Monday, 25 July 2011


So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, Adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu...

I'm off. I'm leaving. I'm going. I have a boat ride, an easyJet flight and a train journey that awaits me. All I can do now is sit back and remember some little memories of this glorious place...

Pasta varieties
Jar goods
The hanging meats
Special spice/herb mixes

La Pasticceria
La Pasticceria

...and aaaaah...Baba!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

melanzane parmigiana + tiramisu

Melanzane Parmigiana with a little extra snack...little deep fried battered fish

You couldn't have two dishes more associated with Italy if you tried.

Melanzane parmigiana is one of my favourite meals and in England I'm always on the hunt for a good one. A well made one. Its nice and hearty, comforting, tasty, scrumptious and satisfying.

This one was made by la nonna, so of course it was good. She told me that you can make the 'ragu' sauce if you like, but if you want it traditionally without meat, then just make up the sauce, (sautee tomatoes with chopped onions, garlic, carrots and celery in oil). She then works the whole lot through a sieve, so to be left with a lovely smooth consistency like passata. She slices the aubergine up into thin slices and fries in in an oiled pan. When the aubergine slices are browned, take an oven proof dish and make up layers with the sauce, the aubergine slices, some sliced mozzarella and some grated parmesan. The tip I was then given, was to whisk up an egg and brush onto the top of the layer before continuing. Keep going until you finish. Then cook in an oven for 25-35 minutes, or until cooked through.


I also got some tiramisu. It has a bit of a bad rep in England, but when its done badly, it's a nightmare.

This wasn't!


Saturday, 23 July 2011

a bite of celebrity

Does anyone look at the Daily Mail online showbiz column?


Well I do...

Well if you do, then you might recognise these recent images of celebrities sunning themselves in Ischia (where I'm staying).

Helena Christensen
Karolina Kurkova
Kelly Brook
They were all here for the Ischia film festival...but I wondered...where was this sunning spot they were all hanging out at...and after hearing that Gerard Butler was on the island, as was Trudie Styler, then when on earth was I going to bump into them??? Most of the paps got their shots on a Sunday -damn, I was in Capi that day. 

So I settled into another day at Giardino Eden. After a heavy day of swimming in the morning, I perched on the edge of the pool and just watched my little friends playing in the water. It was 4pm. I was in a daze. I was just staring over at the other pool.

Wait a minute...was that...did I just see Karolina Kurkova walk past?

                 ...and is that...Coco Sumner (and friend)?

                             ...and there goes Trudie Styler.

They're only all having a long leisurely lunch here...together...finally...I get to do a little bit of celebrity spotting!

Phew. That's pretty much covered my 2011 fix.

Next night. Tuesday night. I can't sleep that well. I'm restless. I wake up at 1.30am to this...

Coco Sumner's only giving a little 4 song performance next door, right in earshot.

So, no need for Daily Mail for a couple of days, as it's in my back garden!

I happened to find where they were all sunning themselves on my way to the Negombo thermal park in Lacco Ameno, and unfortunately I was too late, and instead of being mistaken for a celebrity, I fell FLAT on my face in front of the L'Albergo Della Regina Isabella (hotel where they were all staying), as my flowing indigo skirt got caught under my toe.

The rock in Lacco Ameno that looks like??? A MUSHROOM!

Is Kelly, Karolina or Helena there??

I relaxed for a day of sunbathing and after a lot of pasta, my body was hankering for some red meat. My pores were screaming out for red meat. I went with the craving and opted for the fillet steak.

Relax in the shade of the restaurant
Some San Pellegrino?
Some melon and prosciutto?
The much needed red meat!

Iron reloaded. Oxygen pumping again.

Friday, 22 July 2011


What is it? ...Margherita pizza
Where was it from? ...Ischia, Italy
Was it good? ...One of the best I've had. Absolutely delicious
How much did it cost? ...3 Euros

Wait a minute...3 Euros???? 3 Euros????

Yes. That's how much it cost. I kid you not. Please could someone inform London?

Enough said!

3 Euro margherita pizza

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

capri - a rather 'toy' town

I've been occupied...

   ...this week I've been bitten, kicked, slapped, splashed and dunked...

         ...a canoe has ripped a chunk of skin from a finger, a rock has slashed a deep cut in another, and something sharp gashed my foot!

All friendly though I might add. I have a young compagno (companion) and I also have the sea and rocks as a setting (hard life eh?!).

However, I have found time to eat...and I have found time to visit Capri.

Cappuccino and Cornetto

Right, so the start to my day wasn't so brilliant. Things can't be perfect all the time. It was interesting to say the least...yes...interesting.

