There are “Literary Caffes” and “Author’s Trattorie” in Italy, which go to prove that pages from history – literary or not – have been written whilst at table. Touwns and Cities which are proud of their histories have made it their business to collect documents and testimonies to exhibit with legitimate pride in prestigious publications.
Amalfi too, due to the curiosity which it inspires in collective imaginations around the world, has been the magical background for inspiration of great artists, starting with travellers doing the Grand Tour. There has been a more recent period however, the 60’s of the twentieth century, in which the tables at La Caravella were witness to cultivated and pleasant conversations of poets, writers, artists, people from the worlds of the cinema, the theatre, fashion and economics. I have been the welcoming host, attentive witness, enthusiastic coprotagonist.
Here I gathered the anhicipation of the Elegy to Amalfi by Salvatore Quasimodo. Here i listened to the anteprima of some of the loveliest lyrics from the Rhymes from a journey in the painted land from the warm voice of Alfonso Gatto. Here i allowed myself to become involved in the passionate joy of life of Alberto Bevilacqua. Here Diego Fabbri confided his secrets. Here i was enthralled by the poetic affability of two giants of the cinema: Federico Fellini and Alberto Lattuada.
Here, under the vigilant gaze of Lucio Amelio and Filiberto Menna, intellectuals of international level, I witnessed the birth of the extraordinary adventure of “Pop Art” with Andy Warhol, Duchamp, Kounellis and our own Agnetti, Pistoletto and Del Pezzo, with Marcello Rumma as a back-up and Amalfi reciting the role of world capital of avant garde art in direct contact with the great European capitals of culture and art and with New York envying its success.
Here, with the warmth of a good table as accomplice, Schubert and Litrico, the Fontana Sisters and Roberta da Camerino, Princess Galitzine and the Vergottini with the extraordinary managerial ability of Pino Correnti, transform a sliver of creativity of the “Made in Italy” which materialised in the colourful happening – festive and involving of the “Moda Mare” in the bay of the luminous city to the glory of the spring sunshine.
The role of honour of La Caravella not only boasts of the presence of renowned poets and writers, of famous characters from the world of cinema and show business but also of prestigious representatives of the International Jet Set. To enjoy a relaxing break and the reserved convivial atmosphere, Paola Ruffo di Calabria, the Queen of Belgium, graced us with her presence, Aldo Moro, Jacqueline Kennedy when she was First Lady of the United States and Gianni Agnelli, the lawyer and father of the FIAT.
All of them left Amalfi with the image of the stupendous panoramas in their minds and the memory of the tastes and recipes of La Caravella’s traditions completing a pleasant memento of the warm and exclusive hospitality in their hearts.
I am the proud witness and custodian of these memories.
Manager of local tourist board from 1963 to 1972
from “Cucine da Nobel 2002”