sulla strada, capitolo quattro

Posted by Whitmore, February 1, 2008 02:52pm | Post a Comment
For once we actually arrived at our appointed destination early. This doesn't happen everyday. Actually this has never happened before. I doubt it will ever happen again.

Savona is a beautiful blue-tinged seaside resort town, and a town I'll always remember as the one where we given a police escort to leave. The main drag runs only a few feet from the beach and the quietly breaking Mediterranean waves, the road only pulls away from the shore near the marina where the dry docks are filled with impressive looking yachts sitting on blocks; either waiting for repairs, remodeling or a party. Savona oozes cash, you can smell the euros floating around, wafting from the wallets of elderly tourists dressed in three piece suits and full length mink coats as they wander the cafes, shops, boardwalks and beaches. Above the downtown corridor in the hills you can see the brightly painted stone and brick houses with their masterfully landscaped gardens and patios, and whose inhabitants I presume also dine in these restaurants, shop in these shops - dressed in their finely tailored Italian suits and floor length minks.

Since we were uncharacteristically early, we checked into our hotel, the club Rain Dogs provided for us. We dropped off all our crap, I took a quick shower. Afterward, I tried to dial in something on television. I unexpectedly became transfixed by Italian MTV and a show called Star Wars, tonights episode: Duran Duran vs Depeche Mode. Unfortunately, soundcheck beckoned so I wasn't able to stick around and see who came out on top. I can only imagine it ended in a contractually obligated draw.

Rain Dogs is said to be the nicest club in the area. It's roomy with a nice size stage and with a real piano. The upstairs green room also doubles on occasion as a small screening room, and the walls are decorated in vintage 60's rock posters from the classic shows of the Family Dog and Avalon Ballroom. The owner, I discovered later, is a huge fan of the Grateful Dead. I can safely say he is the first Italian Deadhead I've ever met.

Once again after soundcheck we ate like kings, this time dinner was a huge platter of prosciutto, exotic goat and sheep cheese, bread and a salad. We're learning much about food here, for example there are basically two types of Italian prosciutto crudo, prosciutto di Parma, from Parma, and prosciutto di San Daniele, from the San Daniele del Friuli area, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The prosciutto di Parma has a slightly nuttier flavor and the prosciutto di San Daniele, is darker in color and sweeter ... and both just kick my ass!

We rocked our hour and a half long set, met several local luminaries, sold a bunch of CD's and finally stumbled back to our hotel at about 3:30am. In the morning, actually early afternoon, and for the first time on tour, the local police took an interest in us ... actually I think they took an interest in Shawn as she crossed the street to our van. They pulled alongside our illegally parked van as we were reloading our gear and luggage. Actually Lyman was packing, the rest of us were smoking and drinking coffee and just goofing. I was a ways down the street taking pictures of the beach and some tourists in their minks walking barefoot in the sand. Out of the corner of my eye I was suddenly aware of both a commotion and everyone freezing in their steps, the next thing I heard was laughter, the cops were laughing with our co-manager Stephano, as if they were old friends. When I got back to the van the carbinieri were being introduced to all the band members, having their pictures taken with the American rock and roll musicians, and I presume exchanging tales of debauchery and excess in Italian. After about 20 minutes with our new best friends, the police officers recommended a beach for us to check out and a restaurant for lunch. Instead of just giving us directions they escorted us out of town, up the coast to a quiet and secluded beach that anywhere else would have been a private beach. Us and the law parted ways, they said they were American rock music fans so we gave them a CD, and rest of the afternoon we hung out at the beach - on a gorgeous day - till lunch time and we dined at the trattoria that our carbinieri friends suggested. Once again the food was superb.

I presume being escorted out of town in such a friendly manner by the local men in blue is a good omen. I also have to presume that if we have another encounter with the law, it may not be as friendly!

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Italy (14), Travel (23), Mink Coats (1), Prosciutto Crudo (1), The Good Life (7)