Mad March exhibitions

March is a strange month; in Italy we say marzo pazzerello, esce il sole, prendi l’ombrello – Mad March, the sun comes out – take your umbrella!. March is the month when the weather quickly changes, the month of the first timid days of warm sunshine, when the cities start to wake up and show newcomers or locals their better side; all you have to do is notice it, perhaps by visiting an exhibition or a museum, or strolling aimlessly around the most hidden calle of the Rione Cannaregio in Venice or stopping to take the sunshine in Piazza the S. Croce Church in Florence.

Exhibitions in Florence: An initiative not to be missed: at the end of March and the cultural assets’ week is staged in Florence and Tuscany. During this week, admission to all state museums is free: new purchases, wonderful restorations, premises open to the public for the first time distinguish this year’s event. Among the restoration work, of special interest is that of the frescos of Andrea Del Castagno in the Cenacle of Santa Apollonia and the reordering of amber, ivory and terracotta objects in the storerooms of Palazzo Pitti, now on show at the Museum of the Argenti. Talking of restoration, after fours months of work, the History of Science Institute in Piazza dei Giudici will be opening again. Lifts have been installed for those with disabilities, a specialised library will be available and opening hours will be extended in the afternoon and on Saturdays; inside the Institute, in the Galileo room, visitors can admire the original instruments used by the great scientist: a geometrical and military compass, the lens of the telescope used in 1610 to look at the satellites of Jupiter, the Giovilabio built according to his drawings and lots more. A little less interesting (at least from a scientific point of view) is the macabre relic of the index finger of Galileo’s right hand. For more details and to take a virtual visit of the museum:
Florence Museums – Comune di Firenze
Museums – State owned

Venice: A museum most definitely worth a visit if you are in Venice is that of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, housed in what was the legendary Peggy’s splendid home in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni overlooking the Grand Canal (her beloved dogs, with which she appears in so many photos, are buried in the small garden inside the building). The collection is a real delight: visitors can admire masterpieces of all major 20th century artistic movements, from futurism to cubism, to surrealism represented by artists like Dalì, Maigritte, Picasso, Leger, Kandinski and many others. In this period, the exhibition “Avant-garde Amazons – Six Russian women” will be making a stopover here on its way to the Guggenheim of New York. This will represent a chance to discover a lesser-known part of Russian avant-garde, that of women, from Alexandra Exter to Natalia Goncharova. (Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm, Saturday 10 am – 10 pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Penny Guggenheim Museum Venice

Rome: Talking about masterpieces, in Rome, from 4 March at the Vittoriano Fori Imperiali Complex, an exhibition is being staged entitled “Monet, maestro della luce” (Monet, master of light): over 50 works from some of the world’s major museums and numerous private collections are on show, selected from among the most representative to illustrate the crucial role played by light in Monet’s works.

Book of the month: Talking of relics, popular beliefs and superstitions…. Stefano Rizzitelli, Roberta Marcucci, Guida insolita ai misteri, alle leggende, alle feste e alle curiosità del sacro in Italia, Newton & Compton, 383 p.

Good March!

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