by Melinda Gallo

Cina: alla Corte degli imperatori

Alessandro and I had planned on going to the Cina: alla Corte degli imperatori (China: at the Court of the Emperors) mostra (exhibition) since it opened this March. We decided on seeing the mostra tonight because it was open until 11pm. Even though the weather changed drastically and was raining most of the afternoon, we risked the walk to Palazzo Strozzi even after a brief storm broke out with thunder and lightning before we left the house.

Living in Florence :: Cina: alla Corte degli imperatori

I often go to Palazzo Strozzi to grab a caffè (coffee) with a few girlfriends because I love the ambience. I had been tempted to go to the mostra alone, but I knew that Alessandro was interested in seeing it too. Each day that went by, I kept thinking that we have to go before it ends. After I had a caffè with my girlfriend Diana, I asked Alessandro and he wanted to immediately go before it was too late.

After walking up the stairs to enter the mostra, we entered the first room and were initially amazed by the first few pieces on display. They were on delle basi di finta roccia (fake rock bases) in darkened rooms with spotlights hanging from high ceiling lighting up each piece. The large banners hanging on the wall summarized each room in Chinese, Italian, and English.

I especially enjoyed admiring the terracotta statues and frescoes from the Tang dynasty. I learned a lot about China's Golden Age through the guidebook, banners, and descriptions shown below each of the pieces. I even eavesdropped on the three tour groups walking through the mostra. I was amazed at the influence from other countries in the Chinese artifacts, for example, a couple of the statues looked more Indian than Chinese.


After we left Palazzo Strozzi, we took a stroll toward Piazza Repubblica. The lights on the restaurant terrazze (terraces) were bright and we could see people enjoying their evening meals of after-dinner drinks. We popped in to Grom to get a gelato and walked home through Piazza della Signoria where there were only a few people walking around.

I wish the mostra would be in Florence a bit longer because I would love to see some of the pieces again as they were quite unique and stunning. I'm eager to see what the next mostra will be at the Palazzo Strozzi because I have greatly enjoyed the last two that I have attended.

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