~terrace of infinity~

June 27th, 2008

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It was heaven. A hangout of the original Bloomsbury Group: Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Keynes, E.M. Forster, and also Piaget, D.H. Lawrence, and Winston Churchill. It is believed that English botanist (and special friend of Woolf) Vita Sackville-West planned the garden. It was the setting for the legendary elopement of actress Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowsky. No matter, it was simply the most lovely place we could imagine. And it really had a Terrace of Infinity.

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The enchantress Circes, who turned Ulysses’ crew to swine and then offered to bed him. No fool, he said yes.

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The lemon groves below. These citrus grow to the size of your head, and infinitely tastier.

We drove the coast to Positano and Amalfi in the morning, and finding them hot and crowded with shopping tourists, carried on to Ravello, a more distant and refined experience, at least in the height of the season. We fell in love immediately and promised when we returned to stay here, and on Capri. Villa Cimbrone was the crown jewel in Ravello’s tiara of endless, crumbling beauty.

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We came upon three weddings in the day, including one at the Via Maria, where we very dined well, and as always, with great ambiance. In this case this included two wandering minstrels that were part of the wedding reception. How many times can a woman hear Santa Lucia, O Sole Mio, and Funiculì, Funiculà in four days? Many, many times, my friends.

Remember if you will that a prayer to Santa Lucia brought me four extra days in Venice on that dreaded back injury trip last October.

Some lyrics, then, in honor of her benevolence. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

To eat supper among the sails, on an evening that’s so serene,
That doesn’t need anything, that doesn’t lack anything.
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

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One Response to “~terrace of infinity~”

  1. […] For me, it’s the wild that calls most: Spain’s northern coast, Galicia, and more than anything, southern Andalusia. I’m thrilled about the cities too, but my best memories in recent travel (Ravello, the tiny towns along both southern coasts of Italy, Venasque, La Coste, the enclaves above the Côte d’Azur, Nervi!) are of the smaller nooks in the classic romantic countries. So my homing pigeon instinct points to the Pueblos Blancos of Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Granada… […]

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