THE IN­SID­ERS CAPRI, ITALY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - THOMAS HAMEL IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER

STAY: I love Ho­tel La Scali­natella on Via Tra­gara. For me, it is like “com­ing home” each year to the is­land of Capri, off the Amalfi Coast. The staff know past guests by name and re­mem­ber all the de­tails to make a stay per­fect. The charm­ing maitre-d’ of the bar and restau­rant, Gen­naro, ex­tends a wel­come that makes the 16,000km jour­ney worth­while. La Scali­natella’s pool­side lunch is su­perb — think fresh an­tipasto and seafood buf­fet; made-to-or­der pasta and fish; and the best white peaches and cher­ries (both in glass bowls on ice) or strac­ciatella (choco­late chip ice cream) with wafer; scali­natella.com.

GO: Capri is renowned for its stun­ning walks, essential to work off the won­der­ful pasta dishes. My favourite hike is to Villa Jo­vis, built by Ro­man Em­peror Tiberius. It’s mostly uphill but the views across the Gulf of Naples are worth it; capri.net/en/in­dex.

SHOP: For stylish menswear, I like Russo Uomo and The Orig­i­nal Car Shoe. For linen and table­ware, 100% Capri is a favourite. I re­cently dis­cov­ered a fab­u­lous jew­ellery shop owned by very chic twin sis­ters. It’s called Grazia e Mar­ica Vozza and is a few steps down a bougainvil­lea-shaded path from 100% Capri; rus­so­capri.com; carshoe.com; 100capri.com; grazi­ae­mar­i­cavozza.com.

EX­PLORE: I al­ways try to visit Villa Ly­sis, an eclec­tic art nou­veau prop­erty with a touch of neo­clas­si­cal deca­dence. It was built by a French in­dus­tri­al­ist who moved to Capri in self-cho­sen ex­ile af­ter a scan­dal.

EAT: Two of my favourite din­ner haunts are Da Gior­gio for fresh seafood and Aurora for its very Capri so­cial scene. For lunch, en­joy a spe­cial day out at Conca del Sogno, a boat trip away at Ner­ano on the Amalfi Coast, and then take a swim at its Beach Club. ris­toranteda­gior­gio.com; au­ro­ra­capri.com; con­cadel­sogno.it.

DRINK: Cock­tails at the iconic Grand Ho­tel Qui­sisana are clas­sic Capri; re­mem­ber, the time for drinks here is 8pm; qui­sisana.com.

IN­DULGE: Book a lounge chair and um­brella at one of the pop­u­lar beach clubs and en­joy a day re­lax­ing, swim­ming, lunch­ing and peo­ple-watch­ing. La Fon­telina is the most pop­u­lar, set amid the dra­matic Faraglioni rocks. I also love a day in the com­mu­nity of Anacapri at the Capri Palace Ho­tel’s beau­ti­ful Il Ric­cio Beach Club & Restau­rant; fon­telina-capri.com; capri­palace.com/en.

Thomas Hamel is a Syd­ney-based in­te­rior de­signer and di­rec­tor of Thomas Hamel & As­so­ciates, which spe­cialises in res­i­den­tial de­sign. He has hol­i­dayed on Capri every July for the past 20 years. More: thomashamel.com.

In­sid­ers edi­tor:

Gra­ham Er­bacher Gra­ham.Er­bacher@news.com.au

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