• Day17

    Running away to Lido

    September 2, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    It is 2.00 and I have done nothing.

    Athena has been out and about.
    She brings me a Gelati and tells me to go to Lido to the film festival. She will not come along.

    I am tentative to go by myself as feeling sensitive and vulnerable. This is the total opposite of me when I travel.

    I put makeup on, Athena does my hair and I say goodbye. She said she is proud of me.
    I know I will regret not trying.

    I chat to the reception guy whom let's me know everything I need to get to the film festival. He hands me his programme and tells me to say hello to Penelope Cruz, I tell him I will get her Ph no for him.

    I catch the water bus which takes 15 minutes and is 14euro return. The bus bashes up the side of the vaporettas as people embark. The water outside is at my knee level. The bus is loud with gear shifts.

    I hop off at Santa Maria Elizabetta station which is a 20min walk to the festival cinemas. A massive poster greets me at the station with a list of all the movies playing.

    I take a photo of 'my movie' THE KING with Timothee Chalamet as the lead.
    I love Timmy. He is my current favourite actor after seeing him in a movie CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. I am reading the novel whilst on holiday. Absolutely love it to pieces.

    A man approx 70 asks me where do you catch the buses. I said I don't know, just got here myself. But I know it is only a 20min walk. We walk and talk. He said his wife is back at the hotel as she's not into all of this, I said my friend is back at our hotel. His name is Will and he is from Texas. His parents were into movie making. We got there and walked straight through with a bit of security checking for weapons.

    Both of us are like kids in Disneyland. We watch the boats arrive with the stars. So happy, taking each other's photos in front of the cinemas. It is quiet and lovely walking around, a fabulous set up. The crowds come at 6.00pm when the movie premiers begin.

    Will leaves after 1hr and me- not quite ready -stays. I walk into the info booth and ask what time is the red carpet for The King? The girl says 6:00pm. I think I can hang for a couple of hours. She tells me the cast are staying at The Excelsior Hotel right over there.

    I go and sit on the steps out front of their hotel.

    I overhear 2 young italian girls talking excitedly behind me, in Italian. I can make out that they are talking about hot male actors as they say the names in English.
    So I butt in. I laugh and ask them who they are here to see- Timothee Chalamet.
    I say me too. One of the girls, Francesca, speaks English well enough. We chat non-stop about Call Me By Your Name and how much we love it. Then she shows me a tattoo on her arm of the 2 boys in the movie. I say wow! She then shows me photos of her with Timmy, taken at the boat arrivals, and she is showing him her tattoo! Amazing.

    All the while stunning Italian women in amazing dresses pour out of the hotel doors. Models, actresses and TV show hosts. Men are in tuxes and suits, everyone looks devine and very wealthy.

    The other girl, Deborah, needs to catch the last train home at 5.00. Francesca walks her to the station and tells me she'll be back.

    So I sit and wait and watch.

    Francesca has a ticket for the world premier of The King which is on at 10.30pm tonight. She came here yesterday at 7am and lined up.

    I had previously looked online but all the tickets were sold out. I did go to the box office earlier today to see if any tickets were avail but sorry sold out. The lady told me to come back 2hrs prior to the movie in case someone cancels but I didn't like my chances.

    Francesca and I grab some chips and sit and eat and chat about our favourite stars. She loves Joaquin Phoenix, whom is in The Joker. She got his autograph when he got off the boat. This girl is so clever.

    It gets to 7.00 and I think I had better head back to my hotel as I don't think I will get a glimpse of Mr Chalamet.

    Francesca says why don't you try to get a ticket. I say ok, you come with me because you are lucky and she does.
    I say hi to the ticket lady with a big goofy smile, I'm back. Would you please check for any cancelled tickets for the king? She said she will check. I was waiting for a no, but she said 'you are very, very lucky because I have one cancellation just come through now'.

    I walk off with my ticket in my hand and think better tell Athena not to expect me home before midnight and that I was absolutely fine.

