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Brisbane, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Brisbane, Australia. Visit my website at www.noelleclark.net

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mother Nature’s gifts – my love affair with Capri

The island of Capri, Italy, is small. It measures only 4 miles long by 2 miles wide, which equates to roughly 4 square miles, or 10 square km. There are two main towns, Anacapri and Capri. Both towns sit atop a rugged spur which stretches lengthwise along the island with a dip in the middle, like a saddle. On my last visit to Capri, I discovered the Natural Arch, or Arco Naturale.

Capri town is a thriving, bustling place made of white washed buildings, cobblestones,
narrow alleyways. It’s also home to designer shops, to-be-seen-in cafes, bars, and restaurants. No cars are allowed in the town, and the cobblestones are well worn by the feet of millions of visitors. Capri is a mecca for the rich and famous, and indeed many celebrities make this their summer vacation town, including the likes of Elton John who is a regular visitor.

My companions and I wanted to see beyond the tourist things, and hopefully get a taste of the history of this place.

Way back in 29 BC, Caesar Augustus visited this island. He loved it so much that he bought it. Well, actually he traded it for the island of Ischia which he owned. His successor, Tiberius, lived on Capri and was responsible for building twelve villas between the years 27 and 37 AD, and the ruins of many are still standing.

So, instead of following the glitterati and well-trodden tourist paths, we followed a steep and winding stone path upwards through the town, passing villas and homes, stopping to look at breathtakingly beautiful scenery overlooking the island and the Bay of Naples. We had no map, we just wanted to explore. It was hot and sunny, making us feel homesick, as the weather was reminiscent of our gorgeous Queensland.


Armed with bottles of water, we walked for hours. Bougainvillea, majestic in its purple, draped over high white walls, wrought iron gates, and archways. Flowering oleanders in pink and white added to the colour. Combined with the blue of the sky and the intense cobalt of the sea beyond, our walk was an intense photo-shoot to try and capture the beauty of the day and the place.

Stumbling upon a sign saying Arco Naturale, we decided to follow it. We passed no one, it was quiet apart from the hum of bees and the occasional squark from a seabird overhead. Passing firstly through the outer ring of homes, it wasn't long before we were in fairly dense bush. We passed many little devotional grottoes with statues of the Virgin Mary. The Italians are very devoted to her and they leave flowers at these little memorials along the roadsides.

A peaceful walk, no traffic, the hot sun beating down. How wonderful to be in this place. Out of the blue, we came upon a café carved into a rock cliff along our track. It had little tables with white cloths. I stopped a waiter. “Si si, Arco Naturale” and he pointed for us to keep on walking.
 
Eventually we found it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A magnificent arch of rock, suspended over a drop of several
 
 hundred metres, right down to the blue water below. We spotted some tourist boats bobbing way, way down, so tiny they were mere dots. We stayed in this glorious place for hours, soaking in the view and the peace. A little kitten came to talk to us. Other than that, we were alone.

 
 
 
 
 
As we finally began to make our way home, Mother Nature was to leave us with one last parting gift. A magical sunset.

6 comments:

  1. lovely lovely Noelle. Looks like my Kind of place. Just the place to set a book ...x

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  2. Thanks Shey. Yes, it's a magical, serendipitous, place.

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  3. Noelle, loved your other book (the Cambodian one). Looking forward to more of that feeling of having been there. TDF.

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    1. Hey, thanks. Hope you'll enjoy it - I'm sure you will, but it's nothing like Let Angels Fly as far as location goes. Verrrrry Italian. Cheers, Noelle.

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  4. Such beautiful photos, Noelle; thanks for sharing them. I think our modes of travelling are sympatico--bh and I love wandering off the beaten track too. You see so much more without the press of people more interested in their next espresso or tourist bargain. Looking forward to the realease of "Rosamanti".

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    1. Susanne, so great to see you here. I can't think of Italy, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast, without thinking of you. Thanks very much for coming by.

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