KAPPELI Restaurant Cafe, Helsinki, Finland. My “private” Finnish refuge.


Photo http://www.toinenlinja.fi

I’ve been in Helsinki three times. Spring, Summer, Winter. Every time I went there, I couldn’t help popping-in at Kappeli‘s. The first time I was there, in – so far in time – 1997, I was really impressed by this place. I was impressed by its lights, by its Art Nouveau style, by its mirrors and glasses. Like a crystal palace. Or, better: like THE Crystal Palace, by John Paxton (UK, 1851). The second time, Summer, I had the big pleasure to play with my orchestra just in front of it (it was in July 2001, in a really shiny and sunny Finnish day: we played by wearing our sun-glasses!). A glance to the score, a glance to that amazing scenography: while playing Mozart with my violin, my heart started beating fast. I was playing my favourite composer just in front of one of my favourite places on the earth. Third time, Winter. New Year’s Eve. We run in Kappeli just after midnight, to take refuge from the Great Cold of the Northern Winter. And we entered a Fairy Tale: classical music, lights, candles, hot chocolates scents, people toasting at the New Year. Outside, through the glass-walls enlighted by the candles lights and decorated by big Christmas garlands, we could see the snow keeping on falling down in the endless night on the Helsinki harbour, the children pulled in their sleds by parents, people walking and singing old Christmas carols, no cars, no trams. All my life long  I will remember that Finnish night, the first one in that 2011 new year. This is definitely one of the best memories in my life and definitively (I’m sure) my best memory of Kappeli, my Finnish “private” refuge. 



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