The perennially popular vacation spot, the island of Capri usually calls to mind images of breathtaking beaches, isolated inlets, cozy restaurants and bars with beautiful sea views to enjoy over a glass of wine on tranquil afternoons. This year, however, Capri is not only serene, but silent. To protest cuts in the local ferry service, islanders have gone on strike, leaving tourists stranded. During the strike, in the towns of Capri and Anacapri, all shops, restaurants, nearly all commercial activity, have repeatedly been closed down entirely from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. In fact, a blockade by Capresi ships recently stopped the arrival of ferries and hydrofoils packed with tourists, refusing to let them disembark.
The current strike started in June, but this isn’t the first time the island has shut down—the islanders first protested last April, promising that it would only be the first in a series of actions aiming to draw attention to various issues on the island, including the condition of the local hospital and island traffic, in addition to the ferry service. This could pose a real problem to the economy of Capri, however, which depends heavily upon tourism. The parish priest of Capri, Father Salvatore Chiusano, is quoted in the London Times as saying that “We have to do something, the lifeblood of Capri is being cut off.” The other two islands in the Bay of Naples, Procida and Ischia, have also staged similar protests, so plan accordingly this summer! — Cailin Birch