At Old World Stoneworks, we like to capture the mood of each of our beautiful cast stone fireplace mantels when we name them. This week we’ll look at the Italian island that lends its name to a mantel with fresh, clean and simple lines: The Capri.
This small island is only 10 square kilometers, but has a big personality. Located off the southern coast of Italy, it has two main towns, the centrally located Capri, and Anacapri, which sits at a higher elevation. Nightlife lovers book a hotel in Capri. Those who favor quiet choose Anacapri. Springtime is the best season to visit the island, as the weather is mild and the crowds are sparser than in summer. If you really want to explore and unwind, be sure to stay for at least three nights. Winter is too rainy for most tourists; many hotels and B&Bs close for the season.
Archeologists have unearthed amulets, bronze artifacts and Neolithic tombs, proving the island’s enduring popularity. Visitors can now see these finds in the Ignazio Cerio Museum.
When Caesar Augustus visited Capri in 29 BC, he was so charmed that he traded Ischia to get it. After Caesar’s demise, his successor, Tiberius, added 12 villas during the construction boom of 27-37 AD. But life on Capri had its challenges and menaces, such as pestilence, pirate raids and not-so-friendly competition between Capri and Anacapri.
Tourism arrived in the 1820s, with Hotel Pagano’s, Capri’s first hotel. Writers and other artists sought the island’s solitude and simplicity in the twentieth century. Two literary standouts are Edwin Cerio, a native of the island, and Swedish writer, physician and psychiatrist Axel Munthe, who embraced Capri as his own.
Capri offers plenty of beaches, shopping and upscale dining. But its most famous attraction is the Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzura. Tourists hire boats to row them into this marvel of blueness.
The 12-minute ride on the Monte Solaro chairlift offers spectacular island views. You can ride both ways or opt to walk down and stop by the hermitage of Cetrella, where Franciscan and Dominican friars have their spiritual retreat, church and chapel.
The Villa San Michele in Anacapri is the former home of Axel Munthe. The light-filled house was built atop ancient ruins, a process documented in Munthe’s book The Story of San Michele. Visitors can see artifacts dug up on this site.
Ever had a caprese salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves? That salad is native to Capri. Ravioli caprese, filled with parmesan and caciotta cheese and marjoram, is from Capri, too. Other crowd pleasers include a lemon liqueur called limoncello and the sugar-dusted chocolate and almond cake called a torta caprese.
Can you see why we named our lovely Capri fireplace mantel after such a fabulous island? If you want to capture the lemon-scented flavor of an Italian island in your home, give us a call. We’re confident you’ll love Capri – the island and the mantel – as much as we do.
If you admire the look of the Capri, stay tuned-in to our blog as we’ll be releasing new designs to our line soon that were created by modifying some of our most popular designs, like the Capri!