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By the Meditator Gunnar Adler-Karlsson
A park designed to aid meditation, in the vicinity of the Migliera Viewpoint
The history of the restaurant ‘da Gelsomina’ is one of smiles and hospitality, of simple gestures and good humour. It was towards the end of the nineteen fifties that Gelsomina and her husband Raffaele decided to set up a small refreshment stall amidst the grapevines and fruit orchards situated in the vicinity of Anacapri’s Belvedere della Migliera, so as to cater for those first tourists arriving on the island of Capri.
The determination shown in the realisation of this project was encouraged by one of the most eminent personalities living on the island of Capri at that time, the Swedish physician and writer, Axel Munthe, known for his love of this hidden, yet at the same time fascinating, part of Anacapri. Munthe was both friend and personal doctor of Filomena, Gelsomina’s mother, whom he mentioned in his book ‘History of San Michele’ and was, likewise, a keen supporter of her daughter’s enterprise.
Thus a small kiosk selling panini, drinks, wine, and home made dishes was born: the clients were quickly won over by the fresh cheeses, tasty sausage, and excellent preserves, such as the mouth-watering pickled aubergines. The fame of the kiosk spread to such an extent that the numbers of people wishing to taste the traditional cuisine of Capri soared and, unexpectedly perhaps, included a great number of locals all keen to savour Gelsomina’s ‘coniglio alla cacciatora’, ‘pollo al mattone’, ‘ravioli alla caprese’ and ‘spaghetti alla chiummenzana’: all dishes served at the restaurant to this very day.
Gradually the small kiosk for tourists was transformed in an elegant restaurant and became the preferred eating venue for many of those arriving on the island of Capri, this thanks to the tenacity and passion of Gelsomina and Raffaele, qualities shared by their son and his young family who now manage the establishment. Next to the highly acclaimed restaurant, a veritable tourist complex has developed with bar, large swimming pool, and a number of comfortable rooms for those wishing to stay overnight, all set within an extraordinarily beautiful natural landscape.
Da Gelsomina offers the warmest of welcomes, good food, and courteous hospitality in a truly relaxing environment.
Among the habitués of the complex we find the charming Swedish couple, Gunnar Adler Karlsson and his wife Marianna, who live in the neighbouring villa and are responsible for the creation of Anacapri’s Philosophical Park, a place for meditation and contemplation.