It beats me how Audrey Hepburn ever squeezed her calves into a pair of Capri pants. If the actress spent any time on the island of Capri she must have been very beefy twixt knee and ankle because the inclines and dips on this small, rocky outcrop demand a lot of muscle power from those seeking to triapse lightly from Armani to Missoni or from Cavalli to Prada.The Cackler and I did the traipsing in sensible flatties not high heels. Unlike most of the other daytrippers we weren’t weighed down with high-end shopping bags, but still we found the cobbled piazzas and steep streets hard on the calves.
Perhaps no playgrounds are without pain but Capri offers a torture all its own. We aimed to look delightful, doe-eyed and dewy just like Hepburn but this was difficult with shin splints. I was travel stained and crumpled by the time we had completed the ferry crossing and stepped off the finicular.The Cackler, having perfected her chignon, did rather better. She persisted in wearing her cardigan loosely knotted round her neck and a pair of cat-eye sunglasses. The look she was aiming for was effortlessly chic and she damn near pulled it off.
Everything you have ever heard about Capri is true. Views are spectacular,the sea is indeed azure blue,and the beautiful people go there to spend money and show themselves off in the sunshine. We visited the Augustin gardens–actually little more than a flower bed or two–and did what we could to dodge around German visitors so we could snap ourselves looking glamorous against world famous backdrops.
After our photo shoot we briefly considered stalking Leonardo di Caprio who is rumoured to spend time on the island. We abandoned this idea when we realized that if we found him we wouldn’t know what to do with him.
“Er, we liked you in Titanic”
“Bet you are glad you broke up with that Gisele”
“How do you get your hair to flop like that?”
“Have you ever been to Belfast?”
Already tired both of the Germanic horde and the Prada posse,we decided to walk down to the small marina for lunch. It was a long way. By the time we reached the beach I was definitely looking more Hemingway (Earnest) than Hepburn. We shared a pizza topped with rocket and cherry tomatoes and took a bus back to the town. It was time to do some posing on the piazza. By this time, sunburned and smelling of a lunchtime beer,I looked like a bag lady. There was a serious risk that I would be asked to step away from the smart set.I think they only let me in because Anne was looking so very Audrey. The woman sitting beside me needed a seat for her Prada handbag. A middle aged man behind us was obviously someone snappable, but we didn’t know who. Passers by stopped to ask for a picture and eventually a paparazzo turned up. Once sufficiently noticed and admired, the object of everyone’s attention left the cafe and walked toward the church with his much younger girlfriend. All eyes followed them, just as they were meant to. We still don’t know who he was, just that he wasn’t Leonardo.
Have you ever noticed how the effortlessly chic ignore the bar snacks so thoughtfully provided in the better class of pub? The Cackler, still channelling Audrey, was pretty good at this and succumbed only to a crisp or two. I scoffed the rest, adding salty and greasy to the growing list of describing words standing between me and effortlessly chic.
Back in the hotel we were completing our bedtime ablutions when the Cackler found a peanut on the bathroom floor. “Did that fall out of your cleavage?” She asked, regarding it and me disdainfully. I denied it, but she knew.