Grammy Award-winning soprano Sumi Jo's nautical entrée
The Positano party scene from above
Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi in Hugo Boss, Bruno Frisoni in Gucci
The wedding couple, Alvise Orsini & Geoffroy van Raemdonck, both in Ralph Lauren
Thessa Theolier, Jacques Garcia
Asli Tunca, Bolka Basaran
Sea-faring: fresh oyster and urchin apps
La Praia revelry
Duke Guido Torlonia in vintage Pucci, Sumi Jo in Valentino
HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia
Richard Mackin Poole, Gabi Wagner
Robert & Siri Cope, Lady Farley and daughter Laura
Only in the charming coastal Italian town that has drawn royalty, movie stars, and socialites for decades could an opera diva arrive via boat to perform at a party where champagne is served alongside crates of sea urchins. PaperCity European editor at large Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi reports from a positively dazzling Positano fête.
Venetian Countess Georgina Brandolini d’Adda moored her yacht in the bay of Positano and arrived on the small beach of La Praia by tender. Other guests descended the cliffs of the Costiera Amalfitana riding Vespas in true Italian style. No matter their mode of transport, what guests found was the small bay transformed, resembling a scenic fisherman’s village from the 1960s.
The celebration for the wedding of Paris–based interior designer Alvise Orsini and Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Ralph Lauren’s president for Europe, was choreographed to perfection, evoking la dolce vita in spades: the kind of uncomplicated, carefree, and fun glamour only possible when great friends, amazing food, and a perfect location magically combine. In breaking with nuptial tradition, the couple tied the knot privately and decided an Italian party months later was the best way to revel.
Surely Orsini was inspired in his vision for the night by the intriguing past residents of these shores: Coco Chanel owned a small apartment pied dans l’eau here, Franco Zeffirelli’s and Sophia Loren’s homes are just around the corner, and Rudolpf Nureyev’s private island Li Galli rests on the horizon toward Capri.
Yards of fishermen’s nets draped the small beach structures, old wooden boats casually decorated lounging areas, hundreds of candles and strands of garden lighting illuminated the bay, and long tables were set for dinner. The freshest oysters and sea urchins were served on the beach, accompanied by liters of Breton Fils Champagne. Stunning pastas, local fish dishes, and decadent desserts spilled from the kitchen of trattoria Armandino, while Neapolitan street singers amused international guests including HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, and Bruno Frisoni, designer for the fashion house Roger Vivier.
The showstopper was surely Grammy Award-winning soprano Sumi Jo, who floated toward the beach like a Madonna carried in procession on a boat, singing live arias to serenade the happy couple. Now, that’s amore!
Costiera Vademecum: The Essential Guide
Le Sirenuse. Best hotel in Positano, owners Carla and Antonio Sersale are the chicest and most welcoming friends you can have on the Costiera — and they have a soft spot for Texans. Have a drink on the newly opened terraced bar Franco’s.
Villa TreVille. Only five luxury rooms in what used to be opera director Franco Zeffirelli’s home on the water, designed by Renzo Mongiardino. If you are planning to propose, this must be the spot to secure a yes.
Casa Privata. This is now the best-kept secret in Praiano. With its own descent to the water next to a medieval tower, it’s private, elegant, and peaceful.
Casa Angelina. With a perfect location, this is another great option with its modern design and stunning views.
Fetch a water taxi. The best food on the coast is mostly reachable only by water.
• Spaghetti with pesto di friarielli at Laurito
• The best fish crudo at La Tonnarella
• Spaghetti ai ricci (sea urchin) at Il Pirata in Praiano
• Paccheri with Ricciola ragout at Armandino in Praiano
• Pasta alle zucchine at Lo Scoglio in Nerano