Before we booked our trip to Italy, me and my friends knew that we needed to add an extra day in a city to fill out our trip. We decided to add an extra day to Rome in order to see the beautiful island of Capri.
We arrived in Rome the day before our Capri trip and called it an early night due to the fact that we had to be at the pickup location at 7:30 am (ugh). We woke up in the wee hours of the morning, got ready quickly and made our way to the subway station closest to our apartment (Cipro). We took the subway to Termini station and made our way on foot to the Greenline Tours location a block away. We boarded a clean, air conditioned bus and shortly after 7:30 we were on our way! The one-way trip is approximately 2 and a half hours and about half-way through the journey we made a pit-stop at a low-end hotel/ diner to use the facilities and stretch our legs. After the 20 min pit-stop we were back on the road and the tour guide came around collecting the money for the Blue Grotto Tour. Before we got off the bus at the port in Naples, we were told that we were going to take a bus to Anacapri and would have some free time to walk around and explore, have a group lunch, and then take a bus down to Capri where we could explore some more and do our tour of the Blue Grotto. This sounded fine, we were going to be given lots of free time!
When boarding the ferry, I expected there to be some outdoor seating where we could enjoy the fresh air, however it was basically like being in a huge airplane. There were only seats indoor and by the time we boarded the ferry all of the window seats had been taken. Let me tell you, sitting in the middle of the ferry is extremely nauseating and I was kicking myself for not bringing some Gravol so a note for people taking a ferry with no outdoor seating – try and board early so that you can at least sit by a window! After docking in Capri, there was a sudden change of plans. One of the tour guides was going to take the people going on a tour of the Blue Grotto immediately to the Blue Grotto and those who weren’t were going to continue to Anacapri. Those doing the Blue Grotto would just be doing the day backwards, we would still have the same amount of free time.
We took a lovely speedboat down the coast to the Blue Grotto and it was breathtaking. The scenery is something else entirely. When we got the Blue Grotto we waited about ten minutes before splitting up into smaller groups to climb into a row boat to get into the cave. Entering the cave is not something that’s going to be easy for those of you who are claustrophobic. Upon entering the cave, the row-boat “captain” tells you to lay down as flat as you can as he pulls a chain and ducks down to pull us in. Inside the Blue Grotto I have no words for. The way the light reflects off the water is so surreal, it felt like a dream! We were only inside the cave for about 5 minutes as the cave is small and there is a long line waiting to get into the cave. The row-boat docked at a set of stairs that go up a small hill and we were told to wait there to board a bus that would take us to Anacapri (where was our free time in Capri?). We waited at the top of this hill for about 30 minutes as we had to wait for everyone to take their tour. We boarded the tiny bus that took us up the most terrifyingly narrow winding road to Anacapri. Once in Anacapri we were told we had 30 min of free time (that’s it?). We used the free time to go up Mont Solaro in the chairlift. Each way takes about 13 minutes to complete so once we got up to the top of the mountain, we ran around like maniacs taking pictures of the view and went to stand in line to go back down the mountain. When we were back down, we ran to the lunch spot and had a mediocre lunch that was clearly designed to be eaten by tourists in order for the restaurant to have a high turn-over. We then had 20 minutes to walk around the shops before we had to board the bus back down to Capri to get back on the ferry to Naples.
Once we were back down in Capri, we had 15 minutes to walk around which is NOWHERE near enough time to do anything. We ran to a small “beach” on the other side of the marina and stuck our toes in the Gulf of Naples. We then ran back to the marina to board the ferry which took us back to Naples and back to the bus to Rome.
Overall, I nor my friends would recommend this tour to anybody. In total, we received about an hour and a half of free time, and for a tour that starts in Capri at 11am and ends in Capri at 5pm, that sure isn’t a lot of free time. Most of our time was spent waiting around while our tour guides tried to figure out the best course of action and getting from place to place. I would recommend renting a car to drive from Rome to Naples and boarding a ferry on your own time. It would leave you with a better experience of the island and depending how big your party is, could cost the same as this tour. Capri was a beautiful island with rich culture and so many things to do and see. I just wish I could have seen more, but I am glad to have seen what I did. It was amazing.