Make sure to get good directions to reach the Museum at the top of the hill. I took bus C40 from Garibaldi square. It took a long time because of the traffic. It is hidden behind suburban housing; a good testimony to the chaotic urban planning in Southern Italy.
This huge museum, housed in an 18th century Bourbon Palace, cannot be fully visited in one go. I concentrated on the first floor of the new wing.
I was overwhelmed by the furniture made of exquisite wood and marble, and then a large cash of 19th century natural paintings.
In a special room there were four pictures from the East. 1- A number of bare chested dancers entertaining the “Pasha” in the Harem; a picture of girls serving a drink to an executioner after he finished his job, while two soldiers drag the body of the victim away; a picture from possibly Algeria of a family resting on a roof; and a picture of Cleopatra doing her make up by Vincenzo Marielli (1820-92).
Due to time constraint, I ran through the second floor which has a large number of 16th and 17th century religious motives from the Varnese collection. Most of the classical painters are there. At the entrance there is a nice portrait for Napoleon Bonaparte, as emperor, by François Gerard (1770-1839).
If you have time, try to view the beautiful garden with royal Palm trees.
I recommend this museum highly. Schedule at least three hours in addition to two hours for the traffic on weekdays.
The museum map is hopeless. Try to read on the Museum collection before you go.
Entrance 7.50 Euros, reduced price of 4 Euros for seniors from the EU!
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