Uníesperienza magica

This morning, I couldnít wait to visit Palazzo Pitti. I havenít been in a long time and I just felt a great desire to go today. When I returned from Paris last weekend, I had two big events to attend: the George Michael concert in Piazza Santa Croce and the Fiorentina soccer match at Franchi Stadium. Besides meeting up with friends and family, I didnít have much time to soak up my beloved city except in the morning during my runs and walks.

I strolled through the crowds down via Guicciardini to Piazza Pitti. After getting my tickets to visit the entire museum and Boboli, I headed up the wide steps to the Galleria Palatina. I started my visit in the Quartiere del Volterrano where I admired the marble statue of Michelangelo as a child. I enjoy these rooms because of all the artwork not only on the wall, but also on the ceilings.

In the Sala delle Allegorie, I was struck by a riquadro (panel) representing pace (peace) on the ceiling. A woman dressed in a gold, blue, and pink robe stood above a warrior while setting fire to his armor and holding an olive branch. I felt it depicted pace so perfectly with great courage, strength, and grace.

I spent at least an hour in the Sala díErcole where the ceiling fresco, ďLe nozze di Ercolo e EbeĒ (The wedding of Hercules and Hebe) captivated me. I had a sense that maybe our lives could be represented in a painting. This fresco had all the elements in it: love, union, joy, food wine, celebration, angels, music, animals, nature, clouds, sky, flowers, children, rainbows, and friends and family. There was also drama and a sense of evil lurking, but they had minor roles in the fresco and werenít the focus.

After I left the sala (room), I spoke to a custode (museum guard) in the Sala di Prometeo to see if I could find any ritratti (portraits) of a particular Medici family member. She asked another custode and returned to tell me that unfortunately the corridoio (hallway) where they were located was closed. However, she told me to continue my visit in the museum and sheíd come to get me to take me there to see them if I wanted.

While I was in the Sala di Saturno, she tapped me on the shoulder and escorted me through a few other sale to the corridoio. We stood next to each other studying the ritratti together for a few minutes. I enjoyed my time in front of them in the silence with no distractions. She escorted me back to the Sala di Saturno where I shook her hand and thanked her.

When I looked at the time, I realized that I had spent two hours in Palazzo Pitti and only visited a few sale in the Galleria Palatina. I am so fortunate to have my Amici degli Uffizi card so that I can return to visit more of the palazzo whenever I feel like it.

I was very touched by my visit of the Galleria Palatina. I not only spoke to the custode who showed me the ritratti that I was interested in, but also to a couple of others who gave me more insight on the sale and their contents. As I walked out of Palazzo Pitti, I felt such joy and appreciation at the kindness they all showed me. A few of the custodi thought I might be a tour guide, but I just told them that I have a great interest in my beloved city and all that it holds.

I donít see names and dates when I admire artwork, I see passion. I am so touched by the artists who transferred what they were sensing onto the canvas. I find it remarkable to be able to produce such amazing works of art that still evoke such emotion and joy in those of us who admire them. I will certainly return to Palazzo Pitti to visit more of it, but I do enjoy visiting the rooms slowly so that I can really take in their beauty.

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