Magical Ravello

The view and my room are like something from a dream, or movie, imagesomething fiction, too colorful, too fragrant, to high up, too beautiful to be real. After a cold shower, I walked back down to the center of town. It is a square piazza with stores, cafés, restaurants and gardens around the perimeter with a large church as the central anchor.

What I first saw did not make sense to me. There was a group of the most beautiful people superbly dressed in front of an ancient looking structure called the Belvedere Di Villa Rufolo. There was a camera man filming another man and woman who were walking around speaking to various dignitary types. The people milling about in this area were the most fashionable, suave humans I have ever seen. I mean, I’ve never seen people so beautiful. Thank goodness I had the foresight to pack a good dress which I put on for tonight, though in this crowd, I do feel like quite a bumpkin. There were police following the mystery man and their uniforms were unbelievably tailored and formal and attractive…like no uniform I’ve ever seen.

I walked a bit further, trying to decide if I would splurge on the music festival that is currently scheduled for 5 nights at that Villa Rufalo. As I strolled by trying not to gawk, I heard organ music and singing, coming from the church, Saturday night mass. I then decided it would be foolish to skip the concert so I quickly found pizza, the best in my life, for a good price, too. Oh I forgot to mention in the last post, an English family felt sorry for me and offered to help me lug my luggage up the mountain…I refused but the father used his phone to get directions for me and they walked me to the entrance of my villa, which was so kind. We had a lovely visit on the way up. As I came back down to the Piazza for the evening, I glanced into an open air restaurant and there they were waving at me! I popped in to say hello and they invited me to join them for dinner! How incredibly nice is that? But I declined, not wanting to intrude on a family holiday – plus, I needed a quick bite if I was going to make that concert.

As I ate my pizza on a little bench, I asked a woman next to me (though I was almost scared to talk to her, she was so stunning) about the little fancy man with the police escorts. She said “politico importante” (or something like that). I figured for the film crew and police to be following him around, he had to be someone pretty well known (to everyone but me).

As I entered the gardens for the concert, I noticed a bottleneck up the way along a path and it was the little man and his entourage. I wish I’d learned his name! Okay, so I found my seat and out comes the head of the Ravello Music Festival to introduce the pianist. He has won Grammys and Emmys in the US and plays all over the world. When the pianist, Michel Camilo, took the stage, he spoke in Spanish and it was a relief! I’ve never been so glad to hear a language aside from my own. imageAnd when he played, oh, I’ve never heard anything like it. It was absolutely riveting. I wanted to yell “Te amo” but resisted. Didn’t want to be the idiot American standing up at a distinguished piano concert screaming like I did at Corey Hart in 1987. The stars were bright overhead, the temp was perfect with a slight breeze, the Amalfi coast was twinkling as the backdrop and the music was magical.

Once the concert dismissed, I came to the piazza for a sweet treat and a water. I accidentally ordered in Spanish and the man laughed and said I got lucky, he speaks Spanish. Skipping forward, I am sitting on the piazza, on a bench and have been surrounded by a group of teenagers. I wish I could understand them. They have all smiled at me and seem to not care that I sit amongst them. OK, they are literally sitting on the bench with me and singing. I’m a little freaked out. There are families everywhere including right here by me and children playing tag (I guess children of all ages and their parents hang out on the Piazza on Saturday night) and double Dutch jump rope.

I have not seen anyone with a cell phone out. Even these teen boys – in fact, I think the youngest person I’ve seen in Italy with a cell phone has been approximately 17 or 18. And these kids are all PLAYING and TALKING and SINGING. Is this for real? Ok, I can’t sit amongst these boys any longer. I just got up and asked in Spanish if I could take their picture. I wish I had used my cell so I could post the photo in the blog – help me remember to post it later. You won’t believe how cute they are. They all jumped in the get the picture and lined up along a railing together. When I said, “uno, dos, tres” they all yelled whatever Italians say instead of “cheese.” Oh my gosh, adorable!

With that, I must say goodnight.

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