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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 17, 2014

The Medicis decorate their home - Part 1 - SOME of the ceilings

Basically they decorated by covering every available surface with frescoes, fabulous gilt-covered wood moldings, beautiful floor - actually I just realized I didn't take any pictures of floors - probably because my head was permanently bent backwards looking at the ceilings! I'm  putting up all the ceilings together because 1) I can't remember anything about where they were; 2) when you get tired of ceilings you can just stop and know you're not missing pictures of other stuff. :)

At some point around here, we entered Eleanora's apartments.  She was the wife of Cosimo I de Medici and certainly had plenty of decoration on which to cast her no doubt lovely eyes.
In her apartments, a lot of the ceilings were allegorical based on biblical or mythical stories of wives who were good which would kind of irk me, personally.

 The color came out very bad on the picture above and it was such a pretty and different ceiling,,.The coat of arms in the center is a combined one with the 5 red balls and one blue ball of the Medicis on one side and the blue and white squares of Eleanora's family on the other.  After writing that last sentence, I Googled to see if I could find why the Medici coat of arms is five red balls and one blue on and found a very interesting article at this blog: http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=7605  She explains how back in the day anything connected in any way with the Medici clan had the crest, resulting, the author says, in: "A coontemporary of Cosimo il Vecchio once declared, outraged, that in the church of San Marco, 'he had even emblazoned the monks' privies with his balls!"

 It didn't say so anywhere, but I think the picture above was in the nuptial chamber - it certainly isn't' religious!

 As I recall the ceiling in the photo above was on a stairway landing!!  So, so beautiful.  I would think if the Medicis saw the building now with the lighting which can drive a photographer crazy but really shows just how beautiful this art is, they would be delighted.  Without the lighting, it would be very dark.

And I saved these last photos because they go together.  These were taken in what is called the Treasury Room.  I think it was Cosimo I who had this room done up to hide his most precious treasures.  The ceiling is vaulted and, of course, gorgeous, and the walls are lined with separate panels of art which are painted on cabinet doors,  Each door had a lock and it was in these cabinets that the treasures resided.  So, here is the treasure room.

The whole time I was wandering from incredible room to more incredible room I was wishing their would be a portrait of Eleanora in one of them but, no...However, here in the treasury room, I saw this painting at the far end of the ceiling and asked if it was she, and the answer was yes!  That made me happy for some reason.  So above you can see a goodly portion of the ceiling with E at the end and next is an enlalrgement of Eleanora,  A lovely looking woman.

And, at the other end of the ceiling is Cosimo I, most likely a good and handsome man.
Actually, several of the ruling Medicis were good in the sense that they worked hard to to rule justly (for the times), improve Florence's position in the scheme of things, were interested in more than piling up treasures (hard to believe) and spent time studying the world, philosophy, mathematics and science.

But meanwhile amassing a huge fortune that enabled them to surround themselves with incredible works of art!

Part 2 will be the more general decor of the Palazzo. 


Chinch said...

Wowser photos and I enjoy your commentary as much as the photos! Glad you've arrived safely in Sicily. xoxo

January said...

Un.Be.LEIVEable! That is amazing to see in the photos and must be breathtaking in real life. Holy moly. We actually just recently watched a really good documentary on the Medicis . . . hmmm, I can't remember the title. At any rate, I think it's sweet that Eleanora was Cosimo's treasure.

Mary Lynne said...

I remember seeing something on PBS that was either about the Medicis or about renaissance Florence which would have meant a lot about the Medicis. They certainly have a long and important history.

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