Slow Museums: December 11, 2021 – Bomarzo – il Sacro Bosco / Parco dei Mostri

After spending a few hours here, I feel a kindred sympathy for its creator, the prince Pier Francesco (“Vicino”) Orsini. I too have felt inexplicable urges to move rocks and construct walls and fountains, “sol per sfogare il core”.

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Slow Museums: November 18, 2021 – Napoli – Museo Archeologico Nazionale

On November 18, 2019, I stumbled upon a magnificent bronze equine hidden in the deepest labyrinth of the MANN’s collection of Pompeiian paintings. Set up on a rough wooden pallet in Sala LXXVIII, the installation seemed temporary, incomplete – there was no information anywhere in the room about its provenance.

The horse in Sala LXXVIII (photo by Sarah Matesz)
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Slow Museums: February 24, 2018 – Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa

In December 1998, a bulldozer working on the expansion of the San Rossore train station in Pisa brought up several scoopfuls of wood and ceramics, and work was immediately stopped. Archeologists were called in, and what they found were the remains of thirty remarkably preserved shipwrecks in what was once an Etruscan, then Roman port of the city. The Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa is not yet open to the public, but tours of the museum-in-the-making can be pre-arranged on two days of every month. We were lucky that this semester, the UGA Cortona Studies Abroad program’s excursion to Pisa happened to fall on one of those two days, so a group of students and instructors were able to view this incredible archeological discovery.

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Slow Museums: February 25, 2017 – Siena

My museum today was the streets of Siena — I set out on a “Palio Hunt”, looking for symbols and landmarks of the contrade, but soon found other things that interested me.  Such as the strangely antique reserved (parking?) space in the alley behind the headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank:

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