Day Two: Capri

There’s nothing like a long, sunny, breezy day to mark the first full day of vacation.

But the first day had a focused purpose–at least for me and Kat.


There’s surely no lack of opportunity for that mission here, and the August sales are in swing–so all the better. Plus for me, it’s my golden opportunity to scoop up gifts and cross off that Christmas list in high summer.

Still, my first purchase is for me alone.

We wandered into a shop, such pretty colors, pretty shells. And what do I spy but a gorgeous compass. It spoke to me even before I equated it with the Guardian trilogy, Sawyer and Capri. I could see it on a shelf in my library or my office, so treated myself.

Photo by NR
Photo by NR

As much as a treat was the handsome shopkeeper who flirts outrageously, singing straight into my eyes. That’s a trait I’ve noted in Italian men particularly. How they look right into your eyes–it works!

We wander more, and come upon the striking pottery in a kind of open air shop where I’ve purchased before. I recognize the owner, tell him I used a platter I bought from him only a few days before. He’s gracious, talkative, obviously proud of his wares. I don’t need another platter or bowl, I really, really don’t. But . . . The one with lemons is so cheerful! And the little matching bowl and serving set. And I love this spaghetti bowl, and this one.

Plus he takes my hand, kisses it. What can I do?

He’ll, he assures me, pack all my pieces up very, very well and ship.

The men have deserted us, so we hit a few more shops, and now I’m back on mission. No more for me, it’s Christmas in Capri. And yes, I remember this shop where I found several gifts last time. And do so again, now with Kat’s help.

What Jason found on his own exploration. Photo by j a-b
Photo by j a-b

A few more shops, meet up with the men, separate again because we’re not done!

Well, maybe I can have one more thing because that scarf is absolutely delicious.

Photo by j a-b
Photo by j a-b

More than anything, it’s the cheer and delight of the shopkeepers, the saturation of colors, the clever displays that draw you in. It’s just happy.

We walk and walk. Settle on a pretty restaurant where we can sit outside, enjoy some wine and pasta. And more gifts from the shop right across the narrow street. There the shopkeeper–with beautiful gray eyes–flirts and chats. He has his worktable right there, so customers can watch him make his jewelry, and even, he tells me, give him suggestions. He’ll make a pair of earrings for me while I have lunch!


And lunch is lovely. There is no pasta as fresh, no wine as soft as in Italy. I don’t even have room for my daily gelato after.

More walking, more shopping bags, and a return to the hotel where the men take naps. And I take out my little book, make my gift notes. Nearly done there! It’ll be an Italian Christmas for my pals this year.

Kat and I are made of sterner stuff. We need a few supplies from a market, so head out to find one. And find a purse I don’t need but just want, a few gifts to be crossed off her list. The crowds have thinned by this time, so it’s a little treat to see locals walking home from work, or marketing.

We do our own marketing, and wind our way back. A few words with the gray-eyed craftsman as he stands outside his shop–it was a good day, he tells me. He hopes I had the same.

And a return to the potter where Kat’s debating over some tiles. She’ll make a little table or a pot holder for her kitchen. He shows her several designs of four tiles, how they can be turned to make different pretty patterns. She buys two sets of four, and I can’t wait to see what my clever girl does with them.

Then it’s back home again, a glass of champagne on the terrace with BW, the making of loose plans for the next day. And for me, a swim with Paltrow. The water’s warm and soft, and two gulls perch on our roof, chatting with each other.

We’re all so happy and relaxed we decide to have dinner right here, on the terrace. Another drink, and we enjoy a gorgeous sunset. All pink and gold as the sun turns into a red ball that sinks, sinks, shrinks, shrinks, then slides away into soft, soft light.

Photo by j a-b
Photo by j a-b

A lovely meal, a flickering candle and four contented travelers.

I’m out before eleven, up at my usual six to another lovely day.

We’ve got a serious hike planned for later, but I want a workout first to tune me up.


