Capri – designer heaven yet still full of tacky lemon stuff and Sorrento

I love Lemon based tacky products and Capri and Sorrento are simply crammed full of the yellow, fragrant, marvellous little blighters.

Even with its chic boulevard of designer shops – Prada, Louis Vitton etc etc (if that is your bag) you can still find a veritable cornucopia of tat in Capri!!!

There’s a fantastic (by which I mean slightly terrifying) chair lift from Anacapri to the top of Mount Salaro.

Amazing views but you do have to cling for dear life to the pole (not to the bar across your lap as this, as i discovered, can simply be lifted up . . )

Neil looks suitably delighted by the whole experience.

Pretty view – worth the fear!!

Here’s another perennial tourist favourite – the fridge magnet! Me and the better half collect the colourful little blobs of joy from everywhere we visit. The fridge looks like an explosion in a plastic factory.

I utterly love the art shops in Sorrento, you can barely even see this one under the proliferation of canvas!!

We stayed at Hotel Eden in Sorrento.

It’s a hotel of two halves, literally! One half is recently renovated, lovely, fresh and clean, whereas the other half leaves a lot to be desired. It has a fab pool and is ideally located on the main square of Sorrento, but make sure to ask for a room in the newly renovated half!!

Here’s the coolest gelato bar EVER in Sorrento – so many flavours to chose from and plastered with celeb photos from the Pope to James Bond!!

Here Neil investigates the finer points of Gelato marketing.

Next up, a bus trip along the Amalfi coast to some fab villages and the epic but haunting spectacle of Pompeii . . .  .

Overpriced but pretty

So Capri’s main attraction is the Blue Grotto, a naturally formed cave that is illuminated with a vivid blue light.

You can access the cave via one of the many boat tours around the island but you will find yourself bobbing about for ages as you have to wait (along with lots of others) for the boat men to come and pick you up.

It’s much quicker to actually walk to the blue grotto, wait on the shore in a much quicker queue and get in there quicker!

It is very expensive however – 12.5euros per person, quite a lot for what it is. But we were there so we had to see it!!

The queue for the Blue Grotto

Vivid blue inside the Grotto.

Capri and Sorrento 2012

So back to Italy, for the fourth time! Despite swearing blind last year I would never spend my hard earned money in the grumpy rude fest that is Italy, back we go! Just can’t keep away from the culture, astounding architecture and glamourous beaches.

First off, the glorious wedding of a close friend in Rome. Married in the beautiful setting of the Campidoglio in Rome, it was every inch the Dolce Vita! Even though it was 38 degrees and no air conditioning!!

Here we are looking glam.

Next up a six am train ride to Naples, hopped on the hydro foil and headed to the home of glitz and glamour – Capri!

We actually stayed in Anacapri, the small, less developed little village higher up on the island.

We stayed in the fantastic Il Sogno B and B. Absolute bliss! Only three bedrooms and set just off the main square it is ideally situated, quite and set in gorgeous gardens. A perfect escape.

Check them out here

Here’s the Marina Grande – the ferry’s all dock here, in order to get to Anacapri you can either get a taxi or simply hop on one of the tiny, frequent buses that bumble up the steep hill.

Feel the fear as they wind up the impossibly high hill, with a sheer drop to the ocean on one side and barely an inch to spare between buses as they meet each other on the hair pin bends.

First glimpse of the Island.

Colourful houses line the Marina Grande.

The sea around the island is an incredible, azure blue. Almost too perfect to be true.

But always involving a very steep hill down, followed by the realisation it’s a private beach, followed by the hill you need to climb back up . . .

Next we visit the Blue Grotto and check out where the glamourous rich folks hang out – Capri!!!