Masterpiece in the Pinacoteca di Brera

Bellini Pinacoteca Brera

Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera is a first class gallery on par with Italy’s finest museums. The collection of Italian, mostly religious, art is spread out in 38 rooms and includes masterpieces by Andrea Mantegna, Piero Della Francesca, Raphael, and Caravaggio.

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Palazzo Colonna: A Hidden Palace in the Heart of Rome [Review]

Although I have spent years exploring Rome, I am often surprised by little things I have never noticed. A spider decoration above a door or a hidden flood marker on the side of a building can fill me with glee. “Ahhhh, how many others have noticed that?” I muse.

But on a recent tour with Context Travel I found that there are still several very big things in this city that I have overlooked, places that have been hiding in plain sight that I just hadn’t bothered to check out.

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CAMERA: Turin’s New Photography Museum

CAMERA Torino

Turin has added another destination to Italy’s contemporary art scene.

CAMERA, the Centro Italiano per la Fotografia will showcase Italian and international photography in a 2,000 square meter space just down the road from the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and other sights in Torino’s historic center.

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Will the Vatican Museums Finally Limit the Number of Visitors?

Last week, I finally had a chance to revisit the Vatican Museums. It had been more than a decade since I had gone. And I had been reluctant to visit because of the crowds, which wrapped around the block. But my mother was in town, so I had a good excuse to go.

Getting in was easy enough, as we had reserved tickets through the Vatican Museums online ticketing system. Rain poured down on us as we got off the tram and walked uphill to the entrance. Most everyone there at 9:30 a.m. were part of a group or had reserved online so we were all kind of in the same line (scrum) to get in. Getting through the main doors, queueing up at the ticket window to get our “real” tickets (our printed reservations were just that), and walking through security took about 10-15 minutes.  No big deal.

But honestly, the Vatican Museums left me wanting this time. Or rather they left me with the feeling that I never want to visit again.

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Venice Hosts Biggest Leonardo da Vinci Show in 30 years

The exhibit “Leonardo da Vinci, The Universal Man” will be at Venice’s Accademia, which owns 30 Leonardo works. It will bring together 27 other Leonardo masterpieces from various European museums such as the Uffizi, the National Gallery of Parma, the British Museum, and the Louvre. The iconic “Vetruvian Man” will be one of many highlights. … Read more

The Art of Nobel Winner Dario Fo

Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"
Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"
Dario Fo’s “The Earthquake in L’Aquila”

Calling Italian playwright Dario Fo a “Renaissance” man would probably irk him given his long history of questioning authority and mocking the status quo. But Fo, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997 (one of six Italians to have won the literature prize) proves he is worthy of this nickname with the new exhibit of his art at Milan’s Palazzo Reale.

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Longer Hours for Rome’s Municipal Museums

In an initiative to allow locals and the throngs of summer tourists more time to enjoy Rome’s cultural riches, the City of Rome is keeping its municipal museums open from 8pm until 1am every Saturday through September 3. Which museums are municipal museums, you ask? They include the Capitoline Museums (pictured), the Ara Pacis Museum, … Read more