27 thoughts on “Day Two: Capri”

  1. Thank you for the wonderful pictures. And sounds like you had a very productive day.

  2. It’s almost like being there. And I should really get busy in my own shopping…..

  3. Nora, I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your books! I “live” through them. My husband passed away 3 1/2 years ago at the age of 59, from metastic bladder cancer. Our plans to travel and enjoy our golden years was gone. I’m now 62, have 2 sons, daughter-in-law and a 2 year old grandson. I enjoy them immensely and travel to visit them. Also, started dating a friend of ours that worked with my husband. I neglected to say, my parents, 2 brothers and a sister are gone, too. I was not prepared to be left alone. Little by little, I’m starting to venture out, (doesn’t help being shy and self conscious)! I just wanted to tell you, that your books help me to experience the world and dream of the lives of others! Thank you and enjoy your trip! Janine Haines

  4. Such a beautiful part of the world…….love your travelogues. Wonder if your favorite chef in training will have a new apron when you get home!!

  5. I am glad you are having such a wonderul vacation. Reading your blog reminds me of when a friend of mine spent an entire month in Italy painting. She loved all of the walking and popping in and out of shops. People remembered her and her name. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Love the pictures and your details of what you have been up to. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Oh my, I am so enjoying your vacation journal. I’ll comment more later because I am at work and I only have 7 minutes until 8:00 CT, but just to let you know I’m right there with you shopping and dinning (going to have pasta for dinner this evening). I can only imagine what it’s truly like. Enjoy everyone!

  7. Thank you again for your painting the picture with your words. I feel like I’m walking around with you.

  8. Wonderful descriptions of people and place. Now I can say that I have been t Capri

  9. Each new day brings adventure. What a lovely gift, that you’ve shared yours with us. Thank you. I can almost feel the breeze and taste that pasta. Wonderful…… Love the compass! How extraordinary to find treasure on your first full day. Eagerly awaiting to see what lies around the corner…..happy exploring!

  10. I too know how those Italian men can be Nora! One wooed me in San Francisco..i will never forget hus flrtatious blue eyes!! They were fabulous!! Love your vacation days sharing with us!! Have fun!!

  11. Could almost feel the sun and breezes!

    Am in awe of the organized skills in shopping NOW for Christmas!

  12. Nora, can we see a picture of the earrings made for you. I imagine them to be wonderful and special.

  13. I visited Capri in the 1970’s and fell in love with the place and people. Visited a coral “factory” along with the Blue Grotto. Came home with a ring and a jade cross. I really would like to revisit Capri and Naples. Enjoy your adventures.

  14. Wow! I get to talk to Nora! I love your books! My nickname is Kat as well! I have dual citizenship with US and Ireland, though I’ve only been there once, my brother is now in Enniskillen…just wanted to say thank you for all my mind travels, I especially love Eve and Roarke! Hope you enjoy your holiday immensely!

  15. Oh Nora my heart sings! An Italian Christmas! So I was just wondering, do you ship your purchases home so you don’t have to take so much back with you, or do you just buy extra bags and carry them all back with you?
    I would love to visit Italy, and especially Capri. I am so glad that your having such a fabulous time! Can’t wait to see what is next. Beth

  16. I’m part way through reading Bay of Sighs right now, so this is fun to read!

  17. Loved your first day. There is nothing like foreign shopping-you will always remember where you got the items you are using. There is a rare coral- called angel skin coral. It’s colors are softer, more light pink than regular coral. I got a necklace in Italy- look out for one if you can find it.

  18. Looks like you had a wonderful time… Thank you so much for sharing..

  19. Thanks for sharing your story, as always it’s been a eventful trip for you and your group.Sounds as though everything is going well and enjoying every moment. It’s a pleasure you sharing your time with all of us.

  20. I so enjoy reading your travel blogs as chances are in won’t get there myself lol. Enjoy your vacation!!!!!

  21. I loved your description of your day. I felt like I was there with you, walking at your shoulder, buying pretties for my friends and myself. I read your books with an atlas, so I can follow geographically where the characters and I are during the story. I travel the world with you. Thank you.

  22. I think you’re going to need a bigger purse!! Especially love the compass and love how the people are so friendly, and the gentlemen flirt with you. Sweet!

  23. It sounds a beautiful place and makes me want to get on a plane tomorrow. So weird you got the compass there – I have just finished reading book two in the Guardian trilogy and can now picture – with the help of your lovely photos and descriptions – exactly where the adventures took place. Thank you so much.

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