Thursday, June 22, 2017

200 Views of Rome: The Doria Pamphilj


5 Stars

I love all the breathtaking churches of Rome, free, often unassuming, and jaw dropping, and the ancient buildings and ruins give me the feels, and I love every paving stone and color of stucco and variety of grape, but if I must choose one attraction above all, which, fortunately, I don't have to, I will take the Palazzi of Rome: Barberini, Borghese, Altemps, Doria Pamphilj, and on.

And so how ranks the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in this most august of all company?

It need not bow its head. And though it stands second to a couple of them, in such company that is only the most passionate of recommendations. Also it has plenty of its own unique virtues; a central, enjoyable, and well situated location, the best gift shop of the Roman Palazzi (get the bookmarks!), and the only really great cafe that I'm allowed to discuss (sorry). The expensive admission (12 E) must be accepted unflinchingly. There are four great halls, around a square. Each hall has its own sort of decorative theme working off its marvelous ceiling. Choose your favorite. Or not. But do look up. Painting are stacked up high on all the walls, and they are unusually entertaining paintings (Putti fights! Porcupines!). One may even find something of a small treasure by some famous artist, stacked up third from the top where one can hardly see it. Roll with it. Enjoy the fecundity. There are too many good paintings to look at them all anyway.

The big time treasures are mostly saved for the end, a couple of more normal rooms for viewing art. Bruegehl, Caravaggio, Lippi, Velazquez..., I count there at least four paintings good enough to dazzle in any company in any museum on the face of the earth.

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