Capri: the strange summer 2020

Capri, Arnaultville

Caprese summer LVMH branded. Da Aurora, Dom Pérignon and water pizza (which is not cooked in water, it is a very thin, good pizza with a lot of chilli pepper, from which you need to drink a lot and the witty definition that dates back to ancient times; today, however, in of prompt health, this idea of ​​water and presumed lightness takes a lot of hold on the patrons’ imagination).
From Riccio, on the other hand, sunbeds and cabins covered or painted in Toile de Jouy Dior for the whole summer season (same operation in Forte dei Marmi, in full pop-radio style: if you landed on the boat, as happened to us, you would see the ‘J’adior’ sign in bright letters on the ladder before the beach club tender has come to pick you up).

Aurora’s traditional water pizza

© Andrea Costa

The presence of the multinational LVMH begins to feel palpably on the island, as also happened in Saint-Tropez, although the purchase by Bernard Arnault of the Morgano group (Quisisana, Scalinatella, Flora, Casa Morgano, hotels from times before even the arrival of Axel Munthe on the island, with powerful library of anecdotes about the “vestals” described by Compton MacKenzie and their very intellectual brigand in the early twentieth century) has not yet been confirmed. Indeed, the Morgano family took care to officially deny it, except to continue to discreetly mention it with some old Capri and some historical guests. Certainly, and despite the extraordinary professionalism of the waiters and the kitchen brigade, the service begins to work in reduced ranks, an entire floor of the hotel is closed and for the first time in decades of frequenting we have noticed some signs of neglect in the corridors , proves that the maids work the bare minimum and that, therefore, nobody tells them anything if the laundry basket obstructs the passage of guests for days. A few days ago, the owners of a boutique in via Camerelle tried to organize a small cocktail by the pool, in the hope of compacting the few seasonal residents and offering them a minimum of entertainment in a summer in which the drop in turnover fluctuates between 70 and 90 percent less than last year: the Quisisana management was unable to respond to the request, citing very rigid shifts of staff presence.

It became very difficult to maintain an activity like this in the year of Covid-19 and of daily attendances of a level really never seen on the island (in the evening, the boutiques are all closed, and all have stopped offering champagne and refreshment to visitors, disheveled, vociferous and in slippers who, in reality, come in to enjoy the air conditioning, absently ask for the price of a perfume or a belt and just refreshed go out); in the case of the Morgano family, then, there is talk of disagreements between the branches of the two brothers Nicolino and Lucia, but you know how these things go, and to gather all the gossip of these days on the island you could really believe that the island is struggling to start again, and to offer a calendar of interesting events, also due to the disagreement between the administration of Capri and that of Anacapri. According to the major real estate experts, the value of Quisisana would currently be around € 200 million, about 50 less than four years ago, when the offer of an English fund for the whole group was rejected. Perhaps it would have been better to accept the offer at the time, because the attempt to sell some minor assets to prepare for the hotel renovation was not successful, and today the situation is starting to get heavy, while Arnault can certainly wait for another bit’. Meanwhile, the second richest man in the world, who plays tennis with the family of Alessio, has given Aurora a symbolic plaque “Dom Pérignon x Aurora”. Inside, hundreds of vintage 2010 bottles, totally white.

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010 and water pizza with burrata, shrimp carpaccio and lime zest. From Aurora

© Andrea Costa

Italian summer

Read also the Tips reportage on holidays in Italy: seaside destinations in boat and in Salento, the mountains ofAbruzzo and of Val d’Aosta.


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