ristorante Da Paolino per That’s Amore Capri

The restaurant Da Paolino for That’s Amore Capri: the testimony of Michela and Arianna, owners of the historic Capri business

There are realities on Capri that are real institutions: famous places that, with their history, have helped to make this beautiful island known in the world.  Among them is the restaurant Da Paolino: since 1976 a reference point for the protagonists of the jet set that, once on the island, want to taste the delicacies of Mediterranean cuisine. Today Michela and Arianna carry on with great success the family tradition; and confirm their love for the island as members of That’s Amore Capri.

You are both part of the association That’s Amore Capri, which organizes the exhibition. What does it mean for you to be part of this project?

Michela De Martino: “Participating actively in That’s Amore Capri means a lot to me, because I think it is important to give concrete support to initiatives like these, moved by a social purpose. Ever since Valerio Pagano conceived the project, I felt the duty to support it, as it was a matter of being part of a group whose aim is to help others through events of the highest profile, something that I really care about”.

Arianna De Martino: “I immediately believed in this initiative, as we are a group of entrepreneurs who are active both to bring quality events to Capri and both to help those in need; the beneficial purpose of the project, in fact, is the aspect that pushes me to continue to give my contribution every day”.

Being a member of the association is an important commitment, which you have taken without hesitation, despite the fact that your activity as owner of one of the most renowned restaurants on Capri already takes a lot of time and energy away. What drives you, despite this, to participate?

Michela: “It’s not easy for me to be able to reconcile everything, but when I think about the motivations that drive our group to organize this exhibition, I feel that it is important to continue to believe in this project and to give everything. I gladly give up some time that I could devote to myself, if that means using it to help others. Our role in the team in particular is to network with new partners and organize the gala dinner with which the calendar ends; being the owners of an important restaurant, we have the opportunity to make new contacts with ease”.

Arianna: “This initiative was born as a beautiful adventure, and every year it has proven to be able to grow and grow more and more. Of course, each year becomes more and more challenging, and requires more effort on our part; but the knowledge that our actions can help others pays off.  In addition, the event that is held every year “Da Paolino” takes place at the end of summer, and for us it is ideal, as it is a period, after the frenzy of summer, in which we, like all entrepreneurs from Capri, are more free to dedicate ourselves to similar projects”.

Arianna: “Questa iniziativa è nata come una bellissima avventura, e ogni anno ha dimostrato di poter crescere ed arricchirsi sempre di più. Ovviamente, ogni anno diventa sempre più impegnativo, e richiede maggiori sforzi da parte nostra; ma la consapevolezza che le nostre azioni possono aiutare gli altri ci ripaga pienamente. Inoltre, l’evento che si tiene ogni anno Da Paolino si svolge a fine estate, e per noi è l’ideale, in quanto è un periodo, dopo la frenesia della bella stagione, in cui noi, come tutti gli imprenditori capresi, siamo più libere per poterci dedicare a simili progetti”.

Right from the start, the group of founding members of the association That’s Amore Capri has proven to be a close-knit team, which has been able to work on the project with tenacity and professionalism. What memories do you have of the first years of the event? What difficulties and challenges did you have to face?

Michela: “Small difficulties can always come to the surface when we are preparing to do something so important, but when there is good will and commitment, no obstacle can ever be insurmountable. I consider myself a very determined person, always looking for a solution, even the most original one, to solve all the problems that may arise. Sometimes I would like to be even more present, but I know that I give my best in what I do and I am sure that my contribution is useful to the rest of the team”.

Arianna: “I remember that in the 0 edition of the festival we were not yet part of the project; there was this wonderful event at Marina Piccola, with the show Up & Down by comedian Paolo Ruffini. It was a very nice moment, and I remember I was happy to see that the island was hosting such initiatives.

Since then, I realized that That’s Amore Capri was a project to focus on, and that over time it would give even greater satisfaction”.

As per tradition, every year some of the events of the festival are hosted at the restaurant Da Paolino. Which ones do you keep the best memory of?

Michela: “For me it was the last event held at the restaurant as part of the exhibition That’s Amore Capri, with the presence of Gianluigi Lembo. His performance was so well received by the audience that he continued to perform until the morning. I think the best thing about the events hosted at the restaurant “Da Paolino” is that they are held in early autumn, usually in mid-October: this means that, although there is still a certain percentage of tourists, the majority of participants are from Capri. And this makes us very pleased, because it is like saying that, after a season dedicated mainly to tourists, we want to give an unforgettable evening to our fellow citizens”.

Arianna: “Both the events held at the “Da Paolino” restaurant were magical moments for me, with impeccable organization and great participation of people; I think the reason is because we were all there with the awareness of doing more than the usual evening of glamour: we were there for a dinner whose proceeds would be used for beneficial purposes, and this gave us a special predisposition of the soul. I think for example the event of two years ago, with Peppino Di Capri, as well as the one that remembered by my sister with Gianluigi Lembo… a different climate was felt in the air, because all the participants, including the audience, knew they were there to do their part”.

The exhibition That’s Amore Capri manages to bring concrete help to the families of children suffering from cancer thanks to the collaboration with the Soleterre Foundation. What do you think of their work?

Michela: “Theirs is a precious work, to which we should all be grateful: it reaches those in need in distant lands, but also those who are closest to us, because it tries to solve problems that could affect anyone, at all latitudes”.

Arianna: “What strikes me most about their work is how the support they give to the families of children with cancer is really widespread: they work in many parts of Italy and Europe, showing that solidarity has no borders”.

You are two energetic businesswomen who are pouring not only into your business, but also into the That’s Amore Capri project. What is the future of That’s Amore Capri for you? What should your next goals be?

Michela: “The vision shared by us members of That’s Amore Capri is to extend the tourist season until Christmas, creating events that could involve all tourist operators in Capri; the aim is, on the one hand, to ensure that the movement on the island in the summer does not stop so abruptly, and that it can continue to generate value on the territory; on the other, to encourage people to be supportive throughout the year, continuing to allocate a portion of the proceeds of the events to charity. What we dream of is a more active island, which directly involves the locals, and that makes us feel even more proud to belong to this magnificent land”.

Arianna: “I too believe that making Capri alive outside the summer season should be our primary objective. For example, holidays, such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve, could be used to create attractive events that may interest all audiences. At the same time, school children could be involved, to raise awareness of the work of Soleterre and make them come into contact with these important realities. In short, there are many ideas, and our enthusiasm also… I am sure that in the future new and interesting projects will see the light”.


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