Tales of family in the hospitality industry: the Camera D’Afflitto legacy

Opened in 1983, the Ravello Art Hotel Marmorata has become one of the most exclusive places in the area.

February 1st, 2023. By Anna Volpicelli

It took shape from an old 15th-century paper mill, the Ravello Art Hotel Marmorata, in Marmorata. Opened in 1983, the hotel, set on the rock overlooking the sea, belongs to the Camera d’Afflitto family, a historical name on the Amalfi Coast. “The paper mill,” says Anna Camera d’Afflitto, now co-owner of the hotel with her sister Manuela, “belonged to my grandfather Eustachio. Its location was strategic for such activity because a waterfall was nearby, and the water fed the factory. When my grandfather died, my father inherited it, and thinking about my and my sister’s future, he decided to turn it into a hotel.”

Marine inspiration

Passionate about the sea, Mr. Camera d’Afflitto decided to renovate the building like a ship. “He began traveling to various parts of Italy, buying several original pieces belonging to boats that later became an integral part of the hotel’s decor. Once opened to take care of the structure was mainly my mother, Laura Proto, a pharmacist and former teacher, who gave up her job to devote herself to this activity full time.” 

The family then moved to Ravello, to the apartments built under the hotel. “My sister and I always helped out. When we finished our studies, we started working in the hotel. And when my father died, my sister and I took over the reins of the business.”

Art Hotel Marmolata a Ravello, in Costa d'Amalfi
Photo Courtesy of Camera d’Afflitto’s Family

Kindness and respect

With the arrival of the two women to complete management of the hotel, restyling work also began, involving the furnishings and expansion of the reception areas. Four apartments were built next to the hotel, true oases of peace, all with a sea view. 

Our parents passed on to us their philosophy: the passion and love for this work and the importance of listening to the customer. Changes often start with their suggestions, what they tell us, and what they need. Doing hospitality today is not easy, especially with how tourism has evolved recently, where everything is faster and constantly changing. Education and respect for us are fundamental, not only to our guests but also and especially to our employees. For me, they must be well. They are our family. We need them as much as they need us. Their well-being is crucial to the smooth running of the whole business.”

The Antica Cartiera

A relationship with the collaborators, based on mutual esteem and trust, has allowed the hotel and the restaurant to grow over time. One example is the close relationship created with executive chef Giuseppe Forte, who directs the kitchen of L’Antica Cartiera, the hotel’s temple of refreshment, serving dishes belonging to the Mediterranean tradition, revisited in a creative and elegant key. 

His commitment and skill have made our restaurant grow.” Inviting recipes parade on the menu, including scampi risotto with provolone del Monaco and candied lemon, ‘ndunderi with rabbit ragout and burnt onion, among the first courses, a slice of sea bass on the cream of Corbara cherry tomatoes with Mediterranean-style escarole ripassata or roast suckling pig with annurca apple compote with chicory, thistle, and wild fennel enrich the second courses and then conclude with dolce caprese a semifreddo of buffalo milk, white pepper crumble, and red fruits.

Art Hotel Marmolata a Ravello, in Costa d'Amalfi
Photo Courtesy of Camera d’Afflitto’s Family

Innate vocation

More than a job, that of the Camera d’Afflitto sisters is a vocation, a constant echo that starts from within and pushes them to renew themselves constantly. Next season will see the restyling of the five suites and the furnishings on the terrace. “We never stop, we are always on the move, and every year, we try to enrich the structure, improve it and improve ourselves by taking it to a higher and higher level of quality.