If you were to choose three words to describe the Isle of Capri, probably the most popular would be: magnetic, romantic, blue.
Looking at Capri through the eyes of a resident is a very complex art, because they are at the sametime proud and critic of the place where they live.
Listening to the testimony of people like Mario and Charlotte, who made Capri theatre of one of the most memorable days of their life, however, it seems unanimously heavenly.
I meet them at the Connaught hotel bar, Carlos Place, luxury chest in the heart of Mayfair.
Charlotte Hamson, Canadian artist based in London, with a Master at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, 29 years old: a bright smile and honey-blond hair radiating her face. She is still excited when she talks about the wedding in Capri with Mario: a few more years, Italian charm and elegance, originally from Milan – you know the characters of Vanzina movies? – says ironically with his subtle British humor. Mr Ortelli is among the leading luxury goods analyst of Bernstein (therefore of the world).
“Mario has spent many summers travelling to Capri and he took me for the first time in summer 2014. I fell in love with both him and the place in the same long weekend.
I remember we had a memorable evening looking out over Marina Piccola and I told him if we do get married I want it to be here. So there you go almost one year later exactly we were married in Capri!
I had travelled around Italy quiet a few times but had never made it to Capri before Mario took me in 2014. My expectations were blown away there is something magical about the island. I am always happy to return home after a holiday but with Capri I don’t want to leave. Its simply wonderful” ,Charlotte declares. “Two friends of us met for the first time during our wedding suddenly fell in love in Capri, so maybe Love is in the air!
Charlotte and Mario were engaged for just under a year, first discussed getting married in Capri and a few weeks later Mario proposed on his Birthday in Milan with some of their closest friends.
But let’s listen to the newlyweeds’tale of their “ Caprese “wedding .
“We arrived 1 week before, in order to organize last details for the wedding. We stayed at Hotel Della Piccola Marina – as it was central and made doing last minute errands easy.
Then we had a family dinner on the Thursday evening at Panorama: it was fantastic as we had a large group of both Italian & Canadian family members. Our parents only met for the first time at this dinner! The Service was charming. Although we must say it tends to be so in most restaurants on the island.
Then we finished with cocktails at Salotto 42. We spent a few evenings there in the lead up to the wedding. We love Luca and had a rather memorable “Turban Night” on the wednesday in the lead up to the wedding.
Friday we had a welcome cocktail that turned into a party at Smeraldo. It was great fun and the perfect location as many guests came straight to after arriving from the ferry.
We were very touched that our family and friends truly made an effort with some guests travelling all the way from Australia, America, Canada, Thailand ( via Moscow *) and Turkey to name a few.”
“Whether they were coming for us or Capri I can’t say.”Charlotte adds smiling.
We started at Smeraldo at 7, for the sunset ,and ended up staying till about 12. Fantastic food, cozy fun sailor hat party with good music. Others who wanted to continue the party went to Anemaecore.
During the wedding we stayed at Caesar Augustus: top romantic view!
Therefore on the Saturday we both got ready there and the boys had cocktails on the beautiful balcony whilst the ladies dressed.
We had the old fiat of the 60’s – owned by Lorenzo De Gregorio- that took the boys to the church then came back and picked up my dad and myself.
The bridesmaids followed by car. We also had these american style cans that had been painted by friends & family who could not make it to the island. Lorenzo was so kind to attach them to the back of the car.
We were then married in the central Church by the piazzetta.
Afterwords we took the same car to Faro whilst the guests followed behind in transportation greatly organized by Capri Eventi. They chose for us also 2 exceptional hostess!
We had an aperitif at Faro followed by dinner, cake and dancing! We were very impressed by staff professionalist at the Light House and Nello D’Esposito was fantastic. I would recommend his incredible spot to anyone for weddings parties etc. Great vibe, beautiful view and impeccable service. Thank you Nello!
We really wanted a low key affair (as far as possible from something “institutional”) with close friends and family and I think we were able to make that happen.”
I saw a picture depicting an old woman making “pizza fritta”, which is part of Capri’s tradition. Were you looking for an authentic Mediterranean style wedding? In other words, something real and genuine?
“Yes we were” , Charlotte replies, “and I have to say the woman making “pizza fritta” was a touch added my Nello that was unexpected but very memorable for the guests. Its one of the things they still talk about.
I think in general things went better than I expected. I was a little worried at times as I was planning things from London and did not always know what the outcome was going to be. But in almost every occasion things were better than expected and people seemed to enjoy going the extra mile to make things special.
The one thing I would say I was worried about was decoration and then trying execute what I wanted from London was difficult. So I decided not to worry about it and go with a more natural vibe and I believe this was the best choice. Capri is so beautiful that you don’t need too do much.”
Which was the most touching moment of your wedding, when you felt the magic?
“Coming out of the church into the Piazza was very memorable as the emotion of the moment is pretty special. Although we discussed this later and it was hard for us to pick a moment really we had such a memorable time from the Thursday from our Parents first meeting to Friday’s party and the wedding on Saturday. We loved it all. If we had to do it again there are few things we would change and the little mishaps that happened along the way are often what make you laugh later.”
You will think, you know, a couple in love and happy.. they see the life as a bed of roses.
Well , then it will surprise you to read the impressions of Charlotte father, remembering his stay on the island:
Being in Capri is likened to the initial giddy weeks of being in love .All your senses are heightened .The sea is ridiculously turquoise .The cloudless sky is impossibly blue with somehow a suffusion of canary yellow.The air is crystal clear,coming straight off the ocean and just far enough away from civilization .The temperature is perfect .That crazy feeling of being six feet in the air is reinforced by the fact a lot of the time you are looking 2000 feet straight down. The Italians may not know how to govern themselves but they sure know how to live.
AnnaChiara Della Corte