Monday, August 27, 2012

A Capri "Casa"


The island of Capri (accent on the first syllable) has always been a retreat for esthetes. The names of Norman Douglass, Axel Munthe, Graham Green, and W.H. Auden come to mind, having all of them been residents or at least regular visitors there over the years.

It's a fantasy island that allows you to make of it what your informed classic and nostalgic dreams suggested it might be.

The universally exotic, for instance, in which you all at once feel ubiquitous.

This was once the home of Raffaele La Capria, the Neapolitan author.

But now it's the holiday residence of friends of ours from Lucca, a generous and hugely hospitable couple whose artistic talents are everywhere evident here.

You see this talent in all the collectables which they've taken years to amass.

This is a kind of shrine to the author La Capria, whose typewriter  still sits on his very own desk left behind when he sold the house to our friends about fifteen years ago.

It's a house carved out of a rocky mountain and so the windows are on one side only.

But life on Capri happens outside, for the most part, as here on this charmed terrace whose decor places you on the threshold of all the world's color—the grand tour is complete and you're home now with your mementos!

This is my bedroom.

These are the visions. Certain characters out of Henry James would have called it a "scrapbook interior," without bothering to take a second look.

And there's a little pavilion of glass and wood in the garden. The owners' daughter, who is married to a Spaniard and lives in Madrid, did the bull fighter painting.

But the house is full of precious little paintings, like this 19th century gouche of the "Grotta Azzura."

A Capri cliff.

And so I leave you in this little shadow box of Capri life.


helen tilston said...

Good Morning Paul

As I sit my morning cappucino, I could ask for nothing better than this incredible post. The images have increased my heart beat and I am scrolling upward and downward and seeing something new in each image. This is "A Home". The owners taste is beautifully revealed in their collection. The oil painting by the owner's daughter is particularly meaningful and a masterpiece.
Thanks for sharing and I know I will be returning again to breath in the essence of Capri.

Helen xx

columnist said...

The views from the terraces would render me idle for the entire stay. What a delightfully charming house.

Parnassus said...

That house looks comfortable and inviting, and accomodates so many intriguing article without appearing crowded. Is that an American Belter sofa that made it to Italy?

The Devoted Classicist said...

What a charming house! I can only imagine the dreams one would have in that little blue bed!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Paul:
A Casa with a view....and what a splendid view it is. We are quite certain that we should be stunned by the beauty of it and should wish to linger and drink in the scenery at every possible opportunity.

We delight in seeing interiors filled with collections which reflect their owners' passions and tastes. They really do bring the house 'alive' and speak of lives well travelled and books well read.

We are certain that you will have enjoyed the most splendid of holidays with, we are sure, the most charming of hosts. A summer sojourn to savour.....

La Dolfina said...

Absolute perfection in my eyes!
I adore this little Casa,.
May I share it on my blog while linking back to you?
Your post is like a fantasy mini vacation... A perfect way to deal with a Monday!!!
XO from Caliornia

Paisley Curtain said...

A peaceful home in a very serene setting, even the dullest of minds would become creative after spending a day or two at the Casa.

best wishes

Mary Maki Rae said...

Delightful Fantasy Island indeed-!

Enjoyed the Pristine White Decor with the lively Red Accents - the Evocative Paintings - the Shell
Collections and that dreamy - Spellbinding Terrace-!!

A beautiful Post-!

Laurent said...

Especially shrewd conception, your feeling ubiquitous in such a setting - and possibly, momentarily, exuberantly 'back home' in Mill Valley, I sense, in the brilliant glass and wood pavilion. I'd have played out there all day, and have crept out to listen late at night. There's a release out there which restores, I think.

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

What a beautiful, warm and charming home in such a glorious setting. I love the eclectic collections: artwork, antiques, and objects. Your friends are kind to let us view their home. Thank you for sharing this gem in Capri.
Cheers from DC,
Loi Thai
Tone on Tone

Karena said...

Hello Paul I am so happy that Terri has introduced me to you site. This posting on Capri is so mesmerizing and I look further to much more!

Art by Karena

pve design said...

Normally when I go on vacation, I leave all my artwork behind as a way to recharge however, if I were there, I would be crying if I had left my watercolors at home.
I think I would be a painting machine.
How stunning and sweet is that spot. If you ever need a traveling artist to paint it all for you....why I would jump in a heartbeat~