Jan 25, 2011
One would have to be blind to miss Castello di Aglie'. One of the pleasures of exploring, is actually getting a little lost, or taking a road to see where it leads, even if it means searching the map to see where you've actually ended up. That is how I found this little gem. Well, "little" is not the right word for it.
I walked in to see what it had become...a hotel, restaurant, museum? It was the last, and since a tour