In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Eroticism Linkage | Main | Moviegoing: "Beowulf" »

November 27, 2007

Italian Efficiency

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The trains we rode during our recent Italian trip ran on time sometimes and only once were we seriously late on arrival. Otherwise, such delays as there were, were on the order of five or ten minutes. Il Duce Mussolini, wherever he is, must be displaying half a smile.

Even more efficient -- or might I say dictarorial -- was the Galleria Borghese in Rome, home to such noted artworks as Antonio Canova's "Paulina Bonaparte as Venus Victrix." Paulina was Napoleon's wild kid sister who posed semi-nude for Canova. The Wikipedia entry for Canova is here (scroll to bottom for a Paulina picture).

Nancy is a huge Canova fan, so a visit to the Borghese was a must. However, as we discovered, one doesn't casually bop into the place. Reservations are required. Luckily we were in Rome for enough days that we were able to get on the list.

Things got even stickier once we arrived at the Borghese. It seems that visitors have a two hour time limit to see what they can -- half an hour in the paintings galleries and the balance viewing sculptures.

I'm pretty fast when in museum-viewing mode and therefore didn't find out if, or how drastically, these time limits are enforced. In any case, we could linger in the museum shop/cafe area as long as we wished.

Never experienced such a thing before. But rules are rules and not to be quibbled by foreigners.



posted by Donald at November 27, 2007


What I remember most about the Borghese Gallery was the intense emotional impact of the Bernini sculptures. But Canova was also definitely a stunner.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on November 28, 2007 9:31 AM

The reason why there's a time limit stems from the weakness of the building itself. According to my professor, the second floor of the building can only support a small number of people. In addition to being in the middle of nowhere, it isn't the most viewer friendly place.

Bernini's sculptures blew me away.

Posted by: Thehova on November 28, 2007 11:06 AM

American museums occasionally have timed admissions tickets for special exhibitions. Ticket for big exhibitions sometimes sell out long in advance. Also, at one point the Getty Museum required advance reservations for parking, though not for the museum itself; I believe this is no longer the case.

Posted by: Peter on November 28, 2007 1:09 PM

I like the time limits at the Borghese, even though on my first visit I hadn't finished looking at the paintings upstairs when time ran out. (I was more careful on the second visit.) Timed admissions to extremely popular museums are the only alternative to long queues or dreadfully crowded galleries. And of course timed admissions don't work unless you clear out the previous batch of visitors.

If the governments of the world had any sense (which, needless to say … ) they would embark on a program to reduce the world's population to half of what it currently is. The improvement in the environment at all very touristy sights, not to mention everywhere else, would be significant.

I don't understand what you mean by "visitors have a two hour time limit to see what they can -- half an hour in the paintings galleries and the balance viewing sculptures." Unless they have changed their policy since last year, you can devote whatever portion of your time you want to any part of the museum. Theoretically you are not supposed to return to the ground floor after seeing the paintings upstairs, but my wife and I did last time and nobody stopped us.

I hope you didn't miss Titian's Sacred and Profane Love. One of the wonders of the art world.

Posted by: Rick Darby on November 28, 2007 4:04 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?