Saturday, 24 August 2013

candles, lanterns and moon light in Possagno

imagine a road in the hills. the air is chilly because is sunset and you're running across the woods. at some point, nestled between the hills like a white stone, without any connection with the surrounding landscape, a neoclassical temple.
it's the Possagno church, designed for his hometown by the artist Antonio Canova, one of the most brilliant italian sculptors, epitome of neoclassical style.

from the temple, at the end of the street you can see the entrance to the Canova Plaster Cast Gallery and Museum {Museo e Gipsoteca Canoviana}, in my opinion the most beautiful museum in Treviso province.
Marco and i had been there before, but this time it was a special occasion.

Montelvini winery choose the Gipsoteca Canoviana as the location for a dinner and wine tasting, to launch their elegant passito wine, which has the evocative name of Luna Storta, twisted moon.

the Canova Museum is located in the artist's former family house. entering the front door, you walk in a beautiful garden, where maybe Canova used to welcome and entertain his guests, too. it was all set to recreate the atmosphere. in his birthplace, he often found himself the right environment to rest from the work he was doing in Rome. when he came back from his travels in Vienna, Paris and Rome, the Possagno inhabitants used to welcome him with parties and fairy lights. nowadays, hundreds of plaster casts are kept in the museum: witness of the artist's hard work. Canova didn't sculpted marble directly. artworks came from a methodical work of drawing, modeling clay, then plaster and finally marble. so, the plaster casts here are the original models of his most famous artworks that you can see in the best museums, like Musée du Louvre, the Ermitage of S. Petersburg, the Victoria and Albert Museum of London etc. 
i said i had seen the plaster cast gallery before, and i already thought it was an incredible place, but this time it was, well, another kind of experience. usually, the first impression you have, walking into the museum, is to be dazzled by a bright white. this time, we were embraced by a velvet darkness.

do you know how Canova used to show the plaster cast collection to his friends? he used the lanterns dim light. i don't know if it was just a practical issue {no electricity in the nineteenth century}, but i think he was well aware of the magical, soft effect that candle light has on the sculptures.

seen like that, the Gispoteca visit is a moving experience. the Museum organizes this kind of evening from time to time, or for groups, so if you are planning to visit check their website or contact them, it is totally worth it.
photo © Canova Museum
after the visit, we tasted the Luna Storta under the moonlight, with some moon-shaped butter cookies, chattering and enjoying that perfect summer night. 


  1. What a fantastic way to spend a summer evening! Charming place and magic atmosphere.

  2. un luogo affascinante.. sembra fuori dal tempo!
    Bello vedere come la luna sia al centro dell'intero post: dal vino alla forma dei biscotti, per finire alla LUNA (quella vera) della notte :)

  3. The atmosphere in these is magnificent, Silvia! I would love to visit the Possagno Church - it looks extraordinary! Not to mention the garden of the Canova family house!

    1. actually the garden is pretty small, not like the beautiful gardens that you often show in your pictures! but it's a nice frame for the incredible museum.
      thanks polly!

  4. i want a plane ticket to Italy :)

  5. When you describe your travels the way you do, it is almost as if I'm in it myself! SO enchanting!

    1. comments like this make my love for this place and for travel writing grow stronger! thank you anna ♥

  6. Sai sempre raccontarmi - in un modo che rapisce - un angolo di Veneto :)

    1. questo commento sembra un haiku! stesso ritmo
      grazissime Vale ;)

  7. a little surprise :


  8. Hi, i always love the picture you and your lammy sit on temple. It's here:

    Nice day.


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