A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Lazing in Capri

September 16th, 2003

To travel to Capri is to escape to a magical island. Capri is small, only 4 miles long, but it is filled with limitless beauty: steep craggy cliffs that drop dramatically to the sea, mountains that dot the landscape, and fields of jasmine and lemon trees. Capri has also become a popular day trip for those staying along the Amalfi Coast, so as you arrive at the Marina Grande, expect a sea of tourists.

Many of the hotels are a 10 to 15 minute walk from the Piazzetta (main square), and provide a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. Two favorites are the Punta Tragara perched over the Faraglioni rocks, and the Scalinatella, known for its superior service and the best al fresco lunch on the island. The Quisisana, owned by the same family as the Scalinatella, is a bit larger, but may be a good option if traveling with kids.

Many travelers return to Capri year after year for a little R&R in an atmosphere of chic yet casual elegance. The hotel pool becomes a tranquil oasis on those warm and sunny days. The island is filled with natural beauty, so it is worthwhile to go on excursions and explore. Villa Jovis is a magnificent place worth visiting. Perched high on a hill on the NE tip of Capri, it is the remains of the largest villa of Emperor Tiberius, and has majestic views of the island and the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno. The Giardini di Augusto are pretty gardens just outside the Piazzetta. It offers magnificent views looking south and west. From the Gardens you can continue along Via Krupp, down steep switchbacks, past beautiful villas, to the Marina Piccola. Lastly, but a bit more touristy, is to rent a boat and visit the Grottos. They are like nothing you have seen before.

The food on Capri focuses on fresh seafood. Pastas with clams, shrimp, or mussels are terrific. The pezzogna, a local delicate white fish, is outstanding. La Campannina is the best and most popular restaurant. The owner, Antonio, ensures superior service and fresh food. Da Tonino is also outstanding, excelling in fresh pasta and seafood, along with a huge wine list. After dinner sit at one of the cafes in the Piazzetta and have a gelato, or better yet, a sgroppino (a drink of vodka, prosecco, and lemon sorbet) and enjoy the people watching.

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