In the medieval heart of CAPRI, an eighteenth-century building with multiple vocations, where architecture and nature interact. A place where the colors and shapes of the island’s tradition echo, but also suggestions of distant cultures.
On the Faraglioni of Capri lives a rare blue lizard that camouflages itself with the sky and the sea: it is found only here, on these rock peaks that rise majestically from the water. Its color is called “Cerio blue” in honor of the doctor and naturalist Ignazio Cerio, the first to discover and describe it in 1870. And this intense shade, unique in the world, inspired the interiors of the new Iki Capri space, inaugurated in July inside Palazzo Vanalesti, in Piazzetta Cerio: a project born from the love for the island that combines art, design and Japanese cuisine.
The halls of the eighteenth-century palace, characterized by very high vaulted ceilings, have been transformed into a restaurant, Iki. Not only a Japanese trattoria but also an art gallery and a design shop, thanks to the intuition of the architect and designer Francesca Faraone and Massimiliano Neri, a visionary entrepreneur and pioneer of Japanese cuisine in Southern Italy. “The project stems from the collaboration with the Ignazio Cerio Foundation and is connected to the homonymous Natural History Museum in the square,” explains the architect. The goal is to integrate its cultural activities through an innovative space, but deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of Capri.
Iki’s architecture is inspired by the philosophy of Edwin Cerio, architect and son of Ignazio, who explained in his writings: “I have created the completely architectural illusion of living in a village whose houses are connected by plant architecture, pergolas and climbing plants, vines and roses “. «We are in medieval Capri, in an ancient palace whose terrace overlooks Punta Tragara and offers exceptional views. This is why I wanted to create a space in which nature and architecture are in balance, while at the same time enhancing the majestic interiors ”, explains Francesca Faraone. On the terrace, bougainvillea pergolas and plant structures surround the tables with a light iron structure and the back of the bar, designed by Faraone. The floor and the counter are also made to measure, with hand-painted ceramic tiles with geometric designs by the young designer Rosalinda Acampora. The colors – blue, white, green – reflect the bright shades of the surrounding landscape . In the inner room, which is both a restaurant and an art gallery, a grand piano and the large “Cerio blue” sofa with a versatile shape, designed by Francesca Faraone and made to measure for Iki Capri, dominate. Art is the real protagonist here.