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Tina Arena
Tina Arena
Patrizio Buanne
Patrizio Buanne

Tina Arena and Patrizio Buanne

Thursday, October 18, 2007

With Tina in Paris

In the late 1970s, a pint-sized Tina Arena hit the small screen on Johnny Young's Young Talent Time. The seven-year-old's voice won the hearts of countless Australians, and we have all been interested in following her ascending career.

Tina has received countless nominations and awards for singing and song writing — her songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Winona Judd and Casey Donovan. She has performed with Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie and Donna Summer, had roles in Cabaret and Notre Dame in Australia, France and the West End. She also performed at the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games.

Tina has toured the world for decades and has recorded albums in three languages. She has lived in Los Angeles and London and, while still a true Aussie at heart, has fallen in love with Paris. She now lives there and, like many before her, finds the city inspiring as it brings out the best of her talents. Her home is in a central part of the city, overlooking a leafy park where she's surrounded by cafés, boulangeries and shops selling every imaginable type of fresh, local produce. Getaway was delighted to catch up with Tina and to discover some of her favourite places in the City of Lights.

Montmartre, high on the only hill overlooking Paris, has long been famous for its artists. This is the place to go if you want to have your portrait drawn. You can walk around this small square and look over the shoulder of an artist or sip a coffee at one of the many cafés.

Nearby is the Basilica du Sacre Coeur. It was built at the end of the 19th century and the white building dominates the city. It has been a place of perpetual adoration and worship since 1885. It contains an enormous mosaic depicting Christ with outstretched arms. The nearby bell tower holds the Savoyarde. Cast in Annecy in 1895, it is one of the world's heaviest bells, weighing 19 tons . It is a wonderful place to be at sunset.

Ile Saint Louis has everything you want to see that is typically Parisian. It is the island next to Notre Dame, in the heart of Paris and apart from refined architecture, has some of the city's best specialty food shops.

The island is connected to the ''mainland'' and Ile de la Cité by five bridges. It is one of Paris's most fashionable and expensive districts with 18th century houses and a village-like life. Worth a visit for its beauty, Ile Saint Louis is also known as having the best ice-cream in France!

The Pompidou Centre is a futuristic arts centre located in one of the oldest districts in Paris, the Beaubourg. President Pompidou wanted the gallery to bring art and culture to the man on the street.

Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers wanted to move away from traditional art galleries, as the inventive design reveals. The infrastructure is displayed on the outside with the escalator tubes and utility pipes climbing around the building. It is as if the building has been turned inside out.

Works by Picasso, Braqua, Ernst, Magritte, Chagall, Matisse and other greats are displayed in these modern, open surroundings. The George Restaurant on the centre's roof is a good place to rest and contemplate all you have seen.

With Patrizio in Rome

Rome — city of style, culture, food, music and romance. It has it all, and it's almost impossible to imagine how it could be improved. Well, add the charming and talented Patrizio Buanne to the equation and there you have it. Perfection.

His rich baritone voice is ideal for traditional Italian love songs and 1950s and '60s standards. Always the picture of sartorial splendour, Patrizio is tall, dark, handsome, polished and immaculate.

The 27-year-old was raised in Naples and from the age of four sang the Neapolitan songs of his father's childhood. The Buanne family moved to Austria when Patrizio was six and his father opened that country's first pizzeria.

And before he had even turned 20, Patrizio won countless talent shows, played Elvis Presley on stage and sang before the Pope.

Just as at home in Rome as Naples, Patrizio was delighted to take the Getaway crew on a tour — much to the envy of many.

It all began at the Spanish Steps, a steep set of stairs running between Piazza di Spagna at the base, Piazza Trinità dei Monti and the church under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, Trinità dei Monti, above. The 138 steps were built with French funds in 1725 and linked the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See.

Next was a visit to the Trevi Fountain. The baroque Fontana stands 25.9 metres high and 19.8 metres wide and is the most ambitious fountain ever created in Rome. Its central figure is Neptune, god of the sea, standing in front of a large niche. He is riding a chariot in the shape of a shell, pulled by two sea horses, each guided by a triton. One horse is calm, the other restive, symbolising the fluctuating moods of the sea. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, you will return to Rome.

Piazza Navona, a marvel of light and sculpture, is very long and owes its shape to the ruins that formed it. Under the buildings surrounding the piazza are the remains of the Circus Domitianus, Domitian's stadium. Part of it can be seen to the left of the north exit.

The piazza actually marks the area for the races in the stadium. It has many fine old buildings, a beautiful church and three magnificent fountains. It was in the arena that the 12-year-old Christian, Agnes, who had refused to marry a pagan, was martyred on the spot where the church of Sant'Agnese is located. It was also the site of the Agonal games in ancient times.

Today, the lively square is filled with entertainers and open air cafés — the perfect setting for people watching.

The Castel Sant'Angelo was built by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum. Construction began in 123 AD and finished in 139 AD, during the reign of Hadrian's successor, Antonius Pius.

The building consisted of a square 89 metre wide base on which a cylindrical colonnaded drum with a diameter of 64 metre was constructed. On the drum was an earthen tumulus topped by a quadriga with Hadrian's statue.

The mausoleum was connected to the city at the other side of the river by a newly constructed bridge, the Pons Aelius, now known as the Pont Sant'Angelo. Its many statues were added later during the Renaissance. The mausoleum housed the remains of Hadrian and his successors up to Caracalla.

Rome is a marvellous city to walk around — possibly without the distraction of doing it with Patrizio. Every street, piazza and nook has something delightful to offer — something for everyone.

Patrizio Buanne's latest album Forever Begins Tonight is now available. His website is:



Paris and Rome.

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