God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Little Museums--Great Treasures

Our days seem to be slow but the experiences and adventures seem to be constant--a strange paradox of time.

Many days, while Casey is in school, Ken and I leisurely meander the narrow, quiet roads leading to small villages and towns in and out of the Chianti. This is the pleasure of living rather than traveling in Italy--the luxury of time--we have no need to hurry to the next experience or the next discovery. For us, this year, there is always "domani." On the flip side, I have no illusions that we will have even begun to exhaust all that there is when our time is up--that would take a lifetime.

Today we drove to Montespertoli and Castelfiorentina to visit two museums of Sacred Art which are part of the unusual La Valle Dei Tesori: Mirroring Masterpieces exhibition. Described as the "Little Big Museums" project, this exhibition is scattered throughout six villages and towns in the Empoli Valdelsa area. Each of these local sacred art museums houses a treasured masterpiece of medieval or renaissance art--pieces that on their own attract people to their out of the way locations. During this exhibition "mirroring" masterpieces from more prestigious museums are displayed opposite the home piece. These are very enrapturing presentations made even more so by not being in the mega museums where wonderful art is lost among all that there is.
Museo d'Arte Sacra
Madonna with Child
Filippo Lippi

Mirrored by this
Madonna with Child
Filippo Lippi
Palazzo Medici Riccardi a Firenze

Museo di Santa Verdiana
Wooden Sculptural Group
Mariano d'Agnolo

Mirrored by this
Francesco di Valdambrino
Museo Nazionale di San Matteo a Pisa

We have four more of these "little museums" to visit before this wonderful and unusual exhibition closes in November. So we will travel to Empoli, Certaldo Alto, Fucecchio and Montaione--the most we can do in a day is two as there is other art in each location plus villages to visit, lunch to enjoy, 2-3 hours driving time and back in time to pick Casey up from school. But--we will not miss one, as when we stand in front of each masterpiece, we are not only in awe, but also aware of an incredible appreciation of the unmatchable talent of each of these men from centuries past.

This is so much of what Italy is and why we are drawn back again and again and why we call it home for a year. Already we know that a year is not enough.........

1 comment:

Ken Lowe said...

From Ken Lowe: This is simply a great mini-exhibit revealing some exquisite treasures from the little churches off the beaten path. I envy you yet I am grateful that you have such a marvelous opportunity to view so many examples of sacred art.