Cultural Experience | Europe

Stumbling Upon The Hidden Gem of Capri

Just off the coast of Sorrento, lies a small island framed with ridged cliffs and surrounded by water so clear that you can see the sea floor. Capri is  full of vibrant colored shops and homes that are molded to the jagged landscape. Designer stores decorate the streets as well as the smell of lemon trees. Known as the birthplace of the drink Lemoncello, an alcoholic drink consumed to cleanse the plait after a meal, can be found around every corner.


We began our adventure early Friday morning. As 150 students stumbled out of bed, many of us had no idea what to expect for the day. The rocky boat ride from Sorrento to Capri left me anxious for our private boat tours around the island. As I stepped off the boat, I was taken back by the scenary before me. Wooden white boats surrounded the marina as we coasted into shore. I was overwhelmed by the crowds of people moving to and from the boats that I almost lost my group. I kept thinking to myself, how had I never heard of this place?

Without even noticing, our boat filled with just girls, including our guide. With her sassy attitude and infectious smile, she debriefed us on the history of the island she had grown up calling home. Sailing slowly around the coast, waves crashed against against our boat leaving a salty taste in the air. I’m not sure if it was because our group was only girls, but something about us all singing Miley Cyrus together, all bundled up in our towels, made me realize I would remember this day for the rest of my life.

About a half an hour into our tour, all the boats pulled into this cove for a quick swim break together. Within a minute our entire group had jumped off the side of the boat. Erupting with laughter, we couldn’t fathom that we were living a fantasy. Due to the higher salt content in the Mediterranean, you can practically float on the surface. This was lifesaving discovery considering how out of shape I had felt climbing the stairs of Sorrento. Before I knew it everyone was waving their swimsuit tops above their head while we giggled about how we had never felt so free.


Time seemed to fly by and soon the captain was calling to us to get back onboard. We scrambled to retie our tops back on before anyone could see our embarrassing white tan lines. Everyone had the beach wave hair we pay for and was covered head to toe with tiny grain of salt. Again we were off, exploring more caves while blasting music. The Blue Grotto, known as one Capri’s most amazing swimming attractions, illuminated with sunlight and electric blue water was unfortunately closed due to the rough waves. I definitely plan on returning one day to swim through the grotto!

After our boat tour, we crammed into a trolly that took us to the tiny yet busy Piazzetta at the top of the island. By this point in the afternoon I was starving. I figured because the margarita pizza had originated here, I might as well try it. The entire process of preparing a pizza here probably takes less than 5 minutes. When the waiter brought out our pizzas, the cheese was still bubbling and covered in savory tomato sauce. I wish I could describe this experience better but this pizza tasted like nothing I had ever eaten before. I had successfully devoured this monstrous meal within a matter of minutes and had never been more satisfied.

By the end of the day my jaw was in pain from smiling so much. I knew from the moment I had stepped off the ferry that this was not my last time in Capri. I could have easily spent the rest of my opening tour exploring more of the island but unfortunately my ferry back to Sorrento left at. While waiting to board, everyone started pulling out their phones to take pictures of the boat leaving next to us. From the top deck I noticed these girls waving back at us. It wasn’t until after they were gone that I realized I had been waving at the Pretty Little Liars cast! It was a perfect surprise to end a perfect day

Kelsie McKenna

Gonzaga University | 3 stories

Fueled by coffee, driven for adventure

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