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A garden enthusiast who loves to travel and capture the beauty of places and freeze the memories of her travels in photographs, as well as document her experiences in verse...thankful for the simple pleasures in life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Capricious Anacapri Garden

The best of sea, sky and landscape - that's what you get when you take a bit of time to walk up to the top of the highest point on the island of Capri. Well, you don't really walk all the way from the Marina Grande, the largest harbour in Capri. You could take the funicular. Or just take a cab...the cabs in Capri are all pretty classy, white open-top convertibles.

The public garden at the peak is named the Garden of Augustus, after the Roman emperor. The garden is built on the ruins of ancient Roman structures. It is a fabulous location for a garden. You'll love the terraced nature of the terrain, and when you reach the look-out point, you can't help but gasp at the scene. It is just stunning! You see the azure waters and the famous clear blue Mediterranean sky.Then you get to see Capri's famous landmarks, the massive Faraglioni Rocks jutting 100 metres out of the water.

How is the Garden of Augustus capricious?

In my imagination, there is plenty going on in the garden that points to capricious behaviour.
Just look at the two characters in the scene above. Balzac must have read the mind of the Classical
Roman in the background who appears to be confounded by the modern-day woman sharing
his part of the Garden of Augustus. Is he thinking this as he gazes at her:

"Love is the most melodious of all the harmonies, and we have an innate feeling for it. Woman
is a delicious instrument of pleasure, but one must know the chords, study the pose of it, the
timid keyboard, the changing and capricious fingering."

But what is the sculpture of post-modernist dimensions thinking? Could she be mulling over what
Sarah Fielding is quoted to have 'pondered'?

"I had some short struggle in my mind whether I should resign my lover or my liberty, but this lasted
not long. I found myself as free as air and could not bear the thought of putting myself in any man's
power for life only for a present capricious inclination."

But the last words for these two conflicting characters must surely come from Shakespeare:

"If then true lovers have ever been crossed
 It stands as an edict in destiny.
 Then let us teach our trial patience
 Because it is a customary cross,
 As due to love and thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
 Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers."

And what about this lone statue with the bath towel? Despite streams of human traffic for company throughout the day, he must be lonely. Eugene Delacroix's words ring true for this character above about the capricious nature of existence:

"What torments my soul is its loneliness. The more it expands among friends and the daily habits or pleasures, the more, it seems to me, it flees me and retires into its fortress... .When one yields oneself completely to one's soul, it opens itself to one, and then it is that the capricious thing allows one the greatest of good fortunes...that of sympathising with others..."

In conclusion, Walt Whitman's words seem to be the parting message this garden in Anacapri has for humanity:

"Just as much for us that sobbing dirge of Nature,
 Just as much whence we come that blare of the cloud-trumpets
 We, capricious, brought hither we know not whence, spread out before you,
 You up there walking or sitting,
 Whoever you are, we too lie in drifts at your feet."

Enjoy the beauty this garden has to offer, but also let your imagination run wild... this is the Isle of Capri we are in...the island of romance, where you could find your heart's true love 'in the shade of an old walnut tree'!
Blue Italian skies above (sigh...)but for now, as in the song, we have to say, "twas the Isle...of Capri."


  1. The garden is very colourful and the art so beautiful. Your are so lucky to be able to enjoy these scenic views of nature.

  2. Yes, I am indeed thankful that I am able to travel more than I used to. Before I started blogging, whenever we traveled, my husband handled the camera. Now I enjoy taking the photos, so this adds another dimension to my enjoyment of the places we visit.

  3. Those are really beautiful garden! I wish i can see them!

  4. That is a great view! and a very beautiful garden too.

  5. @ Malar-yes add this garden to your wish list. hope your wish comes true.

    @ fer- It is such a bright and happy garden.

  6. Que jardim maravilhoso! Obrigada por compartilhar as fotos deste lindo lugar! Dá vontade de sentar junto com aquelas pessoas da última foto e ficar contemplando a beleza das flores!

  7. Hi Miriam, I'm not able to have this translated on my page here. But thanks for your comments.

  8. Wow, talk about a little happy to chase away the gray, dreary days of winter! Beautiful!

  9. Did I spy a violet hollyhock in your pictures. Crazy about them. Lovely garden wish I was there as well.

  10. @ The Whimsical Gardener: I love your comment...thanks for leaving me a little happy to make my day!

    @ Malay-Kadazan girl: are they hollyhocks? lovely, strong effect to have these violet flowers in a garden.

  11. @ Míriam Luiza: I've just had your comment translated, and yes, I agree - it is nice to be one of those sitting in the last foto and contemplating on the flowers there. It really is so relaxing to be there.


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It is always a pleasure to read your comments. I shall certainly try my best to jet over to your blog and catch up with you there.