We talked to a Naples-based freelance stylist and travel fanatic who recently co-founded her very own brand, Sartoria Nomade: meet Mirta Robiony.
Falling in love can often lead us to move to other towns or cities and this was the case for Mirta Robiony. A commercial stylist who with roots in Rome, Mirta fell in love with a Neapolitan, his Mediterranean spirit and the city itself. Now based in Naples, Mirta spends her time working between the iconic pearl of the south and Rome, as well as travelling around the Costiera enjoying the beauty that is the Mediterranean sea.
What has led you to spend your everyday life between Rome and Naples, instead of Milan, considering you work in fashion?
When I had to choose a fashion school, my choice was the IED in Rome because we have a family home in the historic center, close to Piazza Venezia. Having studied there most of my contacts were in Rome so I started working as a stylist assistant for the productions coming from Milan to shoot editorials starring actors and singers. A few years later I fell in love with a Neapolitan like me, whose job was already well established in the city, and so I decided to return to Naples on a permanent basis and never make the big leap to Milan. Now I work mainly in Naples, styling for ADV, lookbook etc, and in Rome which is only an hour away by train. Sometimes I think of the different opportunities that I could have had in Milan, but at the end of the day when I look out the window at the sea I am happy with my choice.
What fascinates you the most about the Costiera Amalfitana and why you have left your heart there?
Since I was born I have always spent part of my summer holidays between Capri, in the family Villa, and the Amalfi Coast, by boat or with friends. The reason why I left my heart there are all the memories related to childhood and family. The thing that fascinates me the most about these places is that life flows at a totally different rhythm, time seems to expand, the concepts of "hurry" or "delay" totally cease to exist.
A week on the Costiera: where would you suggest we start? What under-the-beaten track stops would you suggest writing on our itinerary?
It may seem odd, but my suggestion is to start by visiting Naples: many tourists only pass through the airport or the station and head directly to the Amalfi Coast or the islands, missing one of the most authentic and culturally rich cities in Europe.
I recommend to spend at least one day there: start visiting the historic center early in the morning when the city is still waking up, get lost in the alleys, visit the wonderful Cappella San Severo, home of the Veiled Christ and the fascinating
Underground Naples. A pizza is a must for lunch: my favorite is Michele’s but also Sorbillo and Concettina ai Tre Santi are delicious. Then in the afternoon I would visit the Royal Palace and the San Carlo theater, the oldest theater in Europe. Later I would go to Posillipo to rent a kayak at the Rocce Verdi Bay and
admire by sea the ancient remains of the Palazzo degli Spiriti, the village of Marechiaro and get to the Gaiola natural reserve with its islet full of legends and enjoy the sunset in the middle of the sea making an absolutely unforgettable aperitif in kayak. For the evening I recommend a dinner at Casa a Tre Pizzi in Mergellina and for a peaceful sleep before starting the Costiera tour I would sleep at Primo Piano Posillipo, a beautiful b& b with a breathtaking view designed by the architect Giuliano Andrea Dell’Uva.
Some less known stops which I absolutely recommend are the Valle delle Ferriere in Amalfi, where handmade paper is still produced in ancient paper mills, with the same technique that was used in 1200; Cetara, the small and beautiful town also famous for the delicious “colatura di alici”; a visit to the Solimene
ceramic factory in Vietri sul Mare, designed by Paolo Soleri, not only for the wonderful handmade ceramics but also to admire the structure designed by the student of Frank Lloyd Wright. For trekking lovers, the Path of the Gods is unmissable: walking from Agerola to Positano enjoying a breathtaking view.
You are the co-founder of Sartoria Nomade as well as a stylist, what to wear for 10 days on the road in the Costiera?
I recommend bringing comfortable and fresh linen shirts (also to be used over the bikinis), flat shoes to walk easily in the small and steep streets, a straw hat to protect yourself from the sun during the heat and a colored wool shawl for the cool evenings by the sea. When in doubt, just take inspiration from the understated elegance of the Dolce Vita years.
The Costiera has a rich history of mythology - can you tell us about the best places to go to soak in some mythical vibes? And what about some historical venues for the ones who don’t want to just relax?
