Sunday, March 26, 2017

La Scala

Last weekend I had the truly once in a lifetime opportunity to attend an opera at the world famous La Scala theater in Milan.  It was every bit as elegant and beautiful as I had imagined.  The show lasted 5 and half hours(!) but the music was beautiful and I don't regret a minute. What a night!

The boxes!  I highly recommend splurging on a box seat (and definitely would urge you to get one close to the center so the angle is ok to see the stage. If that's a little rich for your taste the Galleria (up top) apparently always has cheap seats available if you're willing to stand at the balcony to see the action.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Free museum day in Rome

As in a number of other cities, there is one Sunday a month when some of the major museums in town (and throughout the country in fact) open their doors for free.

A friend and I recently took advantage of one of these free days to see .... a not-free museum. It's a long story, but we did miss most of the crowds!

Now I can finally say that I've made it to the Capitoline museum - apparently the first museum in the world, though I'm sure that title is disputed.  In any case, it didn't disappoint, from the courtyard designed by Michelangelo to a ceramic collection that my friend who came me with just adored. Because this museum is split into two large buildings I would suggest that you give it 2+ hours and have lunch halfway through. I'd also suggest picking a few things you really want to see and spending your time accordingly rather than trying to see it all.

In no particular order, here are some of the highlights:

The Spinario - very old, very famous

Perhaps even more famous, Romulus and Remus being raised by a wolf. This bronze has become a symbol of the city of Rome

A bust of Medusa by Bernini 

A somewhat graphic depiction of a lion and his lunch. (The theme of animals brutally killing other animals came up a lot in this museum for some reason.)

A Caravaggio I'd seen before (I guess he made several copies of this one - I bet you wouldn't have guessed that's supposed to be John the Baptist.)

And another Caravaggio - the fortune teller

Finally, there were a weirdly large number of paintings featuring St. Sebastian. Not sure who's choice that was.  I really wish someone would do a ranking of them all, in order of actual martyrdom, because he usually looks like he doesn't particularly mind being shot full of arrows.