posted on 27/8/15
I’d like to entice you to share two weeks with me amid the most glorious art of my three favourite Italian cities.
For an art historian, it is deeply rewarding to experience works that have such great personal import with individuals who share that interest. It can even be said that your reactions and interactions in some way become enmeshed in their history!
Genoa is a place that I know by heart. I would love to introduce you to one of the most important mediaeval historic centres in Europe, filled with charming Romanesque churches and Baroque Palaces, enriched with astonishing painting collections. The beauty and elegance of Turin is quite unexpected, the city bearing the stamp of its past as capital of a small, but ambitious Kingdom: again superb churches, amazing museums, but also lovely arcades, streets and squares where it is a joy to sit in some of Italy’s best cafés. Milan has a unique spirit, probably the most modern, cosmopolitan Italian city, but, at the same time, the place designed by Leonardo da Vinci, interspersed with exquisite revelations of its long and prestigious history: from the Capital of the Roman Empire to the Capital of Italian Opera.
As director of the Palazzo Reale in Genoa, it is my privilege daily to enjoy the artworks accrued over centuries by the Balbi, Durazzo & Savoy families. One of the great joys of 'my' Palace is not just the extraordinary richness of the architecture, the paintings, the furniture, the fixtures, stuccos and frescoes - but that they remain together intact, as they were originally designed. We have done a lot of work in the past years restoring each room and I’d be thrilled to show you the results of our efforts.
Ci vediamo a Genova!
Best wishes, ￼
Dr Luca Leoncini
Art historian & MRT lecturer