Photo by Artur Dancs

Monet’s Berm

The importance of Monet’s Berm will only make sense once one went through the entire story of Elio and Oliver in André Aciman’s novel. I was, initially, just looking for that postcard from the Monet’s Berm, the one thing Oliver has taken with him when he left B for New York at the end of that summer.  The postcard that decades later was till hanging on the wall of his office when Elio visited him. It was not too difficult to find “The View of Bordighera”. And it was not too difficult then to find the berm itself on the top of the hill. To be precise, the original location where Monet liked to go out to work was the grandiose mansion, Villa Mostaccini, and more precisely, its tower from which the mansion is named Torre Dei Mostaccini. The mansion is a private property and not accessible for visitors.



“Elio: This is my spot. All mine. I come here to read. I can’t tell you the number of books I’ve read here.

Oliver: Do you like being alone?

Elio: No. No one likes being alone. But I’ve learned how to live with it.

Oliver: Are you always so very wise?

Elio: I’m not wise at all. I told you., I know nothing. I know books, and I know how to string words together – it doesn’t mean I know how to speak about the things that matter most to me.”

Oliver: But you’re doing it now – in a way.

Elio: Yes, in a way – that’s how I always say things: in a way.”



7 thoughts on “Monet’s Berm

      1. I had my own Oliver and my own Monet’s Berm. It was behind my house apartment. Oliver and I spent the whole night of one warm summer night in the grass, just the two of us our bodies twisted as two blades of grass in an embrace that united us as one.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. how interesting the picture View of Bordighera – that influenced the writing of the book, is owned by the Amand Hammer collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was indeed a tremendous discovery. Within a month I travelled to the Hammer’s in Los Angeles to see the original “View of Bordighera” and then to Paris to take a look at the “Villas in Bordighera” the photo of which was part of an artistic wall-calendar that inspired André Aciman for an essay and a very important piece of “Call Me By Your Name”. But I will tell you that story in a new post later.


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