A Day Visit to Rocca Sorrentina by Netera Landar
Imagine recreating history to experience the art, culture, and knowledge of times past. Many Second Life® developments can be used as history lessons for schools! Authenticity is taken to a new level in simulated role play, immersing residents in a transformative time travel experience! Step inside Rocca Sorrentina, a fictional 18th century Italian island outside the Bay of Naples. It is a popular vacation spot for European nobility because of its curative waters and a stop on the European Grand Tour, according to Sere Timeless, one of the sim’s educational tour guides. Todd Elswit originally built Rocca Sorrentina as one of the “Royal Courts” regions of Second Life®.
“When the island was acquired in May, 2011, the historical time period was maintained, as were connections to other Royal Courts and historical roleplay sims. We interact most often with Versailles, the Antiquity regions, the Duchy of Coeur regions, and the Principality of Amalfi.”—Sere Timeless
The Missouri Humanities Council in St. Louis now owns the sim. Efficiently managed by Aldo Stern, Serenek Timeless, Diogeneia Kuhr, and Aria Vyper, it is a lovely little corner of SL not to be missed.
“We give occasional tours– mainly to educational groups. But, we are happy to take visitors around the island anytime a willing resident or a manager is available.” —Serenek Timeless
1780 Rocca Sorrentina makes you step out of your comfort zone and into a fascinating foreign old world land. Even if it is fictional, it is based on historical notation. You learn about how lives were strictly governed by rank and etiquette. You discover dramatic architecture and wear gowns like works of art.
Begin your journey into this 18th century educational community properly. Teleport to[ ]the sim’s welcome platform and search for an appropriate full-body damask day dress with revealing bodice for women, and long waistcoats with a multi-buttoned vest and frilly laced shirt for men. Both will find velvet bowed shoes. I purchased the beautiful Nonna Hedges’ Jacqueline Gown for its form-fitting bodice and full ivory and floral skirt. The white wig is not included, but the shoes are. Purchase a white powdered wig at Cherie Coiffures near the Villa. A nice selection of dresses give the feel for the era’s costumes. A gorgeous burgundy formal gown appears perfect for formal role-playing occasions. Being suitably attired becomes an immersive experience.
The themed sim has available apartment rentals, which must be furnished and decorated according to 18th century European styles. Many of the shops are smaller versions of larger stores, so you’re sure to find what you need. At DeCuir’s Antique Furniture, purchase a warming Antique Stone Fireplace complete with a decorative urn, candlestick, small screen, and bench with animations. The Antique Dressing table, a Versailles-inspired vanity, allows your avatar to brush her hair, put on lipstick and perfumes. Find a gold leaf and ebony wood table, a sideboard buffet, floral chaise lounge, and more.
“We have twelve residential rentals of various sizes (apartments, small houses, and small villas), some of which are spacious enough to accommodate roommates or couples, while others are more suitable for individuals. Each of the units is distinctive–no cookie cutter housing on this island! Including the managers, there are 15-20 residents on the island at any one time. Our rental rates are $5 per prim per week. Potential renters should check the rental boxes in the Rental Office for vacancies and for a copy of the agreement. The office also has a map of the island which gives out an informational notecard listing the locations of the various rental properties.”—Sere Timeless
At The Villa Versuviana you will be immediately drawn to the Music Room. A Harpsichord created by Madamethespian Underhill plays a lovely melody. One can imagine, a musical reception held in this mural decorated room, with its floral carpets, antique gold and white patterned settees, and matching Empire armchairs. The Villa is a recreation of Andrea Palladio’s Villa Capra La Rotonda and its impressive gardens. Here social events, such as dances, poetry discussions, and formal dinners are conducted.
In addition to the rental villas and apartments, the island also has a small village with 18th century trades on display. There are shops in the landing area marketplace and in the historical area at ground level, where visitors can purchase period-appropriate clothing, accessories, and furniture. At the art galleries, there are regular rotating art and educational exhibits.
Capturing the essence of this period’s clothing is more than a skill, it’s an art. Not only do these designers have to consider the color palette, there is also the shape of the sleeves and bodice, choosing what wig would best compliment the gloves to be worn, and the selection of matching shoes. Full-skirted riding gowns come in Cypress Blue, Evergreen, and Bitterroot. Imagine riding a horse dressed so elegantly!
If a romantic night in your apartment with your partner, beside a toasty fireplace, is your cup of tea, then check out the Pink Brunswick Gown. The formal Winter Evening gowns of gold, red, and silver are gorgeous.
Across the cobbled path from Cherie’s is a publishing shop, complete with several examples of the machinery used. It is easy to imagine the endless hours spent on the text and binding, just to record the literature and history of the era. I loved the animation at the Druckerpresse.
At Mau Delarosa’s shop, find charming top hats for women, and silk shoes. The 18th Century Robe a l’anglaise with its white, blue bodice and gold silk skirt, is topped with a raised brim hat adorned by flowers and ribbon. The colors are stunning, as if right out of a noblewoman’s portrait. The French Patriot Gown is inspired by the Jacques Louis David’s portrait of the Marquise d’Orvillers, and symbolizes the fashion of 1790’s, according to its SL creator. She states that the simple Chemise Gown and its use of black textiles were a welcome escape from the previous more “decadent” style of pre-revolutionary times in France. A clear indication that excessive and expensive gowns were far from comfortable, and these more relaxed ones were a needed and welcome change. Still, I adore the 1780 rose colored Open Robe a l’anglaise for its feminine beauty, defining grace in its tailored style and flowing skirt. Topped with a Broad Brimmed Straw Hat, it is a must for a role-players wardrobe!
Unusual but so necessary, you’ll even find men’s wear here; noble examples of waistcoats, velvet like coats with detailed embroidery, Baroque shirts and black belts, and don’t forget the Adventurer sets! No matter what the era, it is wonderful for fashion designers to remember that men are just as interested in fashion in SL.
Let’s not forget sim activities. Rocca Sorrentina has two to three major social weekends each year that have a variety of activities, including dances, treasure hunts, fencing tournaments, and the art gallery openings.
The Accademia di Sorrentina is one of my favorite buildings, as it best illustrates how our need to expand knowledge empowers us.
Learn about this era through a stroll in the upper level Cabinet of Curiosities, viewing man-made and natural world objects, period paintings, or an intelligent conversation through the Alexandrian Free Libraries discussion group.
A short distance away is a splendid Coffee House, the perfect setting for socializing, debate, gambling, and political discussion, within reason. This social setting demonstrates the rising popularity of drinking coffee among one’s peers during weekend salons. Here, members may discuss literature and politics of the era “in character.”
Then there is the reality of the threat of aggressive forces. A village or city must protect itself from invaders arriving by sea. Therefore, the Fortezza and the Watchtower, a circular, stone enforced tower, stand ready to protect the citizens and tourists of this fine community.
Note that it is not a role playing sim, although there is roleplay activity in which everyone is welcome to participate. Wearing 18th century apparel is encouraged, along with having appropriate personas for the time period.
During the seasonable weather, wealthy tourists enjoy the relaxing shore, cuddle, or read in private tents.
For more information, please contact Netera Landar, Editor-in-Chief, neteralandar.gmail.com.