Summer. Or of seduction - Remembering Gold Age

Estate. O bella della seduzione

Tlin, tlin, tt-lin, tt-lin, tlin-tt-lin…ttt-lin…tt.
A treacherous, docile, piercing pounding.
It was the sound of the anchor chain pulled up by the vessel of Santa Rita departing: the ferry to Naples, the line (not so) faster in youthful summers. They were played, punctuated by the sound tests of Lampara, afternoon workshop that broke the first afternoon; a prelude to what would become a phantasmagoric by-night, which was a part of the Riva Destra, a real parlor.
The wait for the night spread, and slipped like pulsing blood in the sleeves of the guests of the Beltramonto Hotel, hidden in the palace at number 28 of Via Porto, with its balconies and green shutters and double doors polished by uncle Tonino with his fingers, the lost sight of the rocky sailor, toward the red ball of the West.


A noble Riva with two engines, in pure teak was part of the dock, tickling the ripples of the mistral.
It was followed by the motorboat by Tonino Baiocco, with the speaker that has croaked his announcement in nasal-milanese along the coasts, to capture the attention of future revelers as walruses around the pack: he passed not far from the shore of the Lido, Maronti, Citara, Cava dell’isola  and repeated his advertising refrain:«Tutituti guesta seera allo Scooch clàb con Pepino Di Capri e la szua oorchestraa».
Voices at the dock, columns of a will of meetings against sunset sails, told the mullet fished at the reefs to the shipyard, on the mouth of the harbor which was a lake near the green light. Studied as the evening “eyes of mullet”, swirled to capture lips and beauties between pubs and restaurants. Just a few steps from the chic universe, there was the boutique by Antonia (what charm, in that temple of exotic and rare elegance!) with its mannequin; next to the Antonio’s tavern, trendy, with its wooden stools in sweet-bitter taste of hops in beer, a Peroncino without foam.
The imagination and the look weaken the pre-visions of flambé and candle lights, feet and atmospheric reservoirs.
Further on, the achievements of the head, woke up in prodigious tete à tete, with grief accomplices in divine bottles, stored in the bon-ton style (shared with attempts) with the playboys of the Belle Epoque who were polyglots, and most effective of a travel agency.
«Wilkommen!».
Shirt wide open at the chest, the playboy sat obliquely, in perfect asymmetry: the half-empty glass of a clear liquid (tequila, vodka, water?) on the bottom, between the fingers, the index a bit off towards high, nonchalantly. Eternally suspended in midair, with elbow resting on the arm, ready to nod: halfway between the toast, salute, and smiling invitation. They were waiting for the materialization of the likely company of a soiree, the blonde light of a tourist along the promenade.
The girls knew that summer, without the corrugated nickering, barely uncertain, on the paving of the Rive Droite; without adventures and that sense of erotic and memorable, written in raised letters: “Amateur”, was not summer.
And they amused. Sailing in sentimental navigation already plotted on the maps of aphrodisiac dream last night before leaving Ischia, the outpost of pleasure. They played with seduction, to dive in the aquarium port, with precious male specimens; to show tan and décolleté, to let show the universe, surprises in the fatal arm.
When the mutual conquest had blossomed, began the ceremonial of the walk-hands-on-hips, destined to authenticate the bipolar predation.
It lasted long. So that others caballeros could enjoy, appreciate, judge, vote the beat of Cupid, the arrow in the heart, class target. High score? Another summer had been sanctified.
The return to France, Germany, Austria, Milan was a thrill, and see you next year was like a reservation.
Blessed caballeros. How many times ended up overbooked?
The Rive Droite remained an aquarium, to see and be seen. The shop windows are packed. The night is full of teen-agers, bars and food places with the usual urchins and lobsters, prawns and monkfish in plain sight at the entrance, with polish a bit faded, but still glisten with perfect bodies, of infinite crossroads, of human agglomerations in projects for a pizza or one dancer momentum.
«Where are you going tonight? ».
