Capri, Ischia offer location beauty, history

In 1963, Jean-Luc Godard chose Capri as the place to shoot his now recently restored Brigitte Bardot starrer “Contempt,” in which the Italo isle was the mythical backdrop for a fictional “Odyssey” adaptation.

These days Capri is the setting for “Capri,” Italian pubcaster RAI’s ratings-reaping TV skein, now heading into its fourth series. “Capri” is co-produced with the Campania Film Commission.

And even though almost two-thirds of the production for this hot Italo show, centered around amorous intrigue on the romantic rock, is actually shot on Campania’s Amalfi coast, Capri still serves as its key catalyst.

Our islands, especially Capri and Ischia, have become proper brands, known at a global level for their breathtaking beauty and the appeal of their lifestyle, which give film and TV productions an added value,” boasts Campania Film Commission topper Maurizio Gemma.

Ischia, known for its food, beachfront thermal baths and ancient Spanish Castello Aragonese castle, served recently as setting for Mediaset’s 10-part serial “I delitti del cuoco” (Crimes of the Cook), which centers on a detective-turned-chef who mixes crimesolving with haute cuisine.

It also provided a sensual setting for part of Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Gemma points to the nearby isle of Procida as another of Campania’s outstanding cinematic spots. Michael Radford’s foreign Oscar-winning ‘Il Postino’ was shot there.

Campania’s two main islands also host two increasingly important Italian fests, Capri Hollywood and Ischia Global, both dedicated to creating a business and creative bridgehead between Hollywood and Italy’s film and showbiz community.

Last year’s 14th edition of Capri Hollywood, which runs off-season shortly after Christmas and always comprises a big new year’s bash, saw A-list talent such as Samuel L. Jackson, Julie Taymor and Mariah Carey disembarking alongside heavyweight industryites, including Hollywood producers Avi Lerner and Heidi Jo Markel. Mark Canton and Ryan Kavanaugh are regular aficionados.

Sister fest Ischia Global, which runs in July, is also always packed with Yank stars and industryites blatantly enjoying the event’s holiday vibe while hobnobbing with their Italo counterparts in what TV journo Pascal Vicedomini, who heads both, touts as “an ideal meeting of art and friendship.”

Campania certainly lacks no talent for self-promotion, successfully pushing God-given locations, such as its classy isles.

And there’s no doubt the locals, while certainly eager to make a buck, are also often equipped with a sunny disposition that comes with the territory.

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