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A short walk from your room

Let me introduce myself: my name is Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco, I am an Italian artist now living in London, UK. Your lovely hosts at Casa Howard have invited me to contribute to this blog and I am very happy to do so.

I will be writing about the arts, rather an unescapable matter if you are visiting Italy. My posts will be probably biased towards painting, forgive me, but that’s what I do ! Also please forgive what we Italians call “Macaroni English”, which means that you might want to read my posts with a heavily accented ( charming, they say) pronounciation.

Anyway here we go, a suggestion for you : if you are staying in Rome, take a short walk to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica that is literally up the road from Casa Howard ( via Quattro Fontane, 13). You’ll get there in no time and you can enjoy one of the most beautiful Palazzos in Rome, the Palazzo Barberini, that hosts the museum. The painting collection is the result of bequests from some of the most ancient families ( Corsini, Chigi, etc. if you are watching “The Borgias” on TV you might recognise the names).

Narcissus-Caravaggio_(1594-96)

You will see, among others, Caravaggio- the beautiful Narcissus, above, Titian, Raphael, Poussin, Bronzino and a long-limbed Madonna by Piero di Cosimo, a favourite artist of mine.

If you are only paying a short visit give a miss to the second floor but don’t skip the Sala delle Colonne on the ground floor: imagine the delights of the Cardinals and their guests in this ” garden room” ! Slow down for the masterpieces on the first floor, the Piano Nobile; this was the area occupied by the aristocratic owners and their family.

Be prepared to gasp at the gynormous frescoed ceiling by Pietro da Cortona, a master of early Baroque. It’s painted as if the vortex of figures, celebrating the Triumph of Providence for the then patron, Pope Urbano VIII Barberini, were realistically hovering just above your head.

The visit is the perfect way to prepare your eyes for the for all the other marvels you will see during your stay.

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