The Forge of Maria Luigia

Sometimes you have the possibility to visit places that you saw for so many times during the year that you don’t see it anymore. This places become so usual to you, that you don’t see them in the same way. The first time you look at them with surprise and then not more. This could happen in every city and with all houses or small treasure that Italy has. At the end you give them for granted.

For me happened with the big palace “Pilotta” in Parma. It’s a big treasure that hides a lot of history and important moments for Parma, but at the end every time I went to Parma I never looked at it as before. The Pilotta hides some of the biggest treasure in all the world, like a Leonardo painting.

This weekend I went to see a part of the Pilotta that I knew as the artistic high school, so I never thought I could enter. The occasion was a small exhibition about the duchess Maria Luigia, wife of Napoleon and truly loved by the city. So much loved that you can find a lot of shop with her names. The exhibition was called “The Forge of Maria Luigia”. Thanks to the duchess Parma had a lot of important painters or architects and the duchess herself loved to paint.

The Academy of Fine Arts was created by Borbone family and the duchess reactivated it. During the 1822 the duchess change the rules and the Academy became one of the most important along all the Europe, thanks some important figure such as the director Paolo Toschi, high-level students and teachers.

The exhibition isn’t big, but you can find another important part of Parma’s and music history: some casts of the statues of the monument dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi (you can see it in front of the Pilotta, just outside it). Unluckily only few statue are left: the monument was hit during the 1944 and then it was decided to destroy it. Some statue were thrown into the Parma river and other were taken by some people. The 9 left now are in the theatre “Arena del Sole” in Roccabianca. So this small casts exhibition is an occasion to see how wonderful were the statues even in if in a smaller version.

Did you ever come to Parma? Did you ever visit the Pilotta?

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