Isle of Capri - Blue Grotto and Axel Munthe Estate
Amethyst had been to the Isle of Capri many years ago before we met. So while we were in Rome in 2015 we took the bullet train (170 mph!) to Naples and then boarded a ferry to Capri. It was a fairly quick ride. And fortunate we planned to get there early because it was getting crowded even at 10am.
We immediately decided to go visit the Blue Grotto before the wait became annoying. See our photos and story below.
Be sure to click on the photos to see them full screen and a slideshow. Always better on a tablet or desktop!
The Boat Ride to the Blue Grotto
It was a beautiful morning and the views were spectacular. There was not much traffic until we got close to the grotto.
By the time we got there there was a lineup. You have to carefully transfer (that is “drop”) from the nice cruise boat into a tiny rowboat with room for four. If we had been any larger we would not have fit! We waited for about 20 minutes for our turn.
Our captain rowed us to a three foot hight opening and then told us to “lay flat as possible” as we entered the grotto.
Inside it was a magical cave of crystal blue water and eerie but beautiful reflected blue light. The photos are not bad considering we were bouncing all the time we were in there. When Amethyst went many years ago there were only a few boats inside and it was more peaceful and serene.
The Top of Capri
We decide to take the funicular to the top. This was a beautiful ride through groves and enabled us to see a great view of the coastline as it twisted and turned. At the top we wandered the piazetta and went into a small museum with many archaeological and biological treasures. We highly recommend it to the science-minded.
Axel Munth Estate - Villa San Michele
“Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe (31 October 1857 – 11 February 1949) was a Swedish-born physician and psychiatrist, best known as the author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work.”
Villa St. Michelle was built by Munthe in the early years of the 20th century. One of his passions was protection of the birds and other animals who were fast disappearing due to over-hunting. Villa St. Michelle contains exquisitely maintained gardens as well as Munthe’s collection of antiquities.
Villa San Michele – Statues
Dr. Munthe’s collection included statues and artifacts he found while excavating his garden as well as purchases. Some of them were remarkable. Particularly interesting is the Sphinx which looks out over the coast.
Villa San Michele – Gardens
We were there in June when the gardens were at their height. After resting, meditation and walking through the gardens, we had a lovely meal at the restaurant on the property which overlooks the coast. Amazing view, very nice food.