I had read about the Museo Horne in a guidebook and was surprised when I found out that it was on via dei Benci. The museo (museum) is only around the block from our place. I had walked past the palazzo (building) many times since I moved to our new apartment back in August. This morning I decided to go on another cultural date with myself and picked the Museo Horne.
I love my city and I'm always so happy to discover new places to visit. I read a little bit about the museo before visiting it and found out that Herbert Percy Horne was an English architect, art historian, and collector who purchased a Florentine palazzo to house all of his art. When he passed away, he donated the palazzo and his collection to lo Stato Italiano (the Italian government).
From the busy via dei Benci, I entered the three-story palazzo with a small placca (plaque) with the name of the fondazione (foundation) written on it. The biglietteria (ticket office) is behind a glass door at the opposite end of the small cortile (courtyard).
The woman behind the bancone (counter) greeted me with a warm smile and asked me if I had any sconti (discounts) that I am eligible for, but they didn't accept my Amici degli Uffizi tessera (card). The woman handed me a guida (guidebook) in Italian and showed me to the first sala (room) to visit on the piano terra (ground floor).
In the middle of the first sala were glass cases filled with medaglie (medals) and monete (coins). I was most interested in seeing the Florentine moneta, the fiorino (florin). I love seeing the monete they used centuries ago in Italy with their uneven edges and engraved text.
I walked up to the primo piano (first floor) and greeted the girl who was sitting behind a stufa (heater) and listening to her iPod. I was the only one in the museo and enjoyed perusing the guida, which described each sala and the artwork it had on display.
This museo was filled with amazing pieces of Florentine Renaissance art. I was happy to be able to examine the pieces I liked the most. I loved the feel of being in a typical Florentine home with the artwork left exactly as Herbert Percy Horne had wanted them.
On the secondo piano (second floor) was more artwork and sculptures. I took my time as I was unfortunately the only person in the museo.
Before I left the museo, I headed for the biglietteria to return the guida to the woman. She asked me, "Le è piaciuto? (Did you like it?)" "Sì, molto. (Yes, very much)" I said with a smile. She seemed happy that I liked it and wished me a buona Pasqua (Happy Easter) as I was walking out.
I was happy with my cultural date today. What I truly appreciated about the museo was that the Florentine palazzo as a backdrop gave me the feeling that the collection was very personal. And, I felt that I was allowed to be in someone's home and see what pieces they appreciated and then bought. It's rare that I get that feeling and I must say that it was rather gratifying.
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