Faces of Italy: Amedeo Bagnasco, Cimmino Lab, Anacapri
Sometimes I meet new people and realize that they bring light and warmth to my life.
It makes me feel happy and somehow restores my trust in humanity:)
During my last trip to Italy, for a wedding in September at Villa San Michele, I experienced this happy feeling a few times, and I want to share it with you, to introduce you to some fantastic people who live in this great country.
Here is the first story in a series of my new blog posts, “Faces of Italy”.
This past September, when walking around Anacapri and window shopping, I’ve noticed a pair of sunglasses, which I immediately liked. I decided not to throw myself into a shopping spray but to give myself time to think about these sunglasses. The following day, when I realized that I couldn't get these glasses out of my mind, I returned to the store.
This is how I met Amedeo, the owner and a man of many talents, as I soon discovered. We had a great talk about his glasses, his love for Anacapri, his story. He immediately gave me a few great suggestions for doing things around the island. I loved his gentle and kind manners, his contagious love for his land, and his willingness to help.
I asked him a few questions and here are his answers:
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Amedeo Bagnasco; I live in Anacapri, on the island of Capri. I am the fourth generation of a family of opticians: my great-grandfather Giuseppe Cimmino was one of the first opticians in Naples in 1923. In 1952 my grandfather Amedeo came to Capri as the island's first optician, and 20 years later, my father Carlo opened the first laboratory in Anacapri. I am a baroque violinist, graduated in Philosophy and Theology with a degree in optics. I love the balance and harmony of shapes and colors, and every day I try to see the inspiration for my creations in the beauty that surrounds me.
We'd love to hear more about your business, Ottico Cimmino.
The center of our business is the prescription and sunglasses for residents and many tourists flocking to Capri every year. We have state-of-the-art equipment for shaping ophthalmic and sun lenses, which allow us to respond to the most varied needs with great speed and precision. We are a point of reference for the care of Capri's vision and style in the Capri eyewear sector. Since 2017 I have created a line of 8 glasses inspired by the most evocative places of Anacapri based on my design. Solaro, Migliera, Fenicia, Filietto, Faro, Casa Rossa, Damecuta, Azzurra: the adventure of Cimmino Lab - Anacapri Eyewear started from these special corners! From then on, I designed eight new glasses every year.
How and where your glasses are designed and made?
I design each of our eyewear models in the laboratory on Via Giuseppe Orlandi, where my father Carlo passed on to me the secrets and passion for optics. I am inspired by the shapes and colors of my territory, by its tradition of natural and architectural beauty. We make our glasses in northern Italy and personally assemble each lens by hand for our creations. The choice of colors, hues, and shades, represents one of the fascinating passages of my work.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I wrote a book in 2018, "The secrets in the box - Anacapri in your eyes", which tells the story of Robert, an American photographer who became blind. Robert visits Capri with his senses, even though he cannot see. The text, metaphor of the light reflected in my island's heart, has been translated into Braille and English. Book sales support the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired. In 2019 I wrote a sequel, entitled "Sfiora." Thanks to those who bought my books, summer activities of three-dimensional photography, sailing, horse riding, and music were carried out for 15 blind and visually impaired boys and girls in the province of Naples.
In 2019 I created a unique color of acetate for eyewear inspired by the same tones of the sea of Capri: the "Capri Blue Tortoise." This unique blend of colors is the characterizing element of our entire line.
You are located in Capri. Are your glasses available in other regions/countries?
At this moment our models are available in our store in Anacapri and on our website www.cimminolab.it . We hope to make our Caprese artisan product known in other parts of the world soon. Those who visit Capri love to carry with them a symbol that reminds them of its magic: our glasses contain a spark of the light of my island.
I bought my pair of glasses; I adore them! Soon I returned with my daughter Dina; we had another excellent discussion and selected another pair for her. Then Dina bought a pair for her partner. When we later met with my husband in Tuscany, and he saw our glasses, he said he also wanted something in the same color. My younger daughters and son joined.
As a result, our whole family is sporting glasses in "Capri Blue Tortoise"!
But I have to admit that other colors are pretty fascinating as well!
When in Capri, don't forget to visit this charming store, chat with its owner and – who knows? – walk out with a unique, beautiful, and practical souvenir!
I can’t wait to return, look for new glasses and listen to Amedeo’s violin!