Romina Power, daughter to Hollywood actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, and Al Bano Carrisi an Italian singer from a small village in the south of Italy both fell passionately in love way back in the late 60's while making a film together. Despite coming from completely different backgrounds they eventually got married in 1970 and went on to become a very popular singing duo known as Al Bano and Romina recording top hits in Europe such as Sharazan and Felicita and taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Al Bano recalls that during a film set on the Island of Capri they escaped from the whole crew to a small grotto where no one could see them and there they had their own private wedding before the official one. They had bought two rings which had 'forever' engraved on them and as gypsies do, they both cut their hands and interchanged a droplet of blood between eachother with only the seagulls outside the grotto as their witness.
They had four beautiful children between them called, in order of age, Ylenia Maria, Yari Marco, Cristel Chiara and Romina Iolanda, and the whole family were, it seemed, to live happily ever after in their house in Cellino San Marco, the home town of Al Bano, in the south of Italy. Everyone thought they were the most idyllic couple - Romina, such a beautiful young woman with her long chestnut hair and dark brown eyes and Al Bano, with his almost operatic voice who was a sex symbol to so many Italian women.
But unfortunately, as is often said about marriages between different cultures, they can be complicated, and this fact in the end played a large part in the break-up of this particular marriage along with another tragedy which no one could have foreseen.
One has to remember that with the famous parents that Romina had, she spent most of her childhood surrounded by the Hollywood jet set and was used to all the customs and behaviours that were associated with such a life. Although her father, Tyrone Power died at the young age of 44 of a massive heart attack while filming Solomon and Sheba in Madrid, her mother, Linda Christian continued to live an eccentric life which she also exposed to her two daughters Romina and Taryn. They got used to seeing their mother drink and unfortunately also to see her take drugs, albeit the milder types, which in the end they partook of as well.
Al Bano, on the other hand, had spent most of his life in a small village where life was very humble and had no such luxuries as were found in Hollywood and had worked hard to get where he was as a singer. He lived with his parents and brother and their outlook on life was that alcohol and drugs were evil.
That these two characters could have lasted together for 30 years was in itself quite an achievement and gives merit to the love that they had for eachother, but during the last ten years of their marriage Romina no longer found living in a small village so quaint and when in 1994 her daughter Ylenia went missing in New Orleans it was to be the final knife that broke their marriage.
Al Bano never understood, liked or got used to seeing how Romina needed to smoke 'grass' and this over the years began to cause a continuous friction between them. Romina meanwhile also began to tire of his controlling ways and began to feel trapped in a world which she no longer considered to be her own. It is said that although Romina stopped loving Al Bano, his love for her never did die and he has admitted recently that she was and always will be the woman of his life. He confessed that in all the years of their marriage he had always been faithful to her because with such an exceptional woman by his side who he was madly in love with, how could he ever have had eyes for anyone else.
In 1994 their daughter Ylenia, who was 24, had gone to New Orleans to find material for a book that she was writing and had began to hang out with street musicians and other dubious characters. It is thought, but not confirmed, that she got caught up in the world of drugs as well but possibly to a higher degree than her mother and that when, as people claim, she was seen throwing herself into the Mississippi River, she was most probably under the influence.
Romina and Al Bano flew to New Orleans, spoke with the police and as many other witnesses as they could but the body of Ylenia was never found and to this day, 17 years later, no one can truly say whether she is dead or alive as no body was ever recovered.
Al Bano took it badly, as any normal father would, but he decided to try and put it behind him and try to continue his life. But on the other hand Romina refused to accept that her daughter had died and to this day is still searching with the hope that one day she will find her.
|Recent photo of Al Bano|
These two different approaches in dealing with the disappearance of their daughter is what finally drove them completely apart and the final divorce was to come just a few years later. A tragic ending to what was such a beautiful beginning!