While Amalfi will always have my heart, the island of Capri has a very special place there as well. Recently, I had the chance to share some of my favorite things about Capri in the February 2020 issue of Italia! magazine. With an artistic bent, this article offers a small glimpse into some of the people, places, and experiences that for me really get at the true essence of the island’s magic.
I say a small glimpse, because I could go on and on sharing about the remarkable artistic heritage of this island – both the locals and the many many artists who have spent time on Capri over the centuries. For instance, in the article I share about local Capri artist Salvatore Federico who has a gallery along a picturesque street in Anacapri. But floating around the words that made it into the article are so many memories. Of the second time I visited the island when Salvatore pulled out his guitar and sang me a song. Of his smiles and kindness and all the laughter over the years remembering when my husband used to go to Capri every day.
When I stopped by late last summer and took this photo of Salvatore, it was after he had showed me his very first painting and told me stories about drawing airplanes and bombs as a young kid after WWII. And how art supplies were so limited in those days so he would take chalk from school home in his pockets. Pieces of history that go from feeling far away on a sunny day in Capri to being something vivid and real you can almost hold in your hand. I will always treasure those shared moments. Just another piece of the Capri I love.
I’ve also shared some of my favorite spots. Did you know that if you visit the Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio and see the natural history collection that you’ll find a terrace at the top with a bird’s-eye view of the Piazzetta? This is one of my favorite angles of Capri, also because it offers the chance to delve into the fascinating history of the Cerio family on Capri.
Last summer I had the chance to hear about it firsthand from Federico Alvarez de Toledo, the grandson of artist Letizia Cerio and founder of the enchanting boutique Eco Capri. As we stood in the center of the shop surrounded by designs inspired by Letizia’s artwork, he shared photos and stories about his family, his grandmother, and how her creativity continues to inspire him today. These are experiences that are hard to capture in words, but what I left with was a deep impression of the heart, passion, and history that lives on in every one of Eco Capri’s designs.
Believe me when I say I could go on and on. (The line from that old Rodgers and Hart song floats through my head: “If they asked me, I could write a book …”) I feel sad when I hear people say that they visited Capri and it was too busy and they didn’t like it at all. Or even worse when I read or overhear people talking about avoiding it because it’s too crowded. While there is no doubt Capri is a busy place, when I visited the Museo Diefenbach at the Certosa di San Giacomo last summer there were only a few other people around as I walked through the quiet halls admiring the works of art on display. Capri is a lot of things, but it’s also this.
These are just a few of the experiences I wrote about in the “48 Hours on Capri” article in the February 2020 issue of Italia! magazine. I do hope you’ll pick up a copy and give it a read. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you do. Even more so, I hope you’ll visit Capri and meet the artists and locals and explore the island’s artistic side. There is so much to discover!
Italia! magazine is for sale throughout the UK at WHSmiths or at Barnes & Noble in America. Or you can get a copy of the magazine or subscribe on the Italia! magazine website.