Friday, February 27, 2009

Hot Dog Rolls for breakfast and a day in Capri

As if she'd been awaiting the exact moment of our arrival on the patio for breakfast the next morning, Rita –Titty’s mother (of La Maison de Titty), hurried out with tiny éclairs with Nutella, coffee, and . . . of all things … hot dog rolls. These rolls tickled our funny bones. We’d hoped for the small hard rolls we’d slathered with butter and jelly in Rome but had gotten hot dog rolls. We did have prosciutto and cheese, however, and I found that these together with jelly (don’t cringe) on dried tostini (melba toasts) made a satisfactory breakfast.

Michele, Titty’s father, was waiting for us when we emerged with our cameras and carry bags from our room to drive us to the port in Sorrento. After showing us where to wait for the ferry to Capri, he disappeared, reappearing again suddenly with two bus tickets for our return trip to Piano di Sorrento that evening. Touched by this generosity, we found it easy to forgive La Maison de Titty the hot dog rolls for breakfast.

Determined to do Capri by bus, we waited for half an hour in the hot Capri sun before Bill, bless him, decided to hire one of the open-topped cabs waiting to ferry the more spend-thrift tourists around the island. I felt like a movie star with my sun glasses and straw hat as we cruised up and down Capri’s lush roads on Luigi’s tour. First stop was the Blue Grotto, where with Bill tucked between my legs, and a sweet Canadian woman tucked between Bill’s legs – her husband in front behind the oarsman, we ducked simultaneously as the small boat surged into the luminescent cave, our boatman’s tenor shimmering off the rocks and echoing throughout the chamber.

From the Blue Grotto, Luigi took us to Anacapri where we spent a wonderful hour wandering through San Michele, the roman villa that famed physician and author Axel Munch built with what remained of Emperor Tiberius’s old palace. Though crowded with tourists, the site elicited in me a great sense of inner quiet as I roamed about taking photos of the columned porticoes, exquisite gardens, and magnificent views. From there it was back to Capri via Marina Piccola, the exquisite bay with its amazing pinnacled rocks.

Back in Capri, having paid Luigi too much, we went in search of the Gardens of Augustus with views of the surrounding terrain and sea, and then – seeing from that vantage point what looked like a monastery – down to the Cloisters of San Giacomo, which were unfortunately closed by the time we reached them. From there we wandered through narrow alleys and side streets back down to Capri – a walk which could have been called a Tour of Capri Cats because kitties were everywhere: tucked under bushes and into the niches of walls, lying on columns and stairways, or leaping after flies.

My favorite memory of this trip, however, is not of the scenery or sites, but of Bill’s laughter as he watched the dynamics between a couple nearby.

“Give me some water, will you?” the wife demands of her husband, turning to chat with a group of tourists. Her husband gets a bottled water from the sack he’s carrying and holds it out to her. She keeps on chatting. He keeps on offering the bottle. For a good five minutes he stands there, lifting the bottle toward her, until he finally gives up, shrugs, and puts the water back in his bag. Charlie Chaplin could have made hay with this seedling.

7 comments:

Jo said...

Love the story about the water bottle and I'm so envious of you in Capri. It's beautiful. I've visited Corsica and it looks similar......it's a beautiful name, Capri.

Diana Raabe said...

I love that midst all that beauty, your favorite memory is an observance of your husband's.

Now that's a story where people are as important as places!

Sorrento is incredibly beautiful - so much so, in fact, that I was almost proposed to there (unbeknownst to me)...

christine said...

The boat ride to the luminescent cave sounds breathtaking.

Funny how you observed that poor husband waiting on his wife. She's lucky she doesn't end up with the water poured on her head! I guess I'm not very civilized to think that...

Felicia Schneiderhan said...

What a beautiful view! Gorgeous!

tinker said...

Oh a grotto - how beautiful!
The cat looks so regal sitting up there. I wonder how they came to inhabit it so plentifully...

That poor, patient husband - I hope she was just momentarily distracted, and doesn't make a habit of that...

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Odyssey Tours said...

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