Our main adventures in Italy were all about the sea. Since we didn’t have $100,000+ to spend our entire week in Italy on a mega yacht, we opted for a sunset cruise and full-day rental on a mini-yacht.
Like I mentioned in my last post, one of the benefits of Casa Angelina is that it’s situated right above One Fire Beach and it’s dock. So after a day sipping spritzes by the pool (complete with free snacks and cuban cigars), we quickly changed and descended to the beach. After walking down about a million stairs (the one drawback of One Fire Beach) we were able to have a smaller shuttle boat take us to the mini yacht for our sunset cruise.
I said before that I don’t care much for Italy, as I’ve always had my least-favorite trips there, but very very very few things can beat the Amalfi coast from the view of a boat. I cannot recommend the company we used more. The boat was lovely and our captain and stewardess were absolutely lovely. The captain was also our guide on the sunset tour and made sure we always had drinks and snacks, gave great information about the spots we were passing, and still managed to drive the yacht (sometimes with his foot as he poured more Prosecco). He was also the captain when Matthew McConaughey rented the yacht, which my husband - a huge Dazed and Confused fan - really got a kick out of.
For the sunset tour, we started by circling past Positano before turning east and cruising toward Furore, which is home to some truly insane cliff diving. Next, we cruised pat Conca Dei Marini on our way to the bustling city of Amalfi. The main reason we staying in Praiano was to avoid the crowds in Positano and Amalfi, and seeing these cities, with their bright lights and bustling crowds, from afar was just perfect. I’m sure both of these towns are beautiful on land, but I honestly can’t imagine the view being better than the one from the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We kept cruising past the lemon-lined hills of Ravello and toward UNESCO World Heritage site Minori & the beaches of Maiori. A little bit past there, we turned around to take in the sunset and make a very slow cruise back to our hotel. I don’t know if we just got lucky or if the Amalfi Coast always has beautiful sunsets, but the sky was absolutely amazing every single night of our stay.
We hopped off again at One Fire Beach, said goodnight to our captain, and dragged ourselves up the steps to Casa Angelina for a good night’s sleep before jumping back on the boat in the morning.
After breakfast at Casa Angelina (I still think about that breakfast on a daily basis), we headed back to the beach for a fully day of sun and swim on the boat. Instead of heading East, we started sailing towards Capri. For the full day on the boat, our awesome captain was joined by a stewardess. She was born in London, but her father is Italian, so she grew up bilingual. Honestly, it seems like a little thing, but having two people (or even one) on board who was fully fluent in English and Italian was so helpful and made every excursion onto shore worry-free.
We took our time getting to Capri and stopped a few times along the way to dive off the side of the boat, do a little snorkeling, and explore some caves. Thanks to my panic attack in the cave near Dubrovnik, J was the only one who swam into the caves. I was perfectly content snorkeling near the boat. I still can’t get over the crystal clear water.
As we got to Capri, we did stop to see some caves that did not require me to swim to. Capri is most widely known for the blue grotto, but we chose to skip it. The blue grotto is only accessible by boat (which wasn’t a problem for us, but is inconvenient if you aren’t already planning a boat day), but the boat you need to actually get to the grotto isn’t the same boat you need to see the grotto. Once you reach the blue grotto, you will need to wait in line with the other boats for a chance to get into one of the small rowboats that can take you inside the grotto - for an additional cost, of course. The lines and crowds waiting to get inside felt too touristy for me, so we opted out.
Instead, we chose to see the white grotto and the coral grotto. There were still lines, but there were maybe only two boats ahead of us at the white grotto and no line at the red grotto. The red grotto was beautiful with bright, rich coral lining the walls of the cave, but the water in the white grotto was beyond. The water was this crazy bright aquamarine, and its one of those rare cases where the pictures actually do it justice, even if they look crazy edited. The middle picture above is the white grotto, and I didn’t edit it at all.
After the grottos, we pulled around to the marina and took a taxi up to the main street of Capri. I probably should have planned better or looked for some boutiques or a place to have a drink because I was immediately overwhelmed by the swarms of tourists on Capri. It was way too much. You couldn’t take more than two steps without running into somebody or somebody running into you. So instead of seeking out small local stores or an aperol spritz, we took refuge in some of the higher-end stores. After walking around for an hour, we ended up leaving the island with some goodies from Hermes, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton. I did, however, demonstrate some self-control and restrained from buying some insane sneakers from Louis. Okay, that’s a lie, I tried to buy them but they didn’t have my size in the color I liked.
After leaving Capri, we sailed towards Nerano for lunch. Nerano is a small fishing town on the coast near Sorrento. While the town may be small and modest, the dishes found in it’s restaurants are anything but. It’s actually home to Wolfgang Puck’s favorite restaurant in the region - Lo Scolglio. Unfortunately, I forgot to give a stewardess a time when we would want lunch (so she could make a reservation) and then we spent too much time on Capri to wait for a table there. Instead, our stew got us a table at Ristorante Maria Grazia, the restaurant that invented the famous Spaghetti all Nerano.
Spaghetti alla Nerano is fresh pasta with fried zucchini and caciocavallo or provolone, and it is unbelievably delicious. We also ordered mozzarella and prosciutto and grilled calamari. The pasta was definitely my favorite, but the calamari was served whole, which was really cool and reminded us how fresh the seafood was.
After eating, it was time to return to Casa Angelina. We sat on the boat and finished our Prosecco while watching the watermelon party on One Fire Beach, and as nice as our hotel was, we did not want to leave the boat. This day and evening was the highlight of our time in Italy and almost made me want to visit the country again. Almost… there’s still so much we haven’t seen.
Like the Cote d’Azur! Stayed tuned for a recap of our time in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat…