Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Renovations curtail museum visit but opera is superb
We did admire a Phoenician sarcophagus from the 5th century BC and pottery from various inhabitants throughout the ages. In fact we were lucky to catch a glimpse of the largest collection of ancient anchors in the world.
It was time for some refreshment and we stopped at a little place on one of the narrow streets. The servers were very friendly but in the way of hucksters the world over with the greeting, "Where do you come from?" This always engages you in conversation. Later we wandered around and went back to this restaurant for lunch since they had veal on the menu, something you hardly ever find in Spain.
In the late afternoon we went to Palermo's grand neoclassical opera house, the Teatro Massimo that took over 20 years to complete and has become one of the city's iconic landmarks. The closing scene of The Godfather: Part III, with its visually stunning contrasts of high culture, crime, drama and death, was filmed here.
The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton (Lucia) who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th century. The staging was a bit dark and dour but suited the opera. We enjoyed our evening at the opera sitting in our box, and the smoked salmon sandwich at the interval. Even though things didn't end well for Lucia and her lover it was a good day for us after all.