“So close you can almost touch it”

That was the way the view of the island of Capri from the town of Termini was described to us. “You have to go and see it, yes you do” our favourite restaurant manager Carlo had said thoughtfully when we were discussing what we would do and see before we left Positano.

So we drove the seventeen kilometres of twisted spaghetti road as far as you can go along the Amalfi peninsular before you drop into the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the small village of Termini. And there, before us, was the island of Capri (pronounced Car-pree). Home of the famous Blue Grotto and some of the best designer shopping in Italy. A playground of the rich and famous and briefly in 2005, us.

We were in Positano with my sister Tina and her husband Ted from Texas.  It was Tina’s 40th birthday and we had a fabulous time in and around Positano. One day we hired a small boat to take us along the coast to Capri. We visited the Blue Grotto on the way there and then on dry land ogled some of the finest designer apparel in the world as we licked huge gelati and wandered the small cobbled streets of the town.

Capri is the setting for Somerset Maugham’s “The Lotus Eater”, a short story written in 1945. In the story, the protagonist from Boston comes to Capri on a holiday and is so enchanted by the place he gives up his job and decides to spend the rest of his life in leisure there.

Not a bad thought, that.

Carlo was, as usual, right. From Termini, high on the hills at the end of the peninsular, you could almost touch the island which seemed to be sitting just beyond the ring of houses that make up the village. We arrived mid afternoon when the sun was high in the sky and the island was a range of hazy hues of blue and green. We returned a hour or so later to catch the sunset when the blue and green were replaced by pink and yellow as the sun descended behind the island.

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