it: web-site www.capritourism.com

Season: from Easter week to the end of October. From Naples very often daily hydrofoil service. The car are not allowed to be transportated on the island. Satisfying bus connection, possibility to rent a scooter.