Who KNEW there were so many towns in Northern Italy.
Day 114: Only 30 minutes by train from Bologna, there are Judith’s in Modena. But I need to do some fact checking before I make the 20 minute walk from the station. This is another of those situations in which a bank owns the art – and since banks are not so trustworthy these days – I should probably determine if they have the artwork available to view. But assuming they are going for a goodwill gesture, I will plan to stop by the Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna to check out Judith by Cavedone. Or at least ask them where it is located.
And then a 7 minute walk up Via Emilia Centro to Galleria e Museo Estense for a beatific Judith by Zoboli. This museum exhibits the collection of art that belonged to the Dukes d ‘Este, when they hosted the most famous artists and writers of the time, such as Piero della Francesca, Rogier van der Weyden, Giovanni Bellini, Andrea Mantegna, and Titian. I hope the party atmosphere survives.
Mon: 8:30am – 2pm; Tues-Sat: 8:30am – 7:30pm; Sun: 2pm – 7.30pm.
Reggio Emilia is the next stop on the train, just 15 minutes from Modena. Probably need a taxi to the destination: Museo de Santuario della Ghiara, to see a fresco of Judith by Spada. It is a small church but one worth visiting: the one that makes you feel like Holofernes’ blood is dripping on your head.
Sun: 3:30pm – 6pm; all other days require an appointment.
Then 15 minutes more by train to Parma. Hotel Stendhal is 500 meters on Via Verdi at the end of the street, situated at the corner of via Bodoni and in front of Palazzo della Pilot. And that should be a great spot to call it a day.
Day 115: From the hotel, I can start the day with a 4 minute walk to Pinacoteca Stuard in the ancient monastery of San Paolo – and hope to find a Judith by Fontana there. Maybe a Spada, too? At least Correggio’s frescos are s sure thing.
Tues closed; Mon-Sat: 9 am to 6.30 pm; Sun: 9 am to 1:20 pm
It is about a 20 minute walk to the Galleria Nazionale – home to another Judith by Spada. It is also home to Head of a Woman, an unfinished work by Leonardo da Vinci and Turkish Slave by Parmigianino. Wonder what is on her mind with that mischievous grin?
Mon – closed (except holidays); Tues-Sun: 9am to 2pm
Then 90 minutes by train to Milan and to the Grand Hotel – in the heart of the city and across from the Montenapoleone.
Day 116: If I start early enough in the day, I should head straight down the Via Alessandro Manzoni for 10 minutes to Piazza Pio XI and the Pinacoteca Ambrosian. Not only does this little museum house Da Vinci and Raphael, it also has Judith by 2 artists: Giuseppe Vermiglio and Andrea Fabrizi Parmigiano.
closed Mon; Tues-Sun: 10 am – 5:30 pm
I could also proceed a few blocks (5 minutes) to Milan’s Duomo, to see Arcimboldo‘s stained glass depiction of Judith before I lose the light. And catch the other luminous sights in the largest cathedral in Italy that took nearly six centuries to complete. Mark Twain called “a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!” which means I should not procrastinate.
daily 7 am to 7 pm
Day 117: The Metro to Cairoli Costello will start the day at Castello Sforzesco, home of Giulio Cesare Procaccini‘s Judith. However, i doubt this is a dash-in-to-see-one-painting sort of trip. The castle not only has a Pinacoteca but also The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection. And somewhere in there is Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà. Probably need to map the trip before I go.
closed Mon; Tues-Sun: 9 am – 5:30 pm
About a 7 minute walk from the castle is Santa Maria del Carmine to see another Procaccini — little brother Camillo’s version of Judith and Holofernes. And did someone mention a headless statue out front?
Daily: 8:30am to 6:30pm
And if the day is going well, another 7 minute walk will get me to San Simpliciano to view a fresco of Judith by an unknown artist. While the fresco may not be a masterpiece, the cathedral has history out the wazoo – being the second oldest in the form of a Latin cross, first erected by Saint Ambrose over a pagan cemetery 4th century AD.
Daily: 7:30am to 6:00pm
If they are still open, I may stop by the Ponte Rosso Art Gallery on the way back to the hotel to see the erotic photograph of Judith by Antonio De Chiara.
But in 15 minutes, I am back at the hotel, ready for a hot bath. And wine.
Day 118: One more stop before leaving Milan: 5 minutes from the hotel is Piazza Filippo Meda, the central location of Banca Popolare di Milano. Who may or may not have on display Judith As She Leaves The Tent With The Head of Holofernes by Donatino. It is worth a try.
Mon-Fri: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm; closed Sat and Sun
Next stop is the station, from which the train will take me to Bergamo – a ride of 45-60 minutes to the foothills of the Alps. Bus 1 from the train station will take me to the funicolare (tram) which can transport me up the steep hills to the Città Alta and the GombitHotel – 2 minute walk from the stop. Another 2 minutes gets me to my destination: the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and Cavagna‘s Judith With the Head of Holofernes and Lorenzo Lotto‘s inlaid panel in the choir.
(Apr-Oct) daily 9 am – 12.30 pm & 2:30 pm – 6 pm;
(Nov-Mar) Mon-Sat: 9 am – 12.30 pm & 2:30 pm – 5 pm; Sun: 9 am – 12.45 pm & 3 pm – 6 pm
And then hope there is time to enjoy the view and shops of Città Alta.
Day 119: I may not be ready to go, but every 30 minutes there is a 1-hour bus to Lovere – a town on the lovely Lake Iseo. If I thought Bergamo was a jewel, I hear Lovere is even more quaint since it was recently voted one of Italy’s prettiest borghi (picturesque villages). I think I will drop my things at Villa Palma B&B before I set out for 7 minute walk along the lake to the Accademia di Belle Arti Tadini to see a Judith by Bernardino Fusari. This has to be one of the most beautiful settings on the lip of a mountain lake for such a grisly subject.
(May-Sept) closed Mon; Tues-Sat: 3 pm – 7 pm; Sun: 10 am -12 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm
(Apr & Oct) Sat: 3 pm – 7 pm; Sun: 10 am -12 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm
(Nov-Mar) exclusively open following reservations for guided tours
Then I hope to have time for an evening cruise on the lake – if I do not get distracted by all the other fabulous art at the Tadini and can get to the dock by 6:30 pm. While in the area, it would also be interesting to find out more about Georges Sand, aka Aurore Dupin, who had a long-standing affair with Chopin. Now there was a power couple. After their break up in 1847 she wrote the novel Lucrezia Floriana about the romance between a young Italian noble and an older lady is set on Monte Isola – creating a destination for romantics.
Day 120: Apparently to get to my next detination, I will need to trek 2 miles from Lovere to Pisogne to catch the local train to Brescia, which departs half-hourly and takes around 35 minutes. It should be a lovely trip down the east shore of the lake. Once in Brescia, from the station I can get on Bus 1 towards Via Montedenno, ride 3 stops to S. Martino della Battaglia, then walk east to The Centro Paolo VI. What a coincidence! My destination is around the corner at Tosio Martinengo, where I am searching for Judith by Panfilo (aka Carlo Francesco Nuvolone). (not this guy)
(Oct-May) closed Mon; Tue-Sun: 9.30 am – 1 pm & 2.30 pm – 5 pm
(Jun-Sep) closed Mon; Tue-Sun: 10 am – 1 pm & 2.30 pm – 6 pm