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Now you can relive the deep friendship that emerged between María Callas and the Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini aboard the ship Oedipus Re. Belmond Hotel Cipriani has restored it with great care and detail to offer its customers an alternative journey through the most unknown corners of the Venice lagoon.
Owned by the poet and writer - and his great friend the painter Giuseppe Zigaina -, this 16-meter motor sailing yacht took its name from Pasolini's movie Oedipus Rex (1967) and served as a meeting point for artists and intellectuals of the time, which were invited as contemporary muses in which to find inspiration. And in the middle of the last century there was no more fascinating muse than the great Greek soprano born in New York.
Feel like María Callas aboard the ship that belonged to the director and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. © @tysonsadlo
Pasolini chose María Calas as the protagonist of her film Medea (1969) because she was a character that the diva embroidered with mastery over operatic settings. She accepted what was her only film performance because at that time she was withdrawn from the lyrical world and suffered the spite of having been abandoned by her great love, Aristotle Onassis, who preferred to marry Jacqueline Kennedy.
After filming their relationship became so close that it was so common to see them together that there are those who even talked about a platonic love story. The truth is that the private letters of the opera singer have revealed that she was actually a woman who cared greatly about the feelings of her friends, and much more about Pasolini, who frequently suffered from the disappointment of her homosexual partners.
In classic Venetian style, the Belmond Hotel Cipriani has been decorated with local historical objects. © Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Many of the conversations between the two took place aboard the Oedipus Re, so enjoying the journey that the Belmond Hotel Cipriani now proposes involves participating a bit of that history of friendship and confessions.
You just have to settle in its resplendent wooden deck and get carried away from the island of Giudecca, where this classic Venetian-style hotel is located, to the most secret and authentic corners of the Venetian lagoon.
Torcello, to the north, awaits with its 17th-century cathedral and its Bizkaian mosaics, with its 15th-century Devil's Bridge and with its Andrich Museum, home of contemporary artists Lucio Andrich and Clementina De Luca.
Also there is Domenico Rossi, one of the few traditional fishermen still in the lagoon, who catches fish, prawns, cuttlefish and the famous soft shell moeche crabs in their nets.
Traditional fishing techniques in Torcello, north of the Venice lagoon. © @tysonsadlo
In the south of the lagoon, specifically on the island of Pellestrina, the experience continues with an exclusive and relaxing picnic on the semi-desert sand of this narrow strip of land. Those who prefer may go to a seafood tavern to try local snacks or rent bicycles to tour the island.
Again aboard the Oedipus Re there will be tastings of cocktails and local products, such as clams' caparossoli, or if a wine tasting is requested by Alessandro Pugliese, restaurant manager and sommelier of Giudecca 10, the new Italian trattoria of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani.
Exclusive and relaxed picnic on the sand of the island of Pellestrina, south of the lagoon. © @tysonsadlo
Pool of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, located on the island of Giudecca. © Belmond Hotel Cipriani