Ramblings From The Road
Happy Holidays to you all. It's freezing in Connecticut.
The family just returned from Italy, so I'm a bit speedy. Oh, what a time we had. My friend Peter Weller graciously offered his villa in Positano and I took him up on his offer. One day while I was under a very black cloud I ran into Peter. I asked him what he was doing. He proceeded to tell me that he was on his way to LA to make a movie but what really excited him was his degree in Renaissance art and the University that now asks him to take students to Italy to the museums... his life in Italy, the Italians, his villa, the language... basically his life beyond show business. It was such an inspiration to me. I was so impressed with his accomplishments. I sit around moping and complaining that I'm not working. I fall into a funk and get stuck standing still. Peter went out and did something about it. I told Mandy Patinkin about our mutual friend Peter and this richness in his life and his reaction was the same as mine, sort of dumbstruck and encouraged I guess. Anyway, when Peter offered me his villa the skies opened up, the sun shone and I thought to myself, this is a Divine gift. That, in fact, nothing self absorbed can serve a person. But to experience the world and its cultures, to look outside of ourselves, is what our lives should be about.
Peter's villa in Positano is spectacular. The view looking back to town is one half of it, the sea being the other. The Amalfi Coast is a place I have never been. It reminded me of Highway 1 in California. So incredibly beautiful. There were two people who assisted us on our trip. Tony Cerbone and his sister-in-law Lisa. These are two people who know how to travel. I met Tony on the Mediterranean Atlantis Events Cruise I performed on this summer. He began to tell me about Naples, and Capri, and Pozzouli, and the veiled Christ in the Capella Sansevero, and the Farnese collection in the archaeological museum in Naples.
Naples is a surprise. I think that has to be my favorite place on this trip. We had a great tour guide named Salvatore, who took us into Naples, not the Naples of tourists. There is a street in Naples, I think it's Tribunali, where I felt it was a bit like Bombay. Just so rich in tradition and superstition and laundry. I mean it. So colorful, so crowded and filled with character. We would walk down these tiny little streets and pass craftsmen in tiny little open shops. One guy was making Christmas creches another made violins and castanets. I felt so privileged to experience this intense culture.
So, don't not go to Naples because it's crime ridden and not a pretty place. It is incredibly beautiful with so much heritage and I suggest you find Salvatore the guide. Don't do it on your own because you'll never see it unless Salvatore or Tony and Lisa take you.
We went to Pompeii. We climbed Mt. Vesuvius and tied it all together in the archaeological museum. The artifacts they have unearthed from Pompeii and Herculaneum are not to be believed. The mosaic wall coverings and floor coverings are extraordinary. I don't know what I'm most impressed with, the mosaics or the frescos. The people of Pompeii were very organic and much more in tune with the senses than we are for sure. An erect and large penis is a sign of good luck and is depicted on the front of houses and on the inside the houses. There were door knockers and chimes shaped as penises and then there were the flying penises. All symbols. The large and erect penis to ward off evil. I guess.
There's a room in the museum called the Secret Cabinet where we saw all of the erotic mosaics and sculptures. I cannot get the sculpture of the satyr and the female goat with the look of fear on her face out of my mind... and the satyr's large and erect penis.
Anyway... we're back and I cannot wait to return. Thank you Peter. My woes have been erased by your gesture, my spirit has been lifted, my son has been educated, my husband knows more about me.
That's it for now. I'm jet lagged.