He was always talking about Bernalda bella. It was almost like a fairy tale to me

It turns out that Bernalda is the town his grandfather left early in the 20th century for America. Agostino Coppola had been a machinist and, as such, knew the Palazzo only as the home of aristocrats. He possibly had an affair with a maid in that house, thus entered not via grand front door and foyer but trellis and window. “My grandfather was very charismatic, and, although he died when I was five, I remember him vaguely,” Coppola told me. “He was always talking about Bernalda bella. It was almost like a fairy tale to me. When I was 21, I got to go to Europe working in low-budget movies and I found myself in Yugoslavia and realized that Italy was right across the Adriatic. I put my car on a ferry and drove to Bernalda. No one in my family had gone back, not the grandfather, not the uncles. I was the first. I went to this little village and I couldn’t speak Italian. I could say 10 words, you know, and I said, ‘I’m Francis Coppola, grandson of Agostino Coppola—did anyone know him?’ And this old lady said she was a prima cugina, a first cousin.” She took him home, introduced him around. “Then it was getting late and I said, ‘Is there a hotel somewhere?’ And they said, ‘No, no, you’re going with the sposi.’ Sposi means wedding couple; they’d just gotten married. In the bedroom there were all the gifts, and there was one bed. The husband comes out in pajamas and goes to the bed and says, ‘Signore Franco.’ I realized I’m going to sleep with the husband. I don’t know what happened to the wife; she was probably out with the donkey.”

Francis Ford Coppola’s Third Act: Italy, Wine, and the Secret of Life
Fonte: Vanityfair

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