Well, my loyal readers, I am back in my beloved Italy. I do love this country – the climate, the people, the way of life, the lyrical, lilting rhythmns of the language between gesturing locals, the elegant dress of the guys looking so cool whatever the weather, the wine, the linguini del mare, the blueness of the sky, the turquoise of the sea, the history, the cyprus trees, the peeling plasterwork and the bleached colours of medieval churches and temples and statues. I love it.
I am on the island of Capri with the rich around famous. It’s a short journey across Naples from the airport to the port through the tall tenement blocks of uniform windows above graffitied shuttered fronts and squiggled walls through horned traffic and yelling mopeds. No laws about using mobiles when driving through these streets. One hand on front bars of scooters, balancing the phone while swerving through cars & buses, the other dances over the key pad to text or to call then it is tucked into the crash helmet to enable a proper conversation whilst using two hands to negotiate the next junction. A skill all of its own.
So, I buy a ticket, have the espresso whilst I wait to take my place in the queue. I use the word lightly. It starts off nice & ordered until the boat comes in and then we are squeezed through the gate and along the quay, onto the ferry and deposited in a hard plastic seat somewhere on board.
But it is exciting as the turbos wind up and we leave the harbour, leaving the unmistakable shape of Vesuvious on the port side (or is it the starboard?). It takes about 45 minutes to cross. The sleepy harbour greets the ferry.
Guiliano is there to drive to his B&B. “Oh, Mark. Put you elbow in from the window as sometimes I have to scrape the walls”. A hairy 30 minute drive up & down narrow, stone-walled aisles/streets brings me to my accommodation on the cliffs of the far west coast of the island.
An afternoon on the balcony snoozing with a beer in the sun, occasionally opening one eye to check that the view is still there – the island of Iscia across the water, the trail of tourist boats popping in and out of grottos and caves like lines of earwigs exploring cracks beneath our skirting boards, sweeping, soaring gulls hang & glide like hang-gliders on a vortex of currents crying & crawing for company.
Yep, eating mama’s ravioli on the terrace as the sun sets confirms the view is still there.
Bring on tomorrow.