Happy autumn, everyone. Our theme for September is Absolutely! I’m privileged to have a story in the RB4U anthology, Entice Me, an absolutely terrific set of love stories, coming in October. My story is Capri Nights, a sensual romance set on Italy’s Isle of Capri.
I absolutely love Capri. I’ve visited there twice and hope to go again. It’s a place of wondrous beauty and legend, and one of my favorite places in the world.
Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic.
Some of the main features of the island include the following: the Marina Piccola (the little harbour), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the Faraglioni), the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.
I love anything to do with Ancient Rome, so I’m especially interested in Capri during Ancient Roman times. More from Wikipedia:
Ancient and Roman times
According to the Greek geographer Strabo, Capri was once part of the mainland. This has been confirmed by geological surveys and archaeological findings.
The city has been inhabited since early times. Evidence of human settlement was discovered during the Roman era; according to Suetonius, when the foundations for the villa of Augustus were being excavated, giant bones and 'weapons of stone' were discovered. The emperor ordered these to be displayed in the garden of his main residence, the Sea Palace. Modern excavations have shown that human presence on the island can be dated to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. Augustus developed Capri; he built temples, villas, aqueducts, and planted gardens so he could enjoy his private paradise.
In his Aeneid, Virgil states that the island had been populated by the Greek people of Teleboi, coming from the Ionian Islands. Strabo says that "in ancient times in Capri there were two towns, later reduced to one." Tacitus records that there were twelve Imperial villas in Capri. Ruins of one at Tragara could still be seen in the 19th century.
Augustus' successor Tiberius built a series of villas at Capri, the most famous of which is the Villa Jovis, one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Italy. In 27 AD, Tiberius permanently moved to Capri, running the Empire from there until his death in 37 AD.
In 182 AD, Emperor Commodus banished his sister Lucilla to Capri. She was executed shortly afterwards.
Now you have a little bit about Capri. What I remember most are the flowers everywhere, the festive crowds, the bright colors, the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Naples, and majestic Vesuvius rising in the distance, a monarch surveying his domain.
You can tell the native Italians from the tourists. The natives are better dressed. I loved sitting at the outdoor cafes enjoying luscious meals and rich wines. The Blue Grotto is thrilling and beautiful, but crowded and touristy. In Capri Nights, my heroine, Cat, tells the hero, Alex, that the Blue Grotto is too touristy for her. He tells her it won’t be touristy when she’s with him. And he is so right!
I first visited Capri when I was twenty-years-old. While there, I had a short fling with an Italian named Giuseppe who worked in our hotel. I called him Joseph. I’ve romanticized that fling over the years. Joseph is my inspiration for Alex in Capri Nights.
Here’s my blurb for Capri Nights:
A San Francisco sous chef discovers she might have bitten off more than she can chew when a scrumptious Italian man stirs up a recipe for romance on the delicious Isle of Capri.
Sous chef Cat Connors has spent a lifetime feeling like a stale cracker on a plate of fancy hors d'oeuvres among her stepfamily. But when she travels from San Francisco to the sunny Isle of Capri, she’s determined to finally shed her dowdy image and spice up her life. She has big plans for her future as a chef. Those plans don’t include a yummy Italian with a mouth-watering body and a smile that melts her insides like gelato under the hot Capri sun.
When Alex Viteli retreats to his villa on Capri to escape the notoriety and legal troubles brought on by his family, the last thing he needs is a beautiful, tempting dish of a woman. Alex may be the scion of a wealthy Italian family, but that won’t matter if he can’t cook up a scheme to clear his father’s name and keep himself out of prison.
Though they fit together like strawberries and chocolate, Cat and Alex may not have time for more than a quick bite of romance. Cat’s future is in San Francisco. Alex can’t leave Italy. But the sultry Capri nights might tempt them both to savor just one more sweet taste of love.
Read all the luscious love stories, including Capri Nights, in Entice Me, The Boxed Set, available for pre-order October 1, 2015.