Sun, sea and silence as Capri's police outlaw noisy gardeners

The island of Capri, exquisitely beautiful but a bit on the prim side, was never going to rival Ibiza, Mykonos or Ayia Napa, in the hard-partying stakes.

And now, 2,000 or so years after the Emperor Tiberius held his bacchanalia there at the Villa Jovis, local authorities in the exclusive Bay of Naples resort, where 1930s singing sensation Gracie Fields lived for more than 40 years, are guaranteeing visitors complete quiet in addition to the breathtaking panoramas.

In Capri, there's not a foam party in sight; instead the rich and famous recline by the pools of luxury villas and discreet hotels that dot its mountainous green slopes, perhaps looking up occasionally to admire the view across the bay to the chaotic port of Naples.

Michelin stars abound in the island's restaurants, which charge prices in line with the holiday island's stellar clientele; its guests hail from Italy's design and fashion aristocracy, European royal families and, of course, Hollywood. Mariah Carey owns a villa on the island. And no doubt they all appreciate Capri's relative calm. The ones without gym-toned bodies might even approve of existing regulations that forbid immodest dress in its pretty central square, La Piazzetta.

Local police chief Marica Avellino this week signed ordinance number 30, which from April to October allows for fines ranging from €50 to €500 for local people who make too much noise – and disturb the tranquillity of tourists.

The building and gardening industries will be worst hit, with only two, two-hour slots in which machinery can be used – noon till 2pm and from 6pm till 8pm.

In the peak season from the end of July till the start of October, the noise police will be even more insistent, with a complete ban enforced on any sort of machinery or gardening equipment, from diggers to annoying strimmers that could disturb a tourist's 40 winks.

"Given the protests from numerous hotels complaining about the noise from construction work, we thought it essential to create quiet for our visitors – something that is vital for what we offer hotel quests during the tourist season," Ms Avellino said.

A spokesman for the island's builders said that the industry "risked complete paralysis". He warned: "The ban on activity for the whole of the tourist season on much open-air activity seriously damage industries that are already in serious difficulty."

The spokesman also suggested that the island's authorities ought to know which side their bread was buttered – given that work by gardeners and construction men was vital for the manicured resort's impeccable appearance. Capri's mayor, Ciro Lembo, said: "We're not talking about an impossible ban. We just need to find the right balance."

But builders and gardeners elsewhere in the province might have been concerned last night by comments from the provincial president Carlo Ceparano. "The anti-noise ordinance could be taken as an example by all the towns in the province of Naples."

They might get away with it in Gracie Fields' neck of the woods. But it would be funny to see them try it in Naples.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?