If you’re planning to visit the exquisite island of Capri then the Villa Brunella is where you have to stay! The Villa Brunella is the best boutique hotel in Capri because it embodies everything you could want in a fantastic accommodation location: 20 huge rooms each one different from the next, a private swimming pool, exquisite food and one of the best views on the entire island.
The Villa is completely owned and managed by the original owners, a local Capri family. The parents, Brunella and Vincenzo, are less active in the day-to-day management as they once were and Villa Brunella is now mostly run by their three Sons: Luigi, Massimo and Salvatore.
In today's podcast episode Michele di Sarno, part of the extended "Villa Brunella family" and I talked all the Villa and what goes into making it the best boutique hotel in Capri.
All about the Villa Brunella
There are 20 rooms to choose from and each one is completely unique with its own gorgeous tiles and furnishings. All the rooms are enormous, about 40 m² each.
The philosophy at Villa Brunella is to maintain tradition but continue to surprise the customers. Returning customers will find the same rooms year after year, but with something new and delightful added in each room. It might be new furnishing details like lamps, or a beautiful new bedspread. Almost all hotels have rooms lined up along a central hallway, but not so at Villa Brunella. The Villa is laid out in such a way that it almost seems like you are staying at your own private home. Because the rooms are so gorgeous frequently customers become attached to a room and sometimes they then compete for the room they have come to know and love!
The Villa Brunella is terraced on three levels, so as you enter from the Via Tragara you first find the restaurant off to your left, and then as you descend the stairs you next reach the reception area and terrace, and then further down you reach the private swimming pool and the guest rooms. Were you to head all the way down you would reach Marina Piccola, one of the loveliest and most spacious inlets on the entire island. Here you will often find sailboats and other boaters who pass through for the day to enjoy this gorgeous spot on the Island of Capri.
Every time I visit Capri I make sure to have a meal at the Villa Brunella. I devour the magnificent view and enjoy a luscious meal filled with both traditional dishes, but again following the philosophy of the Villa always some culinary surprise and menu change from the previous year. The chef, Antonio de Simone, has been the chef at Villa Brunello for several decades and in the off-season he spends his time working on new recipes and incorporating special ingredients into his dishes. During high season he lives at the Villa Brunella, but otherwise he spend his time between Naples and Sorrento. Both cities are full of wonderful ingredients like local Gragnano pasta and fabulous seafood year-round.
If Antonio makes spaghetti with clams count on only the very best verace clams and wonderful Toricco gragnano pasta. The recent meal I had at Villa Brunella included some delicious marinated anchovies served with peperoncino (hot chili pepper) threads: spicy hot red pepper threads so thin that they look just like saffron threads. Not only is this dish beautiful but the threads add just a touch of heat to the dish.
Signature Dishes on the island of Capri
Chef Antonio always has Capri’s three major signature dishes on the menu: Insalata Caprese, Ravioli Caprese and Torta Caprese.
Insalata Caprese is a cold dish of local buffalo mozzarella slices served with alternating layers of fresh Caprese tomatoes, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and topped with fresh basil leaves.
Ravioli Caprese are unlike any other ravioli you will ever taste. The dough closely resembles a dumpling dough, made from flour, butter and boiling hot water. The ravioli filling is made from local buffalo mozzarella, caciotta (a semi-soft cheese aged for just a few months) and fresh marjoram. Ravioli Caprese are always served with a delicate tomato sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
The Torta Caprese is a rich and dense dark chocolate cake made from finely ground almonds, butter, sugar and eggs and then sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar. It’s by far my favorite chocolate cake and if you’re looking for a gluten-free delicious dessert then this is it because there is no flour in the recipe.
There are a few interpretations of the history of this wonderful cake, but the one that makes the most sense is that it was first made and created right here at the Villa Brunella. Here is the recipe and history.
The View at Villa Brunella, Capri
Villa Brunella is located right on the quiet and peaceful Via Tragara, just a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the busy Via Camerelle that’s full of lovely boutiques and shops. And just a few minutes further and you’re right in the central Piazzetta di Capri full of street cafes and shops where people meet up for an ice cream, coffee or cocktail. From this piazzetta you can take the funicolare (cable car) to head down to the port, or grab a cab or bus to go up to the panoramic Anacapri.
Head in the other direction on Via Tragara from Villa Brunella and you’re immersed in the natural beauty of the island with breathtaking views just about everywhere you look.
One of the most spectacular views on the entire island of Capri is right at the Villa Brunella, another reason it's the best boutique hotel in Capri. The restaurant has windows on all three sides so no matter where you sit you have a magnificent view.
Booking at the Villa Brunella
The villa and the restaurant are open from April to late October, High season are the summer months and you should book a year in advance. For all other months plan to reserve 3 to 4 months in advance.
More about Capri
Shirley Hazzard is a wonderful author and one of her delightful books is about Graham Greene and his time spent on the Island of Capri: "Greene on Capri".
If you'd like to experience a week on Capri then you might enjoy this Weeklong Food Holiday on Magical Capri.
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