...beauty and history can we take?
Our trip from the Forum to the Borghese is a story in itself, but let's leave that one for when you and I talk. It will be much better with gestures.
Our final night in Rome has arrived and we are hot, tired and our butts are dragging. The Caesar Shuffle has all but done us in, but we soldiered on. At the gate to the grounds, Bob bought a beer and I bought an orange soda and we tried to rally. My vision had been to arrive at the grounds with time to wander leisurely through the park in the shade of the trees, stopping to admire the statuary and fountains. Ahhh.......................no. You must make an appointment to visit the museum and we had made ours for the last 2 hour time slot, which was fast approaching. We had about 30 minutes, and so we took our time walking to the museum, enjoying the shade and sights visible in the park from the main "road". The gardens are welcoming and peaceful. Just what the doctor ordered.
By the time we got to the villa, my attitude was far more relaxed and I thought I was ready for what awaited.
We entered but had about 20 minutes to wait. It was a welcomed opportunity to sit. As I sat, I glanced at my feet. I am not exaggerating when I say that they were black with the dust of of the Colosseum and Palatine! Right on time, we were summoned for entry for our 2 hour visit.
We were shown to a stairway.............a steep stairway...............a long, steep stairway. My black feet carried me to the top and we entered the painting rooms. The guide book had said, "What the Borghese lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quality." This being our expectation, we were stunned to find room after room after room of artwork. The museum is housed in the Borghese Villa and it is not small. Every room was filled with extraordinary paintings, some small sculptures and stunning ceilings (sometimes with framed works and sometimes painted). In one room, Bob noticed a remarkable example of trompe l'oeil on a ceiling. At first, it was difficult to tell whether the figures and embellishments were dimensional or painted. In another room, there was a framed piece on the ceiling that was nearly as large as the room. The museum is a feast for the eyes at every glance. One of the things that impressed us both were 3 mosaic pieces that defied imagination. The pieces were so small and the work and shading so fine, that the fact that they were mosaics was practically undetectable.
The single critique we had of the painting section was that since the rooms are small and the lighting natural in most cases, it was sometimes difficult to really see the paintings' details due to glare or closeness. We proceeded to the statuary.
Upon entering the statue hall, I got chills. The room through which you enter is large and grand and filled with magnificent sculptures. The sight of them literally stopped me in my tracks and I took a moment to catch my breath. Once again, unlike the guide book description, we found the sculpture area quite large. Both Bob and I appreciate sculpture, and we were thrilled with the exhibits. We walked, overwhelmed, from one room to the next and with each new room, there was yet another stunning "favorite". But when we saw Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, we agreed that it was the highlight of the visit. Suzy added to our amazement with the work by explaining that the piece was recently cleaned. Daphne's fingers are so finely carved that when the workers cleaned her fingers, they rang like fine crystal. Think of it.
Cameras are not allowed in the museum, so the following picture was taken from a web article about the piece. The link follows the photo:
Borghese, Bernini and Bobby..............the perfect ending to my better-than-dreamed-of vacation.
PS-Pretty fancy company, Kranz.