Michela De Martino, 44, who with her sister and uncle owns Da Paolino, a former farm and bocce court that became a restaurant in the 1970s, said that about 80 percent of their customers are from the United States. Over the decades, those customers have included Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith and Uma Thurman.
Since travel restrictions were announced, she said, many Americans have been writing and calling, already making plans to eat at the lemon-tree-shaded restaurant in the summer of 2021.
A Symbol of the ‘Dolce Vita’
Americans, particularly famous ones, have been a dependable presence in Capri since the end of the Second World War. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, an oft-photographed visitor, made famous both a local style of sandal and a length of pants named after the island.
Frank Sinatra, Gracie Fields, and Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney recorded the same song about the island for their albums. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton visited the island’s popular beach club, the Canzone del Mare, in the early days of their relationship, when it was still somewhat of a secret.
More recently, Kylie Jenner celebrated her 22nd birthday on the waters surrounding Capri on a yacht that was sold for $126 million, Jay-Z and Beyoncé received a standing ovation when leaving a local restaurant, and Jennifer Lopez hopped onto a table to spontaneously perform “Let’s Get Loud” at Taverna Anema e Core, the island’s can’t-miss nightclub.
“Capri, in the imagination, is still linked to the ‘dolce vita,’” said Michela Giovinetti, 46, a location manager who has lived on the island for 20 years. “Historically, Capri was a symbol of freedom and simplicity and hedonism.”