In the end they remain there, in the harbor, bundled up in the certainty of a summer less ecstatic, but amused. And that’s what counts, until the dawn of a new day. From the Olimpica dock, meanwhile, there is a ferrous grinding of the first ferry to Pozzuoli, the propeller whirring in shallow water, the undertow that recalls the embrace of fishing boats and rigging. Like merbeing laments. Here and nowhere else.
***
Changing Mud (Cava Scura)
“E di fronte a noi, come a coppieri, stanno delle fonti:
l’una, del piacere, si potrebbe paragonarla a una fonte di miele,
l’altra, dell’intelligenza, alla fonte sobria e monda da vino
di un’acqua di gusto aspro e sana.”
(Platone, Filebo)
The schweinebecken, the tub of pigs, is always there. A heat source under the blazing sun, the white gullies carved by rain and wind; some broom, boulders stopped by lava on the pinnacles, forming improbable dolmens: the summer of this oasis would still like to Pindar and Strabo, Pliny, Cicero.
Here summer is changed according to the -soft new owners modernization, of what is called always to «Cava of the fresh»: the first valley in the canyon eden of Cava Scura, the secular internal healing path of Maronti beach.
“Winged Pigs” attended the spa area of the Adamic myth, a Babel of faces and smiles, sludge and sunburn, bathrooms and simple love, it was just a dozen square meters of clay basins.
Overflowed with hot water, a little muddy for dissolved tuffs, changing mud: the source was to the side, in a hot cave carved into the rock and turned into a sauna, with uneven bars to avoid burning feet. And with a sheet of plastic to act as a booth with the outside. With every gust of mistral, the semi-transparent door encrusted with mineral sediments, collapsing down with a tear. Blurting secrets cavemen upsets.
But it still is dripping with sweat from eyes.
Promises of an August that embraced the world, hidden in the idea of a trip to the wellness dream: starting from Germany or Sweden, from the heart of Europe; or near Testaccio and Sant’Angelo, to meet the world. Today there is a small restaurant, with sun loungers, a Jacuzzi, another hole-natural sauna.
Cava Scura and Cava of fresco are isolated. An adventure to get there. Through the elusive Via Iesca, from Serrara; by taxi-boat from the sea up to the entrance into the canyon from the coast. But what does? There is a cattle track that runs along the walls of Maronti: prickly pears and figs hung out to dry on the mats, the rows of vines with grapes already nearly ripe.
The Germans, who like to toil, walk.
The thermal people didn’t desert the mystic, wonderful plant of «aqua fervens cavae obscurae» as described by great cartographer Mario Cartaro: commissioned by Giulio Iasolino, in 1586, he drew for the first time, and with rare precision, the island of Ischia with its treasures.
Summer does not forget the missed kitchen scents of Stalino heirs, a trattoria (tavern Da Pietropaolo) which for years has been praised on all guides. Tucked inside the clay, under the pagliarelle: red cherry tomatoes on spaghetti and rabbit; and the echo of the emerald frogs among the reeds of the warm trickle that, for millennia, has engraved the mountain.
Here Cesare Mellusi came to collect the precious mud, concealed in ceramic boxes, which painted - used sparingly - on the faces of girls on the waiting list: suave pruderie.
And a pair of young, likeable pensioners, gilded by the sun, and he so skinny, a little bald with scattered hairs; she placid, plentiful and deadly with her red lipstick, every day started with the first ferry from Naples, not to miss a single slice of pristine nature. What a pair: a sort of fakir with, at his side, an unlikely and very sweet Pomona.
Today Claudio serves drinks. Alfredo continues to replicate his miraculous massages, while at Dolce Siesta, play an important role the menu of salads of field, therapeutic like brackish afternoon shadows.
Next to the “Gaggia” of coffee, there was a blow-up with Fred Bongusto, passionate discoverer and ambassador of these places: t-shirt, long hair, light-heartedness of a true islander.

With guitar.

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  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
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