Da Paolino Restaurant
Capri - Italy
Know’st thou the land where the pale citrons grow?
Paolino De Martino was often found reminiscing about the past, and the times when he used to sit in the gentle sea breeze, in the bright Capri moonlight, a light so bright that it lit up the island’s Palazzo a Mare district, as if were day.
It is unlikely that Paolino knew much of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and so when a somewhat more learned friend recited the opening stanza of the great 18th century poet’s Mignon’s Song – “Know’st thou the land where the pale citrons grow… thither with thee, O, thither would I wend!” – quite understandably his thoughts went not to Goethe’s allusion to Italy, but rather straight to his own beloved lemon trees.
Under a sky of lemons my love, how I should love you…
It was under these lemon trees, the branches of which formed a canopy so thick that even the most persistent of rains could barely make its way through, that Paolino opened his simple little restaurant. The first customers were all life long friends; elderly gentlemen stopping off for a bite of traditional island cooking on their way to play bowls.
At Paolino’s restaurant, the freely flowing wine was produced from the grapes grown in the nearby vineyard and the fish caught just a few hours previously by the fishermen of Marina Grande. In no time at all, everybody wanted to eat under Paolino’s lemon trees, which were not far away from the playing field (where the kids of Capri played soccer), on the road which turns in to a steep flight of steps descending to the sea and the Baths of Tiberius.
Romantic, gorgeous, delicious. Truly unmissable!
l cancello di ferro battuto, nella piccola stradina di Palazzo a Mare che divide lussuose ville da orti e giardini, si apre sulla gran terrazza ricoperta da alberi di limone, i cui rami quasi toccano i tavoli illuminati da lampade in maiolica e candele artigianali.
Oggi il giardino di limoni di Paolino è ancora là, a quattro passi dal mare. E al ristorante gestito dal figlio Lino e dalle nipoti Michela e Arianna arrivano regnanti e attori, politici e musicisti, calciatori e intellettuali.
Impossibile elencare tutti i personaggi che hanno gustato i ravioli capresi di Paolino tra cui Steven Spielberg, Greg Berlandi, Ryan Cavanaugh, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Giulia Roberts, Richard Gere, Nicolas Cage,Tom Cruise, Balthazar Getty, Mariah Carry, Kardashian, Elton John, Luca di Montezemolo, Della Valle, Ferrari, Swarosvki, Edwige Fenech, Desquared, e Dolce & Gabbana. E di tutti Lino conserva una dedica sul grande libro che, dal 1978, custodisce i ricordi dei suoi ospiti.