February 21, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Capri Memories

My thoughts have lately turned to my past travels—specifically, to the island of Capri. The magic of that place calls to one long after leaving its rocky shores. This siren song is not imagined; local Neapolitan legend speaks of a mermaid named Partenope who lured many with her singing. I can almost hear her now as my thoughts yearn for Capri's clear waters and sweet limoncello.

Capri has long been a place of escape. As far back as 2,000 years ago, the Roman emperor Tiberius took up residence on the island paradise, largely ignoring his empire in favor of a carefree and licentious lifestyle. The ruins of his villa—from the cliffs of which he was rumored to have thrown his enemies—can still be visited to this day.

During our visit, we stayed at the Hotel Tosca. Though it was only a one-star hotel, it had recently been remodeled. Our comfortable, freshly renovated room felt brand-new. I can recall lying on the bed, warm sunlight pouring in, listening to our proprietor Ettore quarrel with his mother-in-law in the yard, thinking there was nowhere else I'd rather be.

Good ol' Ettore also gave me a line on a shortcut down the steep cliffs to a secluded beach. A locked gate blocked the twisting Via Krupp, but following Ettore's advice, I hopped over it and walked down the hill to Capri's crystal clear waters. Using a pair of swimming goggles, I did some snorkeling (without the snorkel). Capri's dramatic geology created an underwater fantasyland of crevices, caves and crannies. Though the marine life was sparse, the experience felt like visiting another world.

And though Capri is an island paradise, it is also Italian. And the little town of Capri is about as Italian as they come. Locals and tourists alike gather in the "piazzetta" to sip espresso and limoncello. Quaint shops and delicious restaurants lie hidden in the labyrinth of Capri's narrow streets. You are as likely to hear an old woman singing or arguing as you are a bird singing.

The side trip to Capri took place by sheer happenstance, a knee-jerk reaction to the in-your-face chaos of Naples. But the unplanned excursion turned out to be the highlight of the entire six-week trip. I have many colorful memories of those European travels, but my wandering mind almost always finds its way back to Capri.

 

Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
©2003
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

If white wine goes with fish, do white grapes go with sushi?

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
Send a Comment

Previously...

2/20: A Man is a God in Ruins
2/19: No Man is an Island
2/18: Iraq's "Cooperation"
2/17: Failure to Communicate
2/16: Cold City
2/15: Man-Eaters of Tsavo
2/14: Valentine Gems
2/13: Grab Bag
2/12: The End is Near
2/11: And the Winner Is...
2/10: Exploration is Risky Business
2/9: Staphylococcus
2/8: Morning Cup of Kofi
2/7: Game Over
2/6: The Eagle Never Landed
2/5: Pope: Potter No Problem
2/4: Time for Another Rewrite
2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia
Archive:
JANUARY 2003

Like what you've read?
Find more good reading on

In Association with Amazon.com

(and support future Daily Stricks!)