Campania is historically linked to the Homeric myth of the sirens: the shelter of these mythological creatures was identified in Marina Piccola in Capri, right in front of the Faraglioni, the now famous "Scoglio delle Sirene"; after being rejected by Ulysses they let themselves die, turning into rocks: Leucosia and Ligea turned into the islets of the Li Galli archipelago, which is located in front of Positano, Partenope instead swam to the coast turning into what is now the city of Naples.
In Capri it is possible to admire the remains of Villa Jovis, which was the home of the Roman emperor Tiberius between 26 and 37 AD; in Sorrento at the Bagni della Regina Giovanna (the name is linked to Queen Giovanna D’Angiò, sovereign of Naples) there are the remains of an ancient Roman domus dating back to the first century BC. For those who want to get away from the coast there is also the wonderful archaeological site of Paestum, an ancient city of Magna Grecia, and the famous Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplonti.
Where to stay on the Costiera, for a romantic experience?
The whole coast is incredibly romantic but Ravello with its gardens overlooking the sea and its noble palaces is absolutely magical. I recommend staying at the Relais Villa Scarpariello or at the Villa San Michele hotel, both with breathtaking views, and to treat yourself to a starry dinner at Rossellinis, the restaurant of the
Palazzo Avino hotel. Do not miss the sunrise concert at Villa Rufolo that takes place during the Ravello Festival.
For a romantic stay in Sorrento, choose the vintage charm of the Parco dei Principi hotel, designed in 1960 by Gio Ponti and that has still all the original furnishings; the balconies overlooking the Gulf and the mount Vesuvius have different white and blue ceramic tiles reflecting the colors of the sky and the sea.
For a romantic sunset dinner, I would definitely recommend Peter's, on the turquoise water of Sorrento.
As for the island of Capri, I recommend staying in the more authentic and intimate Anacapri in a boutique hotel such as the Capri Suite; do not miss the sunset aperitif at the Faro and a dinner in the stunning Il Riccio restaurant. And for an experience in Dolce Vita style I recommend a tour of the island in a vintage yellow Fiat 500 with 500incapri!
Where to go for the best dinners? Best drinks?
My favorite restaurant in Amalfi is the Taverna degli Apostoli: it is located on the Duomo’s stairs and the linguine with Amalfi lemon pesto are delicious. In Positano a must stop for its mussel soup is Da Adolfo (open only for lunch) which is located on Laurito beach and can be reached by the legendary little boat with the red fish banner; for dinner a classic and charming restaurant is Chez Black, with its sea urchins pasta served in a huge ceramic sea urchin. The location of La Tonnarella in Conca dei Marini is also truly striking. Moving slightly away from the Amalfi Coast in the direction of the Sorrento peninsula there is Mariagrazia in Nerano, the restaurant where the legendary pasta with zucchini was invented. For those who want to go to Capri, I recommend Lo Smeraldo: an enchanting location just on the sea of Marina Grande, fresh fish and the best polpettine di melenzane in the world!
To have a drink, I recommend the famous Franco's Bar in Positano, the Arcade Bar of the Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello and the Capri Rooftop in Capri, all have in common a breathtaking view!
The caves and coves you can only reach by boat? The hidden beaches nestled in nature?
Among the most fascinating beaches of the Amalfi Coast there is undoubtedly the beach of Furore, which is located within the famous fjord. It is not hidden away but definitely worth a visit. Other wonderful beaches that can only be reached by sea are the Cavallo Morto beach in Maiori, with its crystal clear sea and the Cauco beach in Erchie, dominated by an ancient and beautiful tower. For cave lovers, Capri is undoubtedly the place to be: in addition to the world famous Blue Grotto, the Green Grotto, the White Grotto and the Champagne Grotto are also worth a visit.
Where to go for some shopping (other than of course Sartoria Nomade)?
I recommend the wonderful linen dresses made by Holy Caftan, the Farella Capri’s knitwear, the colored loafers and the sangallo swimsuits sold in the small shops of Positano, the Capri sandals by Da Costanzo or Antonio Viva and the jewels by Chantecler. And, why not, a dinnerware set made of Vietri ceramic and the wine of Marisa Cuomo, to be purchased directly in their winery, in Furore.