We have just spent a long weekend in Firenze as Bridesmaid (not me!) and Usher (Groomsman) to very very dear friends. It went something like this:
Wednesday night - a late arrival - at Casa Guidi the apartment owned by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the Nineteenth Century and now part of Eton' portfolio (available through the Landmark Trust). This sits nearly next door to the Pitti Palace and is a great striking point for the city.
Thursday morning - we slept in bunk beds which was novel -up lateish and off to the Horne Museum a little known collection put together in the Nineteenth century by an Englishman and housed in a Palazzo on Via dei Benci. Incidentally Mrs Off the List loves the Osteria dei Benci, which is nearly directly opposite - better for dinner.
The Horne has a perfect collection of both furniture and paintings:
Piero di Cosimo, St. Girolamus. XV Century
16th Century Games Board
16th Century Coffer
The courtyard grills - carved from the solid they had the feel of Indian jali's - utterly wonderful details that one really shouldn't notice.
The courtyard wall - the bust had the feel (though a poor little sister) of Bernini's Costanza Bonarelli.........sort of.
We then trecked across town to take out the in-laws for lunch before having a quick scoot around the plaster cast studio beside Charles Cecil's Drawing schools called the Galleria Romanelli
You cannot take photographs but this gives you a hint
The afternoon saw us move into our spectacular hotel on Santa Maria Novella JK Place which was where the brides party was all put up - very spoiling!
All the above was mere fore-play mind you..........
On Friday morning (after rather a serious dinner) with a sore head we met at the feet of David for a guided tour around the Uffizi where the essentials were discussed in depth - it's been many years since my days of Art History and whilst I was superbly taught, the lady who took us around the various Botticelli's etc was a marvel - it's now suggested that Botticelli's Birth of Venus
was in fact designed as a banner for a jousting tournament! However it was the sculpture that really grabbed me (though no one else it seems) whether Renaissance or ancient I just love marble (an interesting sale is coming up in the next few weeks which shall have to be discussed). I digress............midway through our tour & all of a sudden a large pair of doors are thrown open revealing a descending staircase
The VASARI CORRIDOR! Just fifteen of us........
What I was not aware of was that in 1993 the Mafia placed a bomb outside the Uffizi (and various other sites in Italy) which tore the heart out of the landing from which the above photograph was taken near destroying a number of Caravaggio's - these have been left as a reminder of the event.
The corridor is impressive in concept but lacking in quality content however it has the feel of a true interior as opposed to a curated interior - you get my gist?
Another patch of vandalism occurs at the central point on the crossing over the Ponte Vecchio. The corridor is lit with grilled port holes along its length except at the middle of the Arno where Mussolini and his legions decided that a diminutive visitor from central Europe ought to have a view down the river without peering through one of the holes that had, for centuries, been good enough for Medici' and Popes alike. Ggrrrrrr.
The unspoilt run of windows.
Mussolini's unbroken view
We finished at the Pitti Palace.
More to come..............