March 20, 2023
The Mediterranean comes home to you:
A curated list of music, books and films that will transport you all over the Med.
Summer is beginning to creep up on us and it seems we are all ready to shake off our winter coats in favour of the sun’s warm embraces. Mercifully, balmy weather, aperols at golden hour and salt water dips are soon to become a reality once more. Whilst we keenly wait for those sweet days to come, we can already get in the mood for our Mediterranean travels. To prepare and inspire us on our journeys, we can start to immerse ourselves in the worlds of those who proudly hark from some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Through the written word, song and film, they have manifested the atmosphere of their homeland which contributes to the allure and enchantment of the Mediterranean as a whole. Here is a list of books, films and songs from countries around the Med, which can transport us there for the time being and enrich our understanding of the many beautiful cultures which await our eager return.
With over 6000 islands and islets speckling the Grecian seas, it is no wonder that such an eclectic range of creative minds have emerged from Greece ever since ancient times. It is a country of beautiful contrast, both idyllic and hedonistic, calming and dynamic, peaceful and powerful. Writers, singers, and film-makers have portrayed these facets of Grecian culture and everything in between which pulls us into the mystery and magic of its many worlds.
Book: Three Summers, Margerita Liberaki
Song: Plateia Vathis, Sotiria Bellou
The honesty and frank beauty of Portuguese works is unlike any other. Portugal is a country without pretension or deception, and this is emulated in the works which have emerged from its creatives over the years. The depth of these beautiful pieces reveals a country of candour in every corner of its mainland and islands of supreme natural beauty.
Book: Empty Wardrobes, Maria Judite de Carvalho
Film: Our Month of Beloved August
Song: Uma casa portuguesa, Amalia Rodrigues
The robust romance of Spanish culture is enigmatic and passionate. The poet, Pablo Neruda uncovers the country’s soul in sparing words, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s on screen chemistry exhibit its palpable seductiveness and Carmen Amaya’s powerful song and dance reveal its elegant strength. On the surface, Spain is already oozing with intrigue but dig a little further into its culture and even more surprises lie in store.
Book: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Pablo Neruda
Film: Jamon Jamon
Song: Cuando Pa Chile Voy, Carmen Amaya
Italy is a country you can visit a thousand times over and never relive the same way twice. Whether you are sprawling along its glimmering coastline, losing yourself in its deep history, or drowning yourself in its irresistible food and wine, there is joy. It is a country that has mastered its pace and enjoyment of life to such an extent, that it is no wonder keen travellers come back time and again to fixate on enjoying life to the fullest. The country’s greatest minds have created literature, film and music that radiates with this philosophy.
Book: All our Yesterdays, Natalie Ginzburg
Film: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Song: Il Pescatore, Fabrizio d’Andre
Romance, lost paradise and endless wine-drenched days await on French soil. There is nothing more enticing than summer days on some riviera or summer evenings among the sprawling vineyards which bedeck rustic countrysides. In the meantime, soak up the pages of one of the most beautifully written French novels, watch the glittering scenes of an erstwhile Parisian glamour and listen to the nostalgic jazz that epitomises the chic mystique of France’s magnetic charisma.
Book: The Lost Domain, Alain Fournier
Film: La Belle Epoque
Song: Si Tu Vois Ma Mere, Sidney Bechet
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Words and Photographs by Antonia Fest