Saturday, October 25, 2008

Last Museum Stop in Italy - Palazzo Pitti

You're going to have to forgive me for this relatively short post. For some reason, I seem to be missing some photos taken on this last day in Florence. Without photos to remind me, I am quite, quite lost. You'd want to take it from me - never blog about a trip more than 2 months after the occurrence, you'd need a photographic memory to remember the details. That's why photos are SO important. I practically rely on them (aside from some short notes) to jog my memory.

Our last day in Florence was spent at Palazzo Pitti (Palace Pitti), a palace owned by the famous Medici family (mentioned in a previous post).

Outside the Palazzo Pitti

Mr Irish atop the Palazzo's friendly resident tortoise

As you can see, the Pitti Palace is a severe and formidable looking building.

The Palace's 1st floor houses the Palatine Gallery, which contains a large collection of Renaissance art which were once owned by the Medici's and their successors'. The works include those by Raphael (he's everywhere!), Titian, Caravaggio, Fillipo Lippi, Rubens, Pietro da Cortona. Same as the Uffizi, our cameras could not see the light of day while we were in the gallery. And that would pretty much explain the lack of photos for this day.

Thinking that we're be getting useful information from buying the gallery's guidebook, we each bought one at 10 Euros a-piece. Not a good buy, I must say. We found that this book is nowhere as informative or useful as the Uffizi guidebook. There weren't nearly enough artworks featured in the book, and the descriptions accompanying each featured artworks were rather short on the details, which wasn't helpful in giving us an insight into the paintings' symbolic meanings or the artists' minds as we viewed the pieces.

Compared to the Uffiz, characterised by its massiveness and art treasures bursting at the seams, the Gallery just seemed to pale in comparison. The art works weren't nearly as spectacular nor memorable. Not that I profess to be a very knowledgeable art aficionado, but I did not catch sight of any famous works at the Gallery that were already known to me prior to the visit. This is in contrast to the Uffizi, where I had seen some renowned works of which I already had prior knowledge of. This is the reason why I am unable to tell you of any particular artwork that left a lasting imprint on me, unlike Boticelli's works from the Uffizi. Yes, it's very sad. :-(

We also visited a section in the Palace, known as the Royal Apartments. This is a suite of 14 rooms, formerly used by the Medici family, and lived in by their successors. The rooms were richly furnished, with gilded cornices and chandeliers, fine carpeting, luxurious silk-covered walls and four poster beds. Frankly it seems very pompous to me, but I supposed this is to be expected, from the residence of the most powerful rulers in Florence.

There were many other rooms we did not cover in the Palace, but it wasn't something I was regretful for. Besides, we have a train to catch to our next destination. Where's that, you may ask. The romantic Venice.

If you ask me, Palazzo Pitti is overrated.

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