Sum­mer events in Capri

Re­nato Es­pos­ito, Man­ager of the Gatto Bianco Ho­tel of­fers us his pick of sum­mer events on the is­land in­clud­ing walk­ing tours, con­certs, per­for­mances and themed din­ners

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - OUT OF TOWN -

For the past six years, I have been or­ga­niz­ing the ‘Passeg­giate d’au­tore’ (walk­ing tour ex­pe­ri­ences) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ne­sea The first tour will kick off on 12

June with a visit to the his­toric vil­las of Ma­rina Pic­cola, all of which are now lux­ury ho­tels. We will re­count the leg­end of the myth of the Sirens amidst en­chant­ment and dis­en­chant­ment, from the his­to­ri­o­graph­i­cal birth of the cult in Capri and the penin­sula of Sor­rento to how it was trans­formed, dur­ing the 19th cen­tury, into a form of sex­ual li­bido that has noth­ing to do with the orig­i­nal leg­end. Among other things, we will visit Villa Ser­a­fina (now Pie­rina), where Rus­sian au­thor Maxim Gorky lived dur­ing the later years of his life, the un­usual Villa Ger­ard, which has glass domes in­stead of roofs, and the mag­nif­i­cent Villa Kron­berg, perched above the sea. We will end our walk­ing tour in Ma­rina Pic­cola where we will talk about the leg­end of the ‘Song of the sea’. The aim of my walk­ing tours is to help tourists dis­cover new vil­las and new ho­tels through col­lab­o­ra­tion with their own­ers, who open them es­pe­cially for us. it’s a way of dis­cov­er­ing a hid­den Capri and its treasures. In the past, artists stay­ing at these ho­tels were un­able to pay for their ac­com­mo­da­tion. In ex­change for the hos­pi­tal­ity of­fered by their own­ers they painted doors or en­tire rooms, mean­ing that on en­ter­ing these vil­las, which are now ho­tels, tourists will find them­selves ad­mir­ing un­known mas­ter­pieces. Capri hides lots of se­crets. Sartre, who was madly in love with the is­land of­ten said that in Naples and in Capri the stones speak, they tell sto­ries, you just have to be at­tuned to your sur­round­ings

to un­der­stand their lan­guage: I am try­ing to de­code the lan­guage of stones to help my clients dis­cover the essence of the is­land. It’s a bit like in the past when trav­el­ers weren’t wor­ried about ar­riv­ing but, on the con­trary, were in search of a spir­i­tual heart­land that would fill their souls. On 2 July, the walk­ing tour will be ded­i­cated to the his­toric ho­tels of Capri. This year, we will be in­tro­duc­ing a new one, the Cer­tosella, where Camille Du Lo­cle, the com­poser of the ma­jor­ity of Verdi’s li­bret­tos, lived and died. On 22 July, we will be vis­it­ing the vil­las where the most im­por­tant Bri­tish au­thors lived. This will be dra­ma­tized tour dur­ing which Ro­man actor Alessan­dro Ru­bi­netti will im­per­son­ate five well-known au­thors. We will also visit the house for­merly in­hab­ited by Gra­ham Greene where the au­thor com­mis­sioned a mas­ter builder from Anacapri to build a white wall in front of which he wrote most of his thrillers be­cause he said that the scenery of Capri dis­tracted him. On 10 Au­gust, French singer Ni­cole Re­naud will hold a con­cert in Monte So­laro where she will present Capri Songs, a CD fea­tur­ing songs about Capri. Her pre­sen­ta­tion will be ac­com­pa­nied by a num­ber of in­ter­est­ing sto­ries about the is­land. On 27 Au­gust, we have sched­uled a walk­ing tour in search of the green ray of light at Villa Ly­sis. The green ray is an un­usual flash of light that can be glimpsed for a few sec­onds as the sun sets over the hori­zon. Not ev­ery­one can see it: only those who want to change their lives and start out afresh in Capri. The walk­ing tours will con­tinue on 10

Septem­ber with a visit to the his­toric ho­tels of Ma­rina Grande, built on the an­cient ru­ins of Au­gus­tan vil­las and now all lux­ury ho­tels, in­clud­ing Villa Tor­ri­cella, which Comp­ton Macken­zie used as a set­ting for Vestal Fire, one of his most fa­mous nov­els. To mark the cen­te­nary of the Rus­sian Rev­o­lu­tion, on 27 Oc­to­ber we will be or­ga­niz­ing an in­ter­na­tional chess tour­na­ment with chess masters from Rus­sia. En­ti­tled ‘Isola di capri Vladimir Lenin’, one of its high points will in­clude a re-en­act­ment of the fa­mous match held on a ter­race of one of Capri’s vil­las be­tween Lenin and Bogdnavov, in­ter­preted by two Rus­sian cham­pi­ons. In Novem­ber we will be or­ga­niz­ing four walk­ing tours ded­i­cated to what the Ger­mans once re­ferred to as the ‘cliff of win­ter’ be­cause, up un­til 1930, trav­el­ers from North­ern Europe would visit Capri dur­ing the off-sea­son to es­cape cruel winters and Italy’s tor­rid sum­mer. The walks will be devoted to au­tumn rit­u­als to of­fer vis­i­tors a perspective of the is­land. Un­til now, in Novem­ber, ev­ery­thing in Capri closed down un­til spring. We want to change things and ex­tend the tourist sea­son. This year, many restau­rants, bou­tiques and ho­tels will stay open un­til 11 De­cem­ber, re-open­ing once again on New Year’s Eve. In short, a re­ver­sal of trends!

Re­nato Es­pos­ito

Villa Kron­berg

Villa Ly­sis

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