To arrive relaxed and in plenty of time for my 9.20am boat trip, I was advised to catch the bus at 8.35am (leaving from outside the house). It seems I never do what I'm advised to do, and leaving earlier, I thought it would be an even better idea to walk instead.

...I was wrong.

It was too hot. Especially too hot to be carrying a great big bag containing things I probably wouldn't need...and a dress, although cotton and light, suddenly seemed heavy and wool like in it's ability to hold in the sunshine. I was starting to sweat.

As I descended into town, one of the many scooters stopped alongside me. I understood (in my best interpretation) that I was being offered a lift. I said that I was happy walking, but he insisted that I couldn't walk in this heat...well, he did have a point. Ignoring every piece of information that has being fed to us from a young age in regards to not accepting lifts from strangers, I hopped (rather difficultly) onto the back. Off we went. At the bottom of the road, he checked again where I was wishing to go... 
                                                           ...the harbour.

Ok...I was given a helmet and we continued (the journey is only a few minutes by some form of motored transport). Suddenly, whilst driving (I thought Italians only chatted over their shoulder), I experienced what can only be described as an attempted touching up of a rather rude area (you figure it out). 

'No,' I shouted, but calmly. I arrived in one piece and turned down the offer to meet for a drink later. I couldn't get angry. Somehow I laughed at the sheer audacity and gall of the incident happening at (looking at my phone) 8.20am. In London I would have been shocked, scared and frightened. In Italy, I shrugged my shoulders and muttered 'Boh!' (my favourite Italian phrase meaning 'I don't know!'). 

     ...I suppose those teachers, parents, adverts and programmes were right with their years of advice!

I had a cappuccino and cornetto (croissant) to steady myself. Another mistake (although it looks nice). Let's leave croissants to the French, where they are light, crispy and flakey. Here it wasn't. Croissants aren't a speciality. They are like most other supermarket Italian cakes and sweet breads. Sweet (of course). Heavy. Stodge and cake'ish. Not how you'd imagine a croissant. There was a very mysterious bit of jam that appeared in one corner...

This is a glimpse of my day.

On arrival into Anacapri I peered into the fascinating visible swimming pool through the walls of the Capri Palace Hotel...

Capri Palace Hotel swimming pool

Capri Palace Hotel 'through the wall' vision of swimming pool
I observed a little Hollywood movie porter moment (what with all the talk from my guide of recent Capri visitors such as Leonardo DiCaprio)...

'Can I take your bags Sir?'

I walked along the path and through the historic doorway entrance into Anacapri...

It's a doorway!
It's rather old!

Then I took the peaceful chairlift up to Monte Solaro, where an English lady on the other side shouted over rather brusquely ' look rather on your own don't you?!' I looked behind to see rows and rows of empty chairs and in front, rows of empty chairs. I was on my own. Bliss!

Away we go...

I reached the top and had time to take in the view...

Go on, crack a smile love

...time to enjoy the shade of the cafe...

The cafe scene...aah the shade
...and time for a little light refreshment.

Perhaps this is why Italians are slim. Espresso vs venti latte from Starbucks?

Then I waved goodbye...


...and descended down to the bottom, where I was promptly whisked off for lunch in a local busy pizzeria, which was buzzing with life. I enjoyed a deliciously fresh tomato spaghetti, that had bite, taste and heart to it.

Grubs up!
Just what I needed! Fresh tomato spaghetti
Then I met a local painter...

...and visited the Church of San Michele.

Church of San Michele, Anacapri
Was impressed by the floor.

Then I took a little walk...

Did anyone say Polly Pocket?
I saw another church...

Another church
It has a little history too!
 ...and another church!

Have my prayers been answered yet?

A walk through the streets of Capri...

Very very busy down Capri's 'Sloane Street'

A look at the clock tower and something expensive...recognise the clock face??

A quick hello to the hotel porter (the only electric motored vehicles allowed through the centre).

Get ready for your close up

Time for an oogle at something naughty...


A picture with my personal guide Peppe.

Grazie mille!

A walk to and around Giardini Augusto.


The best view from the top.

Via Krupp zig zag road

Then time for a lemon and orange granita. A lovely Italian sweet, refreshing icey pick me up to revive my tired, hot self.

What flavour do you want?

My day was nearly over. I then took an hour boat trip around the Island to see all the grottos and exquisite landmarks. It is also where my phone battery died least I got to sit back and enjoy the sights.

...I also enjoyed a stracciatella and nocciola gelato....but I got to enjoy that in private too!!