The Bay area report la rivista per gay e lesbiche (dal 1971) degli Stati Uniti d’ America ha dedicato un ampio (e bello diremmo) servizio su Positano la perla della costiera amalfitana (amalfi coast) a firma di Robert Friedman che qui riportiamo
We love our job, really we do, most days it’s just as much fun as a tickle party at former Rep. Eric Massa‘s house. But it’s important to get away every now and then, not only to give yourself a break, but to give everyone else a break from you. So when our great friend Elena invited us to visit her last week in charming Positano, a hill town on the Amalfi coast of Italia, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Car & driver whisked us from Naples Airport two hours along winding mountain roads to the top of the village, where vehicles must stop. Porters took our bags, leaving Out There to descend on foot down old stone paths and stairways. Elena’s house was below, at beach level, in a square behind the old Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. Dinner was served late.
We swam in the Mar Tirreno, boated from the shallow harbor. At Da Ferdinando on the Spiaggia di Fornillo, beach ambassador Ernesto tried to teach us the Neapolitan card game Scopa!, whose rules were easily grasped if scoring was not. At the Mediterraneo, artist Pablo Cavo showed us panels he’d painted on the restaurant walls and doors, mythological landscapes of the god Poseidon flanked by his busty consort. Cavo described visits to the village from the late beat poet Gregory Corso. Our new Italian friends were proud of their command of English idioms: “Thanks God it’s Friday!” and “It rains cats and dogs!”
Just off the coast lies l’arcipelago de Li Galli, private isles of first the Russian choreogr
On the terrace, Il San Pietro di Positano. Photo: Helen Kaplow
apher Massine, then the dancer Nureyev. It’s where Ulysses was hard-pressed to resist the seductive calls of the Sirens in Homer ‘s Odyssey – how we can relate! Other ballet notables drawn to Positano include Ballets Russes impresario Serge Diaghilev, Nijinsky , Stravinsky, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Antony Tudor.
One day we took the ferry to Amalfi, then the local bus up the mountain to Ravello, where we toured the gardens and cloisters of the Villa Cimbrone, and attended a piano recital in the Villa Rufolo. Concert pianist Costantino Catena gave us Chopin , Liszt and Debussy, brilliantly. The audience did not have to be told to turn off their electronic devices.
There’s no public gay nightlife in Positano, but we did notice a few gay brothers-in-arms, and were stopped by a pair of Canadian lesbians on the path to the beach. We were wearing our T-shirt with LGBT in big, bold letters across the chest, and one of the lesbians told us she liked the shirt, buddy.
Lesbian crime novelist Patricia Highsmith always said that the inspiration for her masterpiece The Talented Mr. Ripley was a solitary young man she espied walking across the beach at Positano, wearing madras shorts and sandals. “There was an air of pensiveness about him, maybe unease. Had he quarreled with someone? What was on his mind? I never saw him again.”
In her itinerant life, Highsmith stopped at Positano for many an idyll, with various lesbian lovers. On our trip we read Joan Schenkar‘s The Talented Miss Highsmith (St. Martin’s Press), her almost 700-pp. exploration of the life and times of the quite mad author, published last year. It got us through some endless intercontinental flights.
We already miss Fornillo beach, the fish at Buca de Bacco, the elegant Palacio Murat. We raise a glass of local wine to Elena at the Bar Mulino Verde, and vow to return. Scopa!
There’s no shame in newspaper corrections. We’re always happy to set the record straight, so to speak.
The Sept. 16 Lavender Tube column claimed Guiding Light “ended its 62-year run in Sept. 2009.” In fact, GL had a total run of 72 years: 15 as a serialized radio program, followed by 57 on television. On As the World Turns , “Reid professed supreme dislike for Luke and banned him from being around Noah while he was being treated” is incorrect. In fact, Reid banned Luke from being around Reid, not Noah. Noah decided that meant Luke also could not be around Noah. In the Jan. 29 episode, Reid said, “Keep Mr. Snyder out of my orbit,” and Noah translated this to, “We have to stay away from each other.” Drama queens.
Oh, and that coffee-table book about physique artist Bruce Sargeant we extolled in last week’s Out There column? Turns out it’s a total hoax, there’s no such painter, and nothing in the press materials indicated differently.