Thursday, 16 February 2012

SORRENTO, ITALY & CARUSO

Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a small town in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri.


The Amalfi Drive (connecting Sorrento and Amalfi) is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea (we drove along there and it is not a drive for the faint-hearted!). Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia. Sorrento's sea cliffs and luxury hotels have attracted notable people, including Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a digestive liqueur made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives. Wood craftsmanship is also well-developed.


This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme (keep looking at the photos, scroll down!)


View of the bay 
View of the city
A young enterpreneur, complete with shop sign!
House in which Sorrentine, Torquato Tasso (11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) lived. He was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1580)
Henrik Ibsen (20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. The sign reads: "Here in the sun, Henrik Ibsen, weeping over the dark destinies of man. wrote 'Ghosts' in the year 1881"
Enrico Caruso (February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921) was an Italian tenor born in Naples. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and North and South America, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. All of these recordings, which span most of his stage career, are available today on CDs and as digital downloads. There are many reminders of Enrico Caruso and his family in both Naples and Sorrento
The sign reads: "On the terrace of this hotel, the great tenor, Enrico Caruso, joining in love and beauty Naples and Sorrento, spent happy days giving his last offerings of the bel canto"
"Caruso" is a song written by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla in 1986, and is dedicated to Enrico Caruso. This song is most probably a way of romanticising Enrico Caruso's last days in Sorrento and Napoli. Enrico Caruso being a great legend in Italian Lyric Opera was one of the greatest and sought-after singers during very late 19th century and early 20th century. He lived a very difficult and rather unhappy life having many challenges and problems with Italian opera houses. He gained more fame and success in the US. He was born to a very poor family in Naples. He was often attached and had several love affairs with prominent women in the performing arts who were already married. These love affairs ended tragically. With Ada Giachetti (his most passionate and longest love affair) who was already married, he had two sons, but in the end she left him for their driver. Then he met a woman 20 years his junior just a few years before he died. With her he had a daughter called Gloria, whom Lucio Dalla described in this song "Caruso".



Caruso (by Lucio Dalla)
Here, where the sea shines and the wind howls,
on the old terrace beside the gulf of Sorrento,
a man embraces a girl he wept after,
then clears his throat and continues the song:
I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It's a bond, now, you know,
that thaws the blood in the veins. 

He saw the lights out on the sea,
thought of the nights there in America,
but they were only the fishermen's lamps and the white wash astern.
He felt the pain in the music and stood up from the piano,
but when he saw the moon emerging from a cloud
death also seemed sweeter to him.
He looked the girl in the eyes, those eyes as green as the sea.
Then suddenly a tear fell and he believed he was drowning.
I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It's a bond, now, you know,
that thaws the blood in the veins. 

The power of opera, where every drama is a hoax;
with a little make-up and with mime you can become someone else.
But two eyes that look at you, so close and real,
make you forget the words, confuse your thoughts,
So everything became small, also the nights there in America.
You turn and see your life through the white wash astern.
But, yes, it is life that ends and he did not think so much about it on the contrary,
he already felt happy and continued his song:
I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It's a bond, now, you know,
that thaws the blood in the veins. 

A fishermen's neighbourhood in Sorrento

15 comments:

  1. incredible tour. thanks for taking us.

    SIGNS

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  2. What beautiful, beautiful photos. Makes my heart long for Italy. I have never been there, but someday I shall visit!

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  3. The little girl...adorable. Love that photo. Did you buy her posies?

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  4. I have adored his voice over the years so your post tonight was especially meaningful to me. I loved looking at all of the pictures and reading your commentary. Thank you so much for all of the effort you put into this special post. genie

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  5. That coastline is absolutely amazing.
    The signs are so poetic - usually you just see a name and dates.

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  6. Hope you do get there soon, Pat. It is a special place!

    Rebecca, yes indeed, we did buy one of her posies. It was too hard to resist.

    Glad you enjoyed, the post Genie! A pleasure to put it up as it brought back wonderful memories of the trip for me.

    The signs are indeed wonderful, Lesley!

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  7. so many beautiful places!!
    I love how weathered the pillars at the Caruso gate are

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  8. Amazing post! I learned a lot! Thank you!

    BShell

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  9. This is an incredible post! The romantic charm of this beautiful place by the sea is enchanting! And the signs are like a parade of legends! The sign for Ibsen particularly intrigued me! That this major playwright spent time here and managed to get a sign of his presence! Wonderful!

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  10. i am drooling over your photos! breathtaking! thanks for the tour :-)

    Pet Sematary

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  11. wow, gorgeous photos of this beautiful place. one of my dream destinations.

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  12. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places I've visited in Europe. Would love to come back and STAY there for some time. Great photos, btw.

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  13. These photos bring back to me lots of memories. I had a wonderful time there and you captured the spirit of the place.

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