We are in 1950, when Alberto and Lina fulfill the dream of opening their jewellery boutique, naming it “La Campanina” not randomly, but as a result of their life experiences.
For Lina, it reminds her of the days when American soldiers visiting Capri would pass by her mother Olimpia’s shop to buy Saint Michael’s bells to pin on their jackets or send them to their far-away families as a lucky charm. It was then that the idea arose to send a gift of a valuable model of this bell to the U.S. President, as good wishes for the end of the war..
Alberto, on the other hand, being at that time a close collaborator of the Allied Forces, remembers reading with a mixture of surprise and pride in the pages of a foreign newspaper that the St. Michael’s bell given to U.S. President Roosevelt by the people of Capri had been rung to mark the end of the conflict and to wish peace in the world.
Upon his return to the island, he found out that it was indeed his future wife who had arranged for the precious bell to be made by a local artisan, had even supplied the metal to be used, and then proposed it as gift for the Americans, who had been helping the people of Capri during those difficult times.
The Bell of San Michele
The bell from Capri was sent to President Roosevelt at Christmas 1944, with this message: “The people of Capri, who are proud to give hospitality to the brave men of the American Air Force, offer to the President of the United States, the bell of San Michele, which is the supreme symbol of Fortune, Faith and Glory; may it ring on the Day of Victory for everlasting peace and freedom in all the world.”
The bell was displayed at the National Archives in Washington DC and rung to celebrate both V-E Day and V-J Day and is now part of the permanent exhibit of the Museum of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library where it can be admired still today.
It was truly destiny that prompted Alberto and Lina to create original pieces and make their boutique a welcoming and friendly place filled with a warm, gracious atmosphere for all visitors to Capri to enjoy.
Over the years their tradition evolved, enlivening one of the summer’s most important not-to-be-missed holidays: the Fourth of July celebration of American independence, organized with the invaluable help of their daughter Mariolì and son Filippo, an evening that started as a gesture of hospitality towards their cherished American clients, and which became through the years an event well-attended by many of the habitués of the island, attracted by the international glamour of Capri and by the jewellery of “La Campanina”.
It was in this joyful and forward looking spirit that, more than half a century ago, “La Campanina” of Alberto and Lina Federico was born, the jewellery boutique which, through the success of their superb creations, has made the good luck symbol of Capri world-renowned, and continues to write its own history to this day