Thursday, October 10, 2013
A seriously steep climb, a confusing entrance fee and a visitor from UCONN !
Today we went to Fort Belvedere, which is behind the Boboli Gardens. The Fort, built in the 16th century, is an impressive and imposing architectural structure. It served to protect the city, the Pitti Palace, and the Medici family. The views from the grounds provide a spectacular 360 view of the city and it serves as a fantastic site for major art exhibitions. Currently the contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huan's massive four head six-armed Buddha is situated on site here, as well other stunning works from his Soul and Matter exhibition.
After a steep climb (and I do mean steep) we reached the fort by 9:30 to discover that it didn't open unti 10am, so we rest and have a group advising session. When the massive gates open we are faced with an almost perpendicular set of stairs. Finally arriving at the top we discover, to my surprise, there is an entrance fee! The fort is free for locals...what!? Well we're here now.
Later, Professor Emeritus Sal Scalora former faculty member, former Director of the Contemporary Art Galleries and The William Benton Museum of Art, joins us. His Italian travels have taken him from Sicily, where he was an Artist-In-Residence, to Florence, and then on to Venice to see the Biennale. He enjoyed giving the students a little impromptu advice. Grazi Professor Scalora! -Professor Dancy