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Indagare Insiders: The Women Behind Three of Capri’s Chicest Shops

The women behind three of Capri’s chicest shops reveal a few of their favorite things to do on the island.

For a full list of Capri shops, read Indagare’s Top Shopping Guide.

Helen White, Cabana Capri

Helen White, a London-based New Yorker, started Cabana in 2014. She now has shops in Capri, Italy and St. Moritz, Switzerland, and a selection of custom homeware from both the Capri and St. Moritz shops can be bought through the gift shop at the Ritz Paris. An additional “town-and-country” shop location is currently in the works. Cabana also hosts invitation-only trunk shows twice yearly in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

How long have you been in Capri?
My shop in Capri is on its fifth year.

What is your favorite aspect of spending time on Capri?
Being on the island on a summer’s evening—the smell of the jasmine and figs, the coolness after a hot and humid day, the stillness after a clamorous day at sea…

What should every visitor be sure to do while on Capri?
Have a Spritz or a Negroni in the Piazzetta. If you have the stamina, take a walk along the Pizzolungo footpath, where you can spy Casa Malaparte and see the views towards Positano and the Sorrentine Peninsula. And if you are a particularly good walker, hike the Passetiello path to see a 360-degree panorama of the island from Monte Solaro.

What inspired you to start Cabana?
The idea of the travel ‘find’ and shopping while on holiday. We spend so much time shopping online in our homes at midnight that visiting a bricks-and-mortar shop is one of the rare occasions that we make the time for while on vacation. The experience of being in the moment to focus on a fun and frivolous activity, discovering unique pieces of the material world.

What are your favorite restaurants in the area?
In Capri, the best fish restaurant is literally at the fishmonger–La Pescheria Le Botteghe (Via Le Botteghe, Via le Botteghe, 19). It’s super casual and small (20 people, max) and no reservations. You can see chef Milo cook in the open kitchen. Order the daily specials, particularly the pesce crudo. Keeping with the small and charming vibe, go to Pulalli Wine Bar (Piazza Umberto I, 4), literally under the clock tower in the Piazzetta. Have a glass of the Falanghina and a plate of spaghetti al limone and spy on everyone walking through the square. Otherwise, Panorama serves the best spaghetti alle vongole and salt-encrusted orata. For some of the best food in the area and not necessarily on Capri, I go by boat to Lo Scoglio (Via Mulo, 63) and Quattro Passi (Via Amerigo Vespucci, 13N), both near Nerano. Lo Scoglio serves the best sea-to-table and best farm-to-table with the freshest fish and vegetables from their organic garden. Quattro Passi is more formally casual and has a remarkable wine cellar.

Favorite rituals?
Saying hello to all the Gargiulos at La Fontelina restaurant and beach club at the beginning of a new season, when everyone and everything is fresh—and enjoying the first pacchero allo scorfano of the season. As well as taking a walk along Via Tragara to see the Faraglioni rock formations at dusk.

Favorite shops?
Of course—mine! Cabana (Via Fuorlovado, 1)has a selection of homeware that you can’t find anywhere else in the world–from hand-painted Limoges porcelain to custom Murano glassware and hand-embroidered linens. I work with the top European artigiani to produce special commissions and custom pieces in porcelain, ceramic, glass and straw–so sky’s the limit, if it’s technically possible. Supporting Caprese, I think Farella is creative for its custom cashmere ponchos in rainbow hues; Laboratorio Capri, for Michele’s one-off graphic blankets and custom straw totes; La Perla Cultivada, for custom jewelry commissions made of coral, turquoise and pavé diamonds that are produced in Costanzo’s Torre de Greco workshops.

Related: Just Back from Southern Italy: Where to Eat and What to Do in Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast

Margherita, Gaetana, Elisabetta and Maria Farella of Farella, Capri

The four sisters, who design for Farella, got their start in knitwear, thanks to a gift from their mother of a Passap knitting machine, which then led to weaving on handlooms and the formation of their textile studio on Via Valentino Capri. They create bold and colorful cardigans, twinsets, jackets, shawls, ponchos and tunics. 

How long have you been in Capri?
The business started in April 1990, it is a family business and the family has been in Capri for many generations.

What inspired you to start Farella?
We were inspired by our mother—she is an incredible tailor and she taught us the value of work and the value of beautiful things.

What is your favorite aspect of spending time on Capri?
Definitely the mix between life and nature. The world comes to Capri, but despite that, you can have your personal corners surrounded by sea and sky.

What should every visitor be sure to do while on Capri?
Go to see the Blue Grotto, which is an amazing place with the most incredible color. Then go to the east side of the island to see the sunrise—an amazing experience. Live the Piazzetta, the people and the night, but also have time for the landscapes and the magical places like Villa Lysis, up the hill.

Do you have favorite restaurants in the area?
We love Aurora Restaurant, which is on Via Fuorlovado, the same street as our shop, and we also love Buca di Bacco, which is very traditional and so good (Via Longano, 35)!

Favorite rituals?
Coffee every morning at Al Piccolo Bar in Piazzetta, gelato every afternoon at Buonocore. Life is so delicious!

Favorite shops?
We love Blu (Via le botteghe 57), because you can find there so many interesting brands.

Related: Naples Travel Tips

Grazia and Marica Vozza of Grazia e Marica Vozza, Capri

In 1999, the Vozza sisters launched a small studio; a few years later they opened their gallery store on Via Fuorlovado to showcase their unique, chunky jewelry, inspired by nature and authentic symbols of the island of Capri, such as a Moorish window frame or an unusual architectural shape. Grazia’s daughter, Carolina, now also designs jewelry and they have shops in New York at Bergdorf Goodman and on Via Margutta in Rome.

How long have you been in Capri?
We have been doing our jewelry business in Capri since 1999 and we can’t wait to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

What inspired you to start Grazia e Marica Vozza?
The main inspiration came from the incredibly stunning natural environment of the island, along with its eclectic architecture. Actually, the latter gave origin to the logo of Grazia & Marica Vozza.

What is your favorite aspect of spending time on Capri?
Capri is the perfect spot for those who like indulging in nature, but it is also an ideal place for lovers of shopping.

What should every visitor be sure to do while on Capri ?
You can’t leave Capri without seeing the Blue Grotto, having a boat tour around the island, tasting its traditional dishes and enjoying the sunset by the Lighthouse area.

Do you have favorite restaurants in the area?
The most typical restaurants in the area, where you can enjoy traditional, genuine food from the Campania region are Aurora and Villa Margherita (Via Campo di Teste, 4).

Favorite rituals?
More than rituals we have a motto: Work with passion and honesty.

Favorite shops?
In the street where our store is located and in the nearby area, you can find a number of artisan shops selling traditional Capri products (handmade sandals, knitwear, bags, perfumes, etc.). Among them we can certainly mention: FarellaBlu (Via le Botteghe 57) and Laboratorio.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Capri. Our dedicated trip designers can match you with the best hotels and restaurants and plan special activities.

– Blair West on July 11, 2018

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