Quite a few days we just had! Wednesday morning we went to Oplontis to see the Villa of Poppaea, which was preserved very well because of the nature of the eruption in 79 (and because those digging for treasures before modern archaeological methods became standard only found slave quarters). It was great seeing the full height of the volcanic material, as well as some great wall paintings!
After Oplontis we headed for the port in Naples to eat lunch (which for me included a Magnum Infinity bar, a nifty treat I have discovered on this trip) and wait for our hydrofoil ferry to Capri. The hydrofoil trip involved watching the same safety video loop over and over again (and it included a woman taking off her platform shoes before putting on her life jacket), but soon brought us to the main marina on Capri, where we caught taxis up to our hotel, San Michele. The hotel included a lovely terrace with an amazing view over the Bay of Naples & Mt. Vesuvius, as well as a beautiful pool, which I spent the afternoon enjoying before a lackluster dinner in the dining room. I got another Magnum bar and enjoyed the nighttime view on the terrace before heading to bed.
Our only full day on Capri started with a nice breakfast buffet, followed by a trip into Capri Town to catch the trail up to Villa Jovis, Tiberius’ mountaintop retreat/fortress. It was a strenuous hike, but offered some neat views at the top, especially from the platform from which Tiberius would toss those who offended him (including an astrologer who had incorrectly predicted the future too many times). After the tour, we had the next day or so free to do as we pleased. A few of us headed back down to Capri Town (getting lost for a while along the way), did some shopping, and eventually got some bad pizza for lunch. We then returned to the hotel to change and catch the bus to the Blue Grotto (which is just what it sounds like, and supposedly a spot where Tiberius swam). We paid to have a rowboat take us in and do a lap, and then waited until after the rowboats were done for the day so we could swim in and look around from the water—absolutely gorgeous! Very neat experience! Dinner Thursday night was better, and then we talked and enjoyed drinks on the terrace (and made fun of Nicole for turning down the advances of a handsome waiter).
After breakfast Friday, we went up the chairlift—a bit terrifying on the way up, but the views were great and the way down was not so scary. After some shopping in Ana Capri (the town where our hotel was located) and a good pizza lunch, I headed off on my own to the Lido Faro, a beach (well, no sand, just cement platform and rocks) with an absolutely perfect swimming area near the lighthouse at one end of the island. I probably stayed in the water for an hour and a half (and am paying for it with some sunburn in the shape of where my hands couldn’t reach my back), and swam well out into the sea and around some of the rocks. I truly didn’t want to leave, and had trouble forcing myself to catch the bus back to the hotel to catch our taxis back down to the harbor. We got to the harbor a bit early, so I walked up to Capri Town and shopped a little before we caught the hydrofoil back to Naples. Dinner included some good green beans, but overall I think my stomach is ready to get home. I am definitely sad to be off Capri, but we head to Pompeii tomorrow, and I’ll be home in a little over a week.