This post needs a couple of sub-titles. As well as ‘Quick dissolving sugar’ it also needs to be ‘The day we changed hotels’ and ‘The day Gaz deleted his photos.’ Still, let’s keep it with ‘Quick dissolving sugar’ because I think that’s the best one.
This morning started nice and slowly though a lot of that is because of the blackout curtains in our hotel room. They seriously block out all light so no matter what time you wake up it still feels like the middle of the night. I understand why they had them in Britain to fool the Germans during WW2. Nothing escapes through them.
Anyway, as I said, we went to breakfast just before the 10 o’clock cutoff. Not that we were alone in this. In fact there were still a few latecomers arriving as we were returning to our room.
We didn’t have to check-out until midday so we decided to use up as much of the time as we possibly could by checking out at midday. We then left our luggage at reception while we went to visit the cathedral.
The queue at the cathedral was almost as bad as the queue at the cathedral in Florence (it was actually only half as long but that still numbers in the thousands) so we decided not to go to the cathedral. After all a holiday spent queuing in the heat (or the cold) is hardly much of a holiday. We decided to go and enjoy a coffee at a conveniently placed funky cafe where they display their nuts for all to rub.
From here we decided to visit the queue-less Poldi Pezzoli Museum instead. It was an excellent call because there were not that many other people there and the art on display was seriously brilliant.
Pezzoli was an amazing collector of amazing artworks. He was sad that he never managed to get a da Vinci but I reckon he did pretty bloody well. I mean he had two superb Botticellis for a start. He was also remarkably eclectic in his collecting ways. From paintings to sculptures to Murano glass to old clocks, his collecto-mania knew no bounds.
This is where the post takes a bit of a sad turn. I took lots of lovely photos in Pezzoli’s place. A number of fine St Sebastiens, a fantastic photo looking down the stairs to his fountain and an award winning photo of Jesus. Sadly I subsequently deleted them in a fit of I don’t know what. I then spent ages trying to recover them but they were gone for good. I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness and inadequacy.
Still, must not dwell I suppose.
A rather odd piece in Pezzoli’s house was a figurative sculpture of how his mother imagined herself following the death of her husband (Pezzoli’s father). I have no problem with the piece per se, in fact I think it’s rather lovely however, it has to be a bit odd to keep it in your sitting room when you know it’s your mother. I’d love to include a photo of it but it was one of the ones I deleted…which is really annoying. Here’s an image I found on their website.
The finished piece was by Lorenzo Bartolini and was completed in about 1836. Elsewhere in the house, Pezzoli also had a far more demure and beautiful bust of his mum which was also by Bartolini.
So, room after room of extremely beautiful artworks (and porcelain and clocks) including four St Sebastiens, three of which I no longer have photographs of. Still, there’s this one:
(I have to move on but I am so saddened by the loss of such great works of art…it’s almost as if the paintings themselves were lost. I seriously need to pull myself together.)
We spent a very long time wandering the various rooms of Pezzoli’s house, all of it massively joyful. I do rather love Renaissance paintings. I’d be rather remiss if I didn’t include a photograph of Pezzoli’s stained glass depiction of Dante, Beatrice and Mathilde from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Truly beautiful.
But, as they say, all good things etc, etc and we found ourselves out on the street and looking for somewhere to eat ice cream. And, of course, we found one. No queues here either as opposed to the ice cream places near the centre. This was the Caffe Opera and what a delight. A beer and ice cream. What more could a body actually ever want? Apart from pizza, of course.
Fully full we headed back to the hotel to reclaim our luggage ahead of our move to our second hotel (the one that didn’t cost a small fortune) that we paid for. It was during this hiatus that I deleted my photos but I’m not going to dwell on it…move on, Gaz!
The new hotel is quite a distance from the centre but still as comfortable. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s more comfortable because the air conditioning actually goes down to 12 degrees. We’ll have to see how effective the blackout curtains are. Though the bath is a bit high making it necessary to pole vault into the shower.
For dinner we went to the marvellous Alla Cucina delle Langhe which we highly recommend. The flat cutlet with cheese I had was superb as was everything, really. I even gave their creme brulee 8/10.
We then walked back to the hotel in the spitty rain, dodging the umbrella salesmen who seem to come out of nowhere at the merest hint of bad weather. (Denise might remember how bad they were in Florence.) We had a short wander by the giant espresso cups before returning to the hotel.
Tomorrow the plan is to visit a lake.