August 28th, 2007

Ventotene - Ristorante e Bar Afrodite

That glowing blue neon sign immediately reminds me of the famous Cup of Nestor, in the museum at Villa Arbusto near Ischia's Lacco Ameno, upon which appears one of the earliest examples of alphabetical language, invented by the Greeks to preserve the oral epics of Homer. The scratched poetic lines on that 800 BC funerary relic are in fact a sex spell:

I am the goodly cup of Nestor. Whomsoever shall drink
of me, fair-crowned Aphrodite will immediately seize.

Did I hesitate to raise that cup and drink deeply, to intoxication?

Shortly after I arrived in Ischia in 1999, Dr. Abigail Brundin, an English scholar, asked me to photograph a fresco for the preface to her translation of Vittoria Colonna's poems, entitled "Sonnets for Michelangelo." While in the convent, I saw also in the adjoining library an oil painting of the famous Renaissance poet.

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