Life is a Dance

Holidays have you a bit edgy? Need a little get away? How about here?

Welcome to Li Galli, as pictured in House and Garden in August of 1992. The island, and it’s imposing home, have a long and rich history.

The island is one of three off the Italian coast that are the basis of the sirens myth from Homer’s Odyssey.

The castle-like structure was built in the twelfth century. But even in ’92, she’d had a little work done. By Le Corbusier. In the twenties the island was owned by Leonid Massine who was a choreographer for the Ballets Russes.

By chance, Rudolph Nureyev heard the family was looking for a new owner. He took a look. “I could see myself on it.” Well, yes, why not?

Nureyev adored pattern and his wardrobe was made up of patterned caps, sweaters and jackets. In accordance with his taste, he covered the interior of the house with antique tiles.

The house did not have water when he bought it; he installed a pump. Per the siren myth, it’s a little tricky to get to in choppy water. Apparently, it works out better if you have a helicopter.

Nureyev noted that there is not a lot to do here.

I saw Rudoph Nureyev in the Rome airport in 1980. He was exactly the age I am now. And totally gorgeous. He had a large scarf, something like a pashmina, wrapped over his shoulders. My guess is, even in the toughest circumstances, he didn’t have trouble filling his time.
Rudoph Nureyev, 1938 – 1983. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. All other photos, David Seidner.

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10 thoughts on “Life is a Dance

  1. You saw him in the airport? How cool is that!!! I just love that house -those tiles!!! Unfortunately I don’t have a helicopter though for my own little private paradise 🙁

  2. Change – even at my very tender age, I realized how cool it was. I have seen a few people in my life who have had a true presence – he was one. As for the helicopter, let’s assume they are mostly overrated. 🙂

  3. Courtney – my pleasure. Those tiles were antique and Italian. Even Nuryeve thought they were a bit dear, but apparently, the salt air makes the paint flake.

  4. Patricia- I have to admit that I take a peak at your blog now and then (former KU grad myself) and had to comment with the Italian post. My family was just on the Amalfi coast this summer. There is nothing more breathtaking then the views this coast has to offer. These islands are nothing short of amazing. As I understand it Li Galli is actually the name of the three islands, or archipelago, off the coast if Italy, near Positano. The islands are Gallo Lungo, Rotonda and Castelletto. We happened to take a boat tour around this area…it is the one the most spectacular, ancient and authentic destinations. In my book.

  5. Bonjourbruxelles, yes, you are right about the name of the islands, the article identified it this way, and I had no way of knowing which was Nuryeve’s. I so envy your family trip; Italy is on the top of my list for places to go back to. Nice to hear from a former Jayhawk today; the whole town seems yellow and black! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. The Sirens! We spent our honeymoon in Positano, looking out toward Li Galli and even took a boat over for a closer look and a chilly swim. I am glad to see the interior of this magical place.

  7. Brillian – I had no idea how envious I would be of all these fabulous trip stories! I googled around and could not tell if this was still in private hands or available to rent. Wouldn’t that be fab?

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