Everyone was in Capri.Only one was missing: Wolfgang von Goethe.The boat, with which he sailed through the isle of the poets and lovers on the 30th March 1787 and again on the 16th May 1787,(I had a wonderful opinion only for the moment to enjoy, but the seasickness suddenly assaulted me), was on the second crossing among the steep rocks, when he became shipwrecked. So, Capri becomes for Goethe “an italian voyage” and the “dangerous rocky isle”.He was “very happy to leave it behind him”. In this way, he lost the chance to see the ideal place of the Italians. An isle, that later would stand out for its fashion, its life style and its high society. But, stop! Before the arrival of Sophia Loren and the invention of the “capresi trousers”, we must explain who we have to thank for its 10 square km considered to be magical. Neither the great stars nor the small stars were the discoverers of the Legend, but the youngest unknown of the romantic poets and geologist for hobby August Kopish, the author of the poem “ The gnomes of Colonia.”As all the Romantics, he was in search of the inspiration too:as blue as the strength of “nostalgia”,of the infinite and of the death too. He was enchanted by the shining blue of the sea. He listened to the “caprese”fisherman’story about a grotto inhabited by mermaids and monsters. The fearless swimmer let himself be carried away by waves into the grotto, one Sunday of 1826, and this was the moment of its discovery.
With the Blue Grotto and the Romantics came the hour of the birth of Capri tourism.
The Capresi bowed down before the German discoverers with a plate in the “Piazzetta”, the mythical small square of the center of Capri. The Piazzetta with the three Cafès has become the meeting-point of the romantics from all the world, who used to come to the isle during the winter.Somebody believed to be an artist, only because he lived on a magic isle. It is wonder. Isn’t it ? Any point of the isle is charming because of its beauty. The image opens on a model of Mediterranean garden paradise, created by man. Here there is the city of Capri, placed on Mt. Saint Michele, as God wanted, hanging in the sky. In the other direction vertically on the mountain, there are lemon trees and flowers kissed by the sun. In the middle, the noisy and famous funicular railway goes through. The clear blue of the sky opens on the two most important streets of Europe:
Camerelle and Emanuele street. Who is not bewitched by the traditional shoemaker workshops and by the exclusive boutiques? By the cashmere, the high fashion, Capri perfumes? Or by Ferragamo? The old temple of the fashion fades away into Buonocore Ice-Cream. It approches the nostalgia of Capri of the 50’s and the moment of great charm. In the 50’s and 60’s, there were Hollywood actors, rich industrialists, who announced to the world that they came to Capri. The sex-symbol Jane Mansfield wearing “caprese” trousers with the long legs in a film called “The Wayward Bus” and Audrey Hepburn , who made the capresi trousers with twinset and slippers suitable to society life. The feeling of Capri extended with the presence of Sofia Loren.Thanks to Sofia, the divine star, everyone dreamed Capri and its fashion, symbol of a whole generation. Nowadays, in summer, this style of life comes back in summer months among the high fashion and Vip society and among the lemon ice-creams and champagne at will. The 15.000 tourists, that every day come from the overloaded means of transport, don’t have anything to do with the isle reality. The souvenir hunters lengthen in the four main points of the isle: Marina Grande, Marina Piccola, Capri and in the smaller sister Anacapri. Also the tourists of the North, who have been coming to visit Capri for ten years, exhilarated by so much beauty, go away without injuring the walls of the villas and without destroying the nature. At Marina Grande there are the shiny boats of old-fashioned, in ordered rows in classic mahogany or teak style.You can imagine that on one of those boats there was Brigitte Bardot in a bikini and with a silk foulard in the wind, whit her South American friend Porfirio Rubirosa, who was proud to be the last playboy of the 60’s. He was on Capri too. Julia Roberts, Mariah Carey, Harrison Ford, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Armani and Valentino have appeared in the square. The tourists guides describe that among Capri’s beauty, the Faraglioni rise as giants in the sea among the joyful waves, as in a dream. Rocks from wich the marmaids of the Odyssey, called with their songs, nowadays is Luigi Beach. Entrance and beach umbrellas cost as much as the beautiful celebrities, who sit under them with a brand name bikini. You can drink a Bellini and you can see through Gucci glasses. The ruines of Villa Jovis overlook the mountain whose cliffs drop to the sea, they date from the time of Tiberius Emperor, who used to command the fortune of the world.In this place you can find good company. Only before the Certosa, the most snobbish people become humble before so much natural beauty. Axel Munthe, Thomas Mann, Graham Green, Alfred Krupp, Joseph Beuys, Maxim Gorkij, Pavel Kohut, were all present and longing to create something: some wanted to build an ideal house, or to write a book, or a poetry, others to paint a picture.Only one person gave sorrow to the isle: the singer Rudie Schuricke, with his song on the sun of Capri. When the sun sets on the sea, it’s a magnificient show that a singer cannot ever describe. Imagine the Schuricke idyl of Capri fishermen, lemon trees blossom, men driving Ford Capri cars, and children tasting orange and yellow ice-cream. This is Capri.