CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
Capri | Store GuideAugust 7, 2007

Dedicated to the Sirens…

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"Ergo coge mori qvam sine te vivere coges"

(You force me to die because you force me to live without you)

This is the text I received on my BlackBerry when I got on the plane at Naples airport, leaving the unforgettable island of  Capri at sunset that afternoon.

The day I arrived I spent with my friends -- a wonderful day on their boat -- and on my way to the hotel near the Piazzetta, thinking how desperate I was to get into a fresh shower and use the restroom, I suddenly hear myself shamefully scream out loud in front of two pieces of jewelry quickly seen through a glass window.

I Immediately above the store window,  trying to recognize some kind of a brand and read the following name: Imperatore di Capri. The Capri Emperor? I tell my friends, "Yes I need to go to the restroom but please meet me at the Gelateria. I have to check something out, it will take me just a minute."

"Buon giorno signore," I say. Tony Modestini, the owner of this Pompeian red antique store, immediately recognizes my Brazilian accent and starts telling me that his father was with Pietro Maria Bardi the curator of the Sao Paulo legendary Masp, but whatever this Tony says, I only want to know about the rings I saw on the window. "Miss, I must tell you that you are stepping on a floor of marble used in antique Roman palaces, don't you see the Breccia Verde at your feet? What about the Porfido Rosso from Egypt and the Africano from North Africa? This Roman bust is the god Apollo in marble from Tunisia. Perhaps you did not notice the coral collection from Murano,  "Signor Tony, please I have got something urgent to do at my hotel could I pleeease see those rings in the window?"

I finally touch what my fingers needed to feel around them. After having spent a never-ending day on the deep indigo blue waters of the island of Capri, I realize there is something between heaven and the sea, that the emperor Tiberius walking with his loyal companion, the astrologer Thrasyllos from Rhodes around the pine trees of his beloved Capreae often asked himself looking at the sea "Quid sirenae cantare sint solitae?" (What do the sirens sing?). And the difficult question for centuries since Homer placed the malicious enchantresses in one stage of Odysseus' journey home, is still unanswered, the myth arcane and indecipherable.

Mister Tony does not dare to interrupt my deep thoughts; he knows for a fact that tonight I will be wearing -- like a muse -- something that will enchant the one that wrote those words in Latin on my phone. The romantic icon of dangerous seductiveness coming from far in the antique Capreae is in the air today and certainly with me after sunset.

I now leave Tony Modestini's store smiling while looking for a Nutella chocolate ice cream so I can be brought back gently to reality in the name of the otium cum dignitate! ( Leisure with dignity)

Joelle's picks:

The store: Imperatore di Capri, via Roma 55-80073 Capri/

The music: Circie, Ursula Rucker, Jazzanova Mix, album: Departure Lounge part one

The lyrics:

The book: Franz Kafka's selected Stories, The Silence of the Sirens /

The boat Ride: Capri Relax Boats Via Cristoforo Colombo 34- Marina Grande. Tel : 39 81 837 4559/

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