Thursday, October 6, 2011

Night at the Museum!

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Today was also special for another reason. The last Tuesday of every month the National Museums of Florence have a free night when all of the major museums are open late into the night and admission to all of them is free. This meant that we could revisit some of our favorite museums and stay late. It was particularly helpful because our final graded project was a research paper and presentation on one of the works from the museums and churches we visited.

Many of us went to the Uffizzi to work on our final papers. The work that I chose is a painting from the Botticelli Room called Madonna Enthroned with Saints and Angels or the San Barnaba Altarpiece.

Being able to visit the Uffizzi at night was one of the most special and memorable experiences of my time here. Most tourists were unaware that it was a free museum night and the galleries were quite pleasantly empty.

Before visiting the Uffizzi, I  first went with friends for a return trip to the Accademia to see the David one more time, as some of the girls wanted the chance to sketch him. One of the girls, was so excited to be able to sketch the David that she dressed up fancy for the occasion! I, of course, had less interest in the David and came along to see the Bartolini exhibit one more time. 

It was amazing to be present to all of these works of art and the ancient buildings that house them so late at night. I loved it. It reminded me of the movie Night at the Museum and the Uffizzi did seem to come alive at night. I stayed until the very end and only left when I was insistently shooed from the Botticellli gallery by its female guards at 11:30, much to the dismay of myself and my classmates (the museum was supposed to stay open until midnight!). I was glad that I headed to the Uffizzi early enough to have several hours of meditation on my painting. 
As I walked through the galleries to exit the museum I looked briefly (and completely undisturbed!) at Botticelli's Venus and Primavera and stopped by the next gallery to see Leonardo's unfinished Adoration of the Magi, peeked into a gallery in the opposing wing at Raphael's Madonna and Child, and downstairs in passing at Artemesia Gentileschi's Judith Slaying Holofernes and Caravaggio's Bacchus. 

After leaving I walked back home with friends. From the exit of the Uffizzi we looked up to see a beautifully painted ceiling in the next door Palazzo Vecchio (our morning tour tomorrow!!!). We also stopped in the Piazza della Signoria for pictures and passed by the Duomo and Baptistery. Florence seems magical, late at night, once again. 

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