Personal Journeys


October 10, 2004|By Special to the Sun

A Memorable Place

A minor infraction on the Via Krupp

By Matthew Blair


On Capri, you realize that beauty always comes at a price. Sublime waterfront views are not always arrived at easily -- or sometimes even legally.

After a few hours of laborious walking to the higher reaches of the rocky Italian island in search of panoramic views, my wife and I decided to make our way down to the water for an afternoon of relaxation on the famous beaches of Marina Piccola.

As we made our way down a pedestrian path, we were confronted with an iron gate marked "No Trespassing."

Thus began the process of weighing our options: Climb over the gate and risk injury and negative legal implications, or walk back uphill in the stifling heat and find another path to the water.

Our legs spoke louder than our fears and made a clear statement: downhill at any cost.

A quick hop over the gate put us on the Via Krupp, a sinuous path said to be financed by a wealthy industrialist in order to provide easy access to Marina Piccola.

Along the road, which provides a variety of scenic views of the island and the sea, we met a local couple going in the opposite direction. Concerned that we may face a more formidable barrier at the end of the road and have to make an extremely long walk up the steep path, we asked the couple what awaited us below.

Their response was that there was only another gate like the one at the top of the road. They further informed us that the road is "officially" closed but frequented "unofficially" for its convenience. We learned later that the road is under renovation and is closed because of the danger of falling rocks.

The rewards for our minor infraction were the views along the Via Krupp and an afternoon at an idyllic beach, complete with a view of Capri's Faraglioni, limestone formations that rise from the sea, some to the height of 350 feet.

On leaving the beach, we decided to catch one of the colorful Capri taxis, which have canopies instead of roofs, to the Marina Grande, on the other side of the island. Along the way, our driver -- a native of Capri -- proudly spoke about the attributes of the island, one of which, he said, was the complete absence of crime.

Given his enthusiasm about this benefit of life on Capri, we decided not to mention our experience on the Via Krupp.

Matthew Blair lives in Baltimore.

My Best Shot

Tom Milleson, Timonium

Spotting a leopard

On an early-morning drive from our safari camp in South Africa, a young leopard stepped from the high grass into the daylight and gave us a curious stare. A minute later, she jumped to the safety of a tree after spying a lion walking toward us.

Readers Recommend

Biloxi, Miss.

Richard W. Elliott,

Havre de Grace

During a trip to Biloxi, we took a side tour to NASA's Stennis Space Center. Established in 1963, the center is the country's largest rocket propulsion testing complex. Every astronaut who has gone to space has flown on engines tested at Stennis. The center has indoor and outdoor exhibits that highlight America's past and future vision of space exploration.


Pam Faries, Westminster

Chicago's Millennium Park opened this summer with many activities to showcase a grand addition to the lakefront. The park sits on a 25-acre "roof" that covers garages and a theater. There is a concert pavilion, gardens and twin fountains. My favorite was Cloud Gate, a 110-ton stainless-steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor. The sculpture is a giant gazing ball reflecting the park, its visitors and the city skyline.

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