~let’s get lost~

June 26th, 2008

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Whenever I hear the word “culture,” I bring out my checkbook. ~Le Mépris, Godard, 1963

We spent the following day on the gorgeous island of Capri, or part of it, as you can see above. One lands at the large port (x number 1) and can from there take the funicular to the main piazetta of Capri (x number 2) as we did, or to the area of Anacapri, which we would love to see, but did not want to rush. Instead we looped one side of the island on foot, on very very steep pathways that were once traveled by goats. In fact Capri means playful goat, so we scampered. Molto caldo. One sweaty, enchanted day.

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I knew of a restaurant that was purported to have the best view on the island, so having had no breakfast to speak of, we headed to Le Grotelle and found it, eventually, on a high peak, and ready to serve a pretty good swordfish for the donna and pasta for the uomo. Not superb, but the view was. (note to self: research text said nothing of the food–keep a sharp eye for this in the future!)

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Having made no plan beyond this, we decided to check out the Arco Naturalle, quite a distance below. The curvy path was dotted with myrtle, euphorbia, broom, coastal pine trees, and what seemed like thousands of darting lizards. It smelled divine, a little like the Californian coast.

Our sixth senses led us directly to the famous Roman nymphaeum–Matermania Grotto–a monument of lusty frolic consecrated to the sea nymphs. This one is presumed once decorated with mosaics formed by glass paste, coral, and shell tesserae, now it is naked as those hussy nymphs.

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Further down we found the Arco Naturale and Pizzolungo (x number 3), an impressive natural formation created by erosion. This arch is all that remains of a large grotto once tucked in the mountain.

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Further still upon the path we came across the Casa Malaparte (come to me house), where Godard shot much of the film Le Mépris.

It is a film about making a film about Ulysses’ harrowing homecoming, a story held aloft in the popular imagination here. This film is hilarious in the usual Godard ways, particularly the endless scene of La Bardot rolling around nude on a large white fur. Between the dialogue, the smash edits, and the gratuitous booty, there is something for everyone. Here is the donna herself, lounging on that famous rooftop.

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By the time we made it back to port, we were so delirious with sun that we did the unthinkable: we bought matching handmade sandals. His and hers. I’ll try to get some pictures of these on the next trip, they are quite chic if I do say so!

I’ll leave you with two images found while “lost” on Capri, as good a place as any I can think of to lose your way.

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