    Francesca and I grabbed a bite whilst we waited for her friends to arrive.
    I find out she is 16, she seems 21.

    Her friends turn out to be about 6 girls all about 23, whom she met online at a Call Me By Your Name forum.

    I tell you, even though these girls speak Italian, they certainly speak my language. They all met up in Crema where the film was shot-40mins drive from Como. The majority of them speak English, they show me their photos of Timothee.

    Although, I am a ring in, the same age as their mothers and wearing a summer dress, they all talk to me as if I am one of them. It is so lovely.

    Next they tell me we need to line up for the red carpet. I think we are going to watch the stars walk it, but no they tell me, if you have a ticket you walk the red carpet.

    I almost stopped breathing.


    Here I am in my little summer Hawaiian dress, sandals and backpack.

    We all did it,


    What a crazy thing to do. I pass the crowds on my right and photographers on my left.
    There is a massive screen right up in front of us. And there I am on it smiling!!! Couldn't believe it. Hilarious.

    The girls tell me to get up to the railing/barriers so we can watch the actors go past as they enter the cinema. I ran my whole lower arm along that railing and stood ready to protect my spot.

    It got hot standing there. I took out my programme and fanned myself.

    Girls screaming just outside signalled the arrival of the cast of The King.

    2 aussies are in it, Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelson (whom I adore).

    I see Timmy in his silver suit taking selfies with his fans just outside. He is great. Really is as excited as the fans are.

    Then they walk in towards us, one after the other.

    Joel walks past me.
    I yell Hi Joel. He can clearly hear an Aussie amongst the sea of Italian murmurs. He quickly turns to me and waves and says 'Yo'.
    I thought 'you're a good boy'

    Next is Lily Rose Depp, Yep that Depp. The girls tell her she is beautiful and she faces us and says Thank you.

    Then it's good ol Tim.
    He zig zags across the lane way to each side.
    Now at this time my phone battery is dead, my programme is in my hand and somehow I found a pen in my bag.

    Everyone else has, a phone in their hand. I hold out the programme and pen.
    He beelines for me.
    He signs the back page of my programme in a couple of scrawls. He shakes my hand, looking me in the eye, great strong handshake. I say 'You are amazing and everyone here loves you' he replied 'thankyou very much, I really appreciate that' in his strong New York accent.


    I have no photos. I have a scrawl!
    But I damn well know how he shakes hands.
    The girls took video and photos so I gave them my email and asked if they could kindly send me some.

    With that we followed them into the cinema. Our seats were all over the shop.

    Then the director and cast walk in to take their seats. Standing clapping from all of us.

    The movie begins.
    It is based on a Shakespere play, and Tom Hiddleston did a version. So I know what happens.

    Robert Pattinson played the French prince and was bloody brilliant. Where the hell is he today??

    Joel did a great job and Timothee always lights up the screen.

    I kept looking behind me to check if they were still there, sitting behind me. Yep.

    The credits come up. The cinema stands and claps for about 6 minutes straight The actors bow and hug each other.

    Everyone departs the cinema.

    I exit a door where the cars are waiting for them. Well I might as well stand there.
    I see Ben, come out and once again the only Aussie voice in the crowd yells 'Great job Ben' he looks at me and smiles.
    I tell Joel the same and his head turns my way and he waves.
    I don't think the Italians know these boys, but I do. I am fully sic over yoos mate.

    I find a couple of the girls and follow them to the water bus which takes me from the festival direct to my hotel.

    We hug each other goodbye and I thank them for being so awesome.

    Athena is waiting up for me and I am home at 2.45am!!!

    Need to blog this stuff now before I forget everything.
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    Pete Sullivan

    How amazing is that ..just what U needed..the saggie luck so glad U had that experience 😍😍😍..whoo hoo😜

    Sandra Bourke

    That experience was exactly what I wanted and needed to pull me back to myself.


    Julie - are you seriously kidding me!!!! That is such an awesome story Waa Waa. Feel like I was there with you reading your blog. So very exciting. Good for you 💕💕💕

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