Museo Borghese, Roma: 100 percent Concentration of Beauty

 

Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Museo Borghese, Roma, Italy.

Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Museo Borghese, Roma, Italy.

“Startling concentration of beauty.” A very bright phrase. I heard it in one of the series of Michael Portillo’s “Great Continental Railway Journeys.” He used it in his description of a famous city. Guess which one? Of course, it was Venice, the city with a startling concentration of beauty. However, I should add, “but only from a distance.” When you immerse yourself into Venice, you start to find some flaws in its beauty: dilapidated houses, peeling facades, street sweepings…. What can we do? This is a city with a very complicated fate.

Do places with flawless 100 percent concentration of beauty exist anywhere in the world? Of course. We found one such place in the city of Rome, Italy, with the help of Saga Travel. This is the Museo Borghese which is housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. When you pass the ground floor, buy tickets, and go up to the first floor, you find yourself in the kingdom of good taste, luxury, and incredible beauty. Everything is beautiful here: floors, walls, ceilings, paintings, and, of course, sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. I have already been to many museums of the world; this one was the smallest, but the most beautiful I can remember.

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November, Belgium, Antwerp. Rubens, Churches, and Diamonds

 

Antwerp, Belgium.

Antwerp, Belgium.

You immediately fall in love with this city. I don’t like autumn and big cities, but Antwerp was an exception. Early November twilight and drops of rain on the windows of cafes suit this city. In the rainy autumn evening in Belgian Antwerp, when the day and the year come to an end, you want to listen to a chorus of sisters of mercy, sit and drink wine by candlelight without any hurry.

However, in Antwerp, you must hurry, especially if you came here only for one day. It is not possible to visit all the interesting places of the city in one day, but at least, we tried.

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Ancient Greek Statues from My Childhood


Poseidon or Zeus. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Greece.

Poseidon or Zeus. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Greece.

Summer. Athens is melting in the heat, thermometers show 40 degrees in the shade. You can, of course, spend all your time on the beach, but it is unforgivable for Greece. Even if you rest on the islands, muster the courage and make a day trip to Athens. Agree with me, it is better to look at ancient Greek artifacts with your own eyes than read about them in travel blogs.

However, an assault of the Acropolis in summer is a real horror. Yes, the Parthenon is majestic and caryatids are beautiful, but Athens has the one place where you can find the most important Greek artifacts and enjoy them in very comfortable conditions. I’m speaking of the biggest museum in Greece—the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. It has some rare sculptures and ceramics dated to as early as the 11th century B.C.

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