October 27, 2011

Urbino, Italy. October, 1986

“I am standing in the most beautiful place in the world,” said art historian Kenneth Clark in his TV series Civilisation as he stood here in the cloistered courtyard of Urbino’s Palazzo Ducale. Clark was referring to the perfect measurements, the symmetry, the balance and peace of this space. And even if you don’t agree with him, there’s plenty in Urbino that you’ll find most beautiful. The Palazzo itself houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with its works by homeboy Raphael, its Piero della Francesca Flagellation, its Titian Resurrection. This was where I got a wonderful, cheap hotel room “con vista” at the centro’s Albergo San Giovanni. Where I found the delicious pizza at everybody’s hangout, Il Buco. Where I connected with local hero, sculptor Fuffi, a relative of a Ravenna pal. (Years later, when I asked my new Urbino-raised friend Paolo if he’d ever heard of Fuffi, he smiled and said, “Of course, I know of Fuffi. He’s one of the great characters who bring Urbino to life.” Who knew?) At the end of my short stay, I was waiting for the bus to my next stop. Also waiting, a young man on his way to military service and his pals who, kiddingly, kept urging him to stay. In the end, he wound up staying, waving the bus goodbye, squeezing one last bit of dolce far’ niente from his beautiful hometown.

1 comment:

  1. All I want to know is when do you return, ChiChi, carino?
    Missing you madly,