Thursday, August 4, 2022

Lentamente, lentamente | Slowly, slowly

Smile, breathe and go slowly

Thich Nhat Hanh

My motto for the day has been "slowly, slowly." Solar radiation bounced upwards into my face off the stone pavement below my feet as I left the hotel at 9:30am. Before noon, temperatures hit 40C, so heat-survival-protocols were enacted. 

I thought it was smart choosing to visit an art museum on a hot day because art museums need to be temperature controlled and temperature control means air conditioning. Right? Wrong. Temperature control in the Castelvecchio Museum means open windows and a few standing fans for the comfort of the guards.

Castelvecchio (Old Castle) was built by the 'Medicis' of Verona, the Scaligeri family, in c. 1350 as a residence and fortress. The Venetians made it their citadel when they took control of Verona in the late 1700s. Then Napoleon's troops used it as a barracks, who were followed by the Austrians who used it as an arsenal. Each made changes to the old castle but it obviously had 'good bones'. In the 1960s, Italy's renowned architect Carlo Scarpa transformed those bones into a wonderful (albeit non-air conditioned) art museum.

Thankfully, and surprisingly, the original frescoed walls from the Scaligieri palace survived in one of the rooms.

The museum's collection of sculpture and paintings is amazing. It may not be the Uffizi but it's a real treat. I came upon an early painting by Pisanello (refer to yesterday's post). I am lucky to see the delightful Madonna of the Quail because it was stolen from the museum in 2015. Inside job, I'm told. Thankfully, police recovered it two years later.

My very special evening started with the degustation menu at Enoteca Segreta. (Click on their logo at the top of the website for some food porn.) The chef's menu with 'rare' wines was outstanding. If you are ever in Verona, seek out the secret wine cellar.

The fabulous meal was the perfect prelude to the spectacular staging (and singing) of Puccini's opera Turnadot under the stars in Verona's Roman amphitheater ("Arena").

I cannot remember the last time I saw midnight. Being out at midnight in Italy feels so good! Especially walking with a nightcap gelato in hand. :-)

Now it is going on 1:00am so I will say "Buona notte" and see you "a domani".

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful 'conducted tour' - the heat of the day winding down to a cooler evening - beautifully described. But it was probably still in the high 20s to low 30s around midnight. Your last image brings back memories of the installation of our robotic insects exhibition in Rome - a memorable midnight ramble to the Roman Steps before retiring. 'Domani' figured a great deal in the installation process. What ever we needed in terms of equipment and services from the 'local' crew - power supplies, aircon, ladders and scaffolding - all were on the basis of 'domani'.... ;0)