Our last day in Rome. We had been going to perhaps get up early and try to get to St Peters before the crowds, but we changed our minds. We had loved the Palazzo Barberini when we visited it briefly early in the week. We knew you could go inside and we wanted the opportunity to go into one of the great palaces of the noble Roman families. Also we were óver’ tourists. The numbers had increased hugely since my last visit in 2004. The tourists haven’t discovered Palazzo Barberini.
Again, it was ceilings that amazed me. There is a ceiling by Piero da Cortona that is so beautiful and so three dimensional in appearance that it is just spell-binding. Broni said, ‘I wonder whose bedroom this was?’. After a little while, I realised that in each room were some cards explaining the history or significance of the works of art in that room. I was able to tell Broni that it was the bedroom of Principessa Anna Colonna who married Taddeo Barberini.
In the other rooms were significant paintings by Guido Reni, Tiziano, Filippo Lippi, El Greco, Hans Holbein, Caravaggio…..the list goes on. There were some very cultured looking older Italian ladies acting as guides/guards in the rooms, so I made very careful to always call Broni ‘Dottoressa’. In Italy, any woman with a degree from a university can be called Dottoressa (a man would be Dottore). In the old days I didn’t have a degree, but now we both do and it wasn’t an opportunity to be missed. So in Italy we used it all the time, just for fun, and became Le Dottoresse.
As it was our last evening in Rome, we decided to eat in our favourite cafe in Piazza Maddalena and watch the people go by. Though unaware it was our last visit, the manager kindly gave us a free dessert. Regular customers already.