Capri becomes the Capital of quality pizza: welcoming Ciro Oliva, Franco Pepe, and Enzo Coccia to the Island

May 21 2024, 13:42
In the shadow of the Faraglioni, quality pizza is claiming its space: the island is welcoming the creations of great Campanian masters

The island is becoming increasingly gourmet. Capri continues to raise the bar of its gastronomic offerings. While the annual summer controversy over the high costs of a vacation on the azure island is yet to reignite, new and prestigious openings are confirming the trend, further strengthening it. The undisputed star is pizza: under the Faraglioni, quality pizza is asserting itself. Forget the concessions to fast food tourism that threaten sustainability and are often met elsewhere with fried foods and street food. Not in Capri, not now. Thus, on the eve of summer, the island of Tiberius positions itself as the capital of the cuisine of the Gulf of Naples, despite the long-standing rivalry with nearby Ischia. Ischia will also see new openings, with the two-starred Nino Di Costanzo set to open a pizzeria with Ivano Veccia, stimulating debate as always.

Ciro Oliva in Capri (photo Roberto Salomone)

Concettina ai Tre Santi Opens in Capri

On June 1st, Concettina ai Tre Santi will open in Capri, already a pizza temple in the Rione Sanità of Naples. The Oliva family started this legendary journey in 1951, when Concettina gave pizzas on credit to the local people. The countdown has begun, and the pizzeria will be located near the Piazzetta in the premises of the historic Gemma. This will be a predominantly seasonal opening, as Capri typically closes in winter. The menu will feature traditional classics, from “Palla al centro” to “Sott e ngopp” (Casa Oliva’s montanara), along with “Ciro’s icons” and other staples like marinara and margherita, with some novelties.

The design will be inspired by the Mediterranean, with wood and colourful ceramics. Reservations will be mandatory. Ciro Oliva, the patron, expresses his excitement: “Since I was a boy, the island has always been a dream for me. I still remember the breathtaking beauty of the places, the warmth of the people, and the international dimension. Capri feels like home with its authenticity and hospitality. Here, we wanted to continue the path started by my family in Naples, aiming to make people happy with our food. Concettina ai Tre Santi has its own identity and pride, just like Capri.”

Ciro Oliva in Capri (photo Roberto Salomone)

Coccia brings more than just pizza to Residenza

But that’s not all. In early June, Capri will also celebrate the opening of Vico, a new pizzeria by Enzo Coccia, the man behind La Notizia in Naples and Vico (named after Vincenzo Coccia) in Rome. The venue will open in the outdoor area near Hotel La Residenza, close to the Piazzetta. It promises to be a small biodiversity oasis, not far from the busy Via Camerelle. “We’ve envisioned a menu deeply inspired by the local excellence of Capri, highlighting the lesser-known yet beautiful aspects of the island,” says Coccia. This includes the use of local extra virgin olive oil from L'oro di Capri and fresh fish.

The pizzas will be named after Capri’s landmarks and figures, and the menu will feature both hot and cold dishes with a focus on high-quality ingredients. The fior di latte from Agerola will be delivered daily. Coccia guarantees, “There will always be a resident Coccia here, whether it’s me or one of my sons, Andrea or Marco. Pizza is not just about brand, but about heart, mind, and hands.”

Coccia's Family

A touch of Pepe in the Capri Dolce Vita

Furthermore, in Anacapri, near the Blue Grotto, there’s anticipation for another significant opening linked to the Jumeirah Capri Palace. This already boasts the exclusive L'Olivo and Il Riccio restaurants. The latest addition will be “a-Ma-Re Capri,” a seafood osteria led by executive chef Salvatore Elefante, featuring twelve signature pizzas by Franco Pepe on the terraces of the Nettuno Beach Club. The opening is scheduled for June 7th. Pepe, recently back from Egypt, states, “I noticed a gap in the quality of pizza offerings on the island, which led to the idea of contributing with classic recipes from Pepe in Grani and a couple of new ones dedicated to Capri.”

In Marina Grande, Francuccio Capri will open in the historic L’Approdo restaurant, close to luxury yachts and boats. This initiative is led by Italian-American chef and artist Frank Prisinzano, already active in the hospitality and restaurant sector on the Amalfi Coast.

Flavio Briatore

Awaiting Briatore?

Rumours suggest that Flavio Briatore’s new Crazy Pizza might open soon, though possibly not in time for this summer. A familiar figure on the island, Briatore is expected to make a mark with a new venue targeting VIPs. Despite some purists’ reservations, Capri is rapidly assembling a mosaic of excellence. Last summer, Gennarino Esposito, a two-star Michelin chef, revamped the kitchen at the Hotel La Palma. Zuma has also reopened on the exclusive rooftop of the Capri Palace, offering high-profile contemporary Japanese cuisine. Capri, more than ever, remains at the centre of the world’s attention.

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