31 Aug Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Custom Made Capri Sandals from Canfora
As I walked around Capri (and for that matter other towns around Naples) this past week, I noticed a lot of places where there were making sandals on site. So today, while I was visiting Capri, I googled this to see what this was all about. Turns out that if there is one thing to purchase when in Capri, it is a pair of sandals, specifically from Amedeo Canfora. If Jackie Kennedy bought them, why wouldn’t I? And I did! And that is why my custom Capri sandals from Amedeo Canfora are the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Founded in 1946 by Amedeo Canfora, Canfora became internationally known in 1962 when First Lady Jackie Kennedy purchased them. Princess Margaret and Grace Kelly wore the sandals and Jackie Kennedy heard about them. When she was in Capri, Canfora opened the store at midnight for her and she ordered several pairs.
Pictures of Jackie Kennedy wearing the shoes and with Amedeo Canfora hang on the walls of this boutique store located on the ritzy Via Camerelle. Inside the store, which has no pretense about it, are rows of sandals with different designs and colors. Angela Cantora and her sister Rita, the daughters of Amedeo Canfora, make the shoes today and Angela’s son Constanzo owns and operates the business. Angela was sitting at a table making sandals when I walked in and I asked Constanzo about the sandals.
All of the sandals are custom made. And unlike the myriad of other shops you might find in Capri and elsewhere, at Canfora everything is made in-house and by hand. They make the leather base and sole and all of the different leather straps and designs. If there is a scandal you like but you want a different color or different embellishment, they can do whatever you wish.
The sandals also have a very unique clasp that Amedeo invented. There are no holes in the straps and the clasp can be loosened and tightened but you never need to undo it. In fact, once it fits, you never have to adjust it and can just slip it on and off.
As I looked at all if the styles, I was drawn to one in particular. I am not one for bling or sparkly but I like a catchy design. The one I liked turned out to be the style that Amedeo made especially for Jackie Kennedy. It is called the “K” and has a webbed design of interlocking chains.
A size 10 women’s in the US is easier to find than a 42 women’s in Italy. I have never had luck buying shoes in Italy but I was able to at Canfora. Constanzo had me try a couple bases to find the perfect size, and as I predicted, I was a 42. He noted with his eye that I have narrow feet and gave the measurement to his mother. I then watched her make my sandals. Fifteen minutes later, she was finished and they were a perfect fit!
And, Constanzo sent me home with my exact measurement so that if I want to order more sandals in the future, I can just call or email and they will make them perfectly for me!
I am so excited to own a pair of official Capri sandals from the family business that made them famous! What a treat and definitely the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Amedeo Canfora Capri Sandals
Via Camerelle 3, Capri