Recently my wife Helen and I were convinced by friends to go to the legendary Italian island of Capri off the Amalfi coast. I must admit I was suspect of confronting Hollywood style chintz and glitz. Instead what I found was a little white town, which admittedly did look a little like Rodeo Drive mixed in with very cute butcher shops, heavenly gelato making artisans, fresh seafood and vegetables for sale galore.
We went to a number of unassuming but lovely restaurants. What we found was a range of Italian food from a wonderful thick cut veal chop grilled over open fire and done to perfection right alongside wonderfully fresh sea bass carpaccio, and homemade pasta with sauces that still have my mouth watering.
We wandered on foot paths as cars are almost non-existent and the roads are…well, excellent if you like cliff side viewing at high speed in a convertible taxi driven by a crazed Italian with great love of the accelerator and no notion as to where the brake was or what it might be used for anyway. The foot paths led through pine forests and past every assortment of lovely vegetable garden you could ever hope for and, naturally, flowers everywhere. Helen was falling in love with the island, but it was clearly not in my price range. I quickly distracted her with wine and a seafood pasta restaurant that served small grilled ultra-fresh prawns with garlic, parsley, olive oil and a dash of sea salt and lemon from the local trees. Oh God, then they served them raw and they melted like butter. The pasta that followed was soft and silky with a little sauce which was complete and utter ambrosia. As the ferry pulled away from the little island, Helen said quietly in my ear “I could live there” followed by “we could plant a vineyard”… What could I say but “Yes Dear, that’s an idea”.