Callas tourism

Pilgrimage: A journey (usually of a long distance) made to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion; the action or practice of making such a journey.

Jared Paul Stern (oh dear) invites us to book passage for “a special Maria Callas Experience charter” this spring and summer on board the Christina O.

The yacht Christina, a floating palace of its day, belonged to Aristotle Onassis. Callas and Onassis reportedly became lovers on board in 1959. The boat changed hands several times after the tycoon’s death in 1975 and was renamed Christina O—eliding the name of Onassis’s daughter and the jaunty (scandalized?) nickname of his second wife—about ten years ago.

According to Wikipedia, she can be chartered for €45,000 to €65,000 a day.

Sean “Diddy” Combs recently cruised on the Christina O.

The more impecunious among us may prefer a tour of locations associated with Maria Callas in Verona (where she made her Italian début) and possibly also Zevio (where her husband had a family home) and Sirmione (where Callas and her husband owned a vacation home).

The site mentions a museum in Zevio displaying Callas memorabilia, “thousands of pictures, old records, magazines, dresses of the great singer.” As of late 2009, it was not yet open, though I may not have the latest information.

I offer you, as well, an article about Maria Callas and her dogs, with more than sixty photos, including the image you see here of Callas with her poodle Tea in Verona, c. 1954.

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