Living in Rome
I went to Naples especially to see a Bill Viola exhibition, one of my favourite contemporary artists. The show was held at the Capodimonte museum, one of the largest in Naples and in Italy. This prestigious institution is usually closed on Wednesdays, so I made sure I went on a Thursday, only to find the museum closed. That week, they had opened exceptionally on a Wednesday because it was a bank holiday, and naturally had to make up for the day by closing on the Thursday, bad luck!!! Only in Italy could that happen!!! I did check the museum’s website the evening before, but it made no difference. I should know by now that it is always wiser to call a couple of hours before!!
As a result, I had the whole day to wander around the city and witness the great amount of rubbish frighteningly piling up in the city centre.
Despite that, Naples remains a very vibrant city, full of life and energy, which makes Rome appear quite stagnant and subdued. Being there in early December, I had the city to myself. I was on my own in front of Caravaggio’s Sette opere di misericordia in the church of the Pio Monte della Misericordia. I was again the only visitor in the new contemporary art museum opened in 2005, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina (MADRE), which happens to be a very pleasant public art gallery. Located in a renovated city palace, its collection includes major contemporary art names, such as Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Rebecca Horn or Jannis Kounellis, but the way it is presented in relatively small single-artist rooms, makes the art work more intimate. I’ll just have to take another day trip to Naples to visit the museum of Capodimonte.