Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.
~ Anna Akhmatova
Like many regions is Italy, the Veneto region is a rich cultural centre. Along with Mantua in Lombardy, there’s lots to see and do at any time of the year. These are a few of the exhibitions I visited over a few days in the winter.
Gianni Berengo Gardin – Stories of a photographer
Currently, there is an exhibition ‘tracing the most important moments in the photographic career of Gianni Berengo Gardin’ one of Italy’s most renowned photo journalists. Entitled The Story of a Photographer, with more than 180 photographs, the exhibition is located in the Scavi Scaligeri Musem. This is a unique underground setting, perfect for Gianni Berengo Gardin’s black and white photos which really do tell stories from the perspective of the people he photographs.
The museum itself is very interesting and is the result of excavations carried out in the 1980s when Roman and early medieval remains were discovered. The museum was created to show the roman stone roads and sewers and mosaic floors from the first century A.D., as well a Lombard tomb and the foundation work of medieval towers. All in their original setting.
There is also a fascinating video of an interview with the photographer. Audio guides are available in English as well as Italian. Audio guides are available for explanations of some of the photos by the photographer.
For more information the Comune di Verona Portal is a good place to start.
(Around Monet) The history of landscape art from the 17th to the 20th century
The exhibition shows the evolution of landscape art from the 17th to the 20th centuries and includes paintings from Van Gogh, Renoir, Turner, Canaletto and degas to name a few. The exhibition is separated into 5 sections and there are twenty works by Claude Monet.
The exhibition is on at the Palazzo del Gran Guardia, an impressive building in Piazza Bra. Unfortunately, the long-winded accompanying text is in Italian with no English translations.
The Tourism Verona portal has more information.
Amore e Psiche (Love and Psyche -The tale of the Soul)
At the magnificent Palazzo Te with its beautiful gardens, this exhibition takes you on a journey through the myth of the love of Cupid and Psyche and includes contemporary works by Rodin, Canova and Salvador Dali.
It tells the story of Psyche, the mortal beauty who becomes Cupid’s bride (the god of love) without ever being able to see his face. One night, she is urged by her jealous sisters to shine a light on his face, but a drop of hot wax falls on him and he takes flight. Psyche has to face a series of tests, at the end of which she becomes immortal and rejoins her husband.
A wonderful exhibition for all the romantics out there with the story told in English and Italian.
As well as the exhibition you’ll see Psyche’s Room, The hall of the giants and The hall of the horses, all with beautiful, vivid frescoes – truly magnificent to behold!
For more information, visit Mantova City guide
The palazzo is a complex of buildings built between the 14th and the 17th century for the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and have beautiful internal courtyards and wide gardens.
It includes around 500 rooms and occupies a huge area. Although most famous for Mantegna’s frescos in the Camera degli sposi (Wedding room), there are many other beautiful rooms including the Tapestry hall and Isabella D’Este’s apartment.
Make sure that you have a few hours to explore, and if you visit during winter, wear warm clothes as the palace is freezing!
Cari saluti …
PS: Look forward to my next post with a few photos of Mantova