The Società Canottieri Firenze (Florence Rowing Club) has its headquarters in the terrace just below the Galleria degli Uffizi. Like any other private club, it is only accessible for its privileged members. No need to say that it is the best place with a view to Ponte Vecchio in solitude and in all its magnificence, oblivious to the hectic passage of people a few meters above, fighting for a spot from where taking the obvious Florence selfie.…
History of art was, without a doubt, my favourite subject at high school. By then, Italy was for me a distant and unknown country, it seemed so far as in another planet, and I did not even know what Tuscany meant or where in the map Florence was. At the age of 17, everything seemed so phantasmagorical and unreal … How rare, the unpredictable ways to which life sometimes leads. Especially, to those who try to escape from routine. I then loved the art history classes taught by María Luisa, always conducted in the dark. During those hours, I felt invisible and safe (at that time, my face was plagued by acne). We contemplated slides explained with genuine devotion by the teacher, and took notes of things that I thought I would never see on site. María Luisa inoculated me with the love for art and subtly with a passion for Florentine wonders. Today, 24 years later, I do not even remember her surname.
Room 42 or Sala della Niobe is my favourite area at the Uffizi. An spectacular frame created in 1781, during the Neoclassical period, to house the ancient sculptures of the Villa Medici in Rome. The pieces represent the Greek myth of Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, who witnessed the murdering of her seven children in the hands of Apolo and Artemisa as an act of revenge to their mother, whom Niobe had previously mocked. The ones at the hall are Roman copies of Hellenistic originals, moved to Florence after their discovery in 1583. The walls at Niobe also display some canvases; two signed by Rubens, in baroque style. The decoration of this notable room was by Peter Leopold of Lorraine.
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