The past, present and future of Marina Piccola flow fast, like waves crashing on the Siren’s rock, as we talk to Gregorio and Luigi Acampora, father and son, owners of “La Piazzetta Restaurant“. That fishing village, which was the landing place in the late 19th century of the poet-philosopher August Weber, who founded the Strandpension there, has always been a landmark of Capri’s hospitality and gastronomy.
Beginning in the 1930s, Mulese-Syrenean cuisine became the hidden desire of eccentric European nobility who launched the fashion for sea and sun bathing. The island of winter turned into the island of sunny beaches. The beautiful Margherita Mellino, the sensual mermaid of Marina Piccola, many island and foreign cooks, remember the sunny Gloria Magnus, delighted the palate of artists and princes, making that place enter the myth.
This was well understood by the English singer Gracie Fields who, after World War II, created the “Canzone del mare” the refined and happy landing place of Capri’s Dolce Vita and eccentric international jet sets.
It was right here that Gregorio, in 1978 began his adventure at Marina Piccola “Those were golden years,” Gregorio recalls, “I had worked at the Grand Hotel Quisisana and came from the school of the great Capri maîtres who taught me the art of hospitality, always one step behind, never intrusive but always vigilant and attentive“.
In 2000 Gregorio opened in Marina Piccola a restaurant overlooking the Faraglioni: “at the Piazzetta” Gregorio continues, “customers regain at the table the joy of enjoying food slowly, of talking at the table without stress“.
This idea of the joyous Capri symposium by the sea has found in young Luigi, a worthy heir.
Luigi has created attached to the restaurant a syrenic lounge bar that succeeds in sublimating the Capri style with modern and innovative architectural lines “I wanted to create this colorful and innovative space for the young people of Capri and I hope to organize cultural and fashion events in this venue that opens onto the sea“.
But it is on food that the confrontation between father and son becomes most interesting. Luigi’s passion is cooking and developing new dishes that have as their reference point the island’s age-old cuisine.
Over the past decades, gourmets from all over the world have delighted in Gregorio’s cult dishes. On the very rich menu there is never a shortage of house ravioli and scialatielli allo scoglio with squash blossoms and clams always accompanied by select wines from all regions of the peninsula.
Luigi’s new cuisine ranges from Raviolone di ricotta di bufala e gamberi with yellow and red tomatoes to tagliolini al nero with cuttlefish, yellow tomatoes and pistachio powder from Spaghettone peperoncino verde and mussels to Calamarata with sun-dried tomatoes and stale bread with Caprese herbs.
La Piazzetta restaurant opens in a landmark location that since the 1990s has been dedicated to Totò, who loved the Little Marina and its characters. So, don’t be surprised when between one dish and another, in enjoying the nectar of Bacchus you seem to see the Prince’s Genius Loci smiling happily at you.