With its towering cliffs and villages perched high on mountain slopes, like eagles’ nests, the Amalfi coast epitomises the Dolce Vita. It became fashionable in the 1950s, visited by Jackie Kennedy and Sophia Loren, and it has never gone out of style.
The Amalfi coast depends on tourism, which provides 90% of its revenue. But not everyone welcomes the arrival of the tourists. Costanzo finds the crowds insufferable, but he has no intention of leaving the island. He is a devout Christian and is the guardian of a small church high up in the hills of Capri. It is a refuge away from the masses.
Franco has managed to find the perfect balance. He makes his money from the tourists, but doesn’t have to deal with the crowds. His restaurant sits in a secluded cove which is not accessible by road. It’s pure luxury, even if it involves somewhat complex logistics. He travels by boat to buy supplies, he picks up holidaymakers from boats at sea, and offers a boat-taxi service to take his customers back.
Only a happy few have access to these isolated coves. Most of the tourists have to compete to find their own little patch of sand. Private beaches dominate the coastline, but a local collective are fighting to take some of the beach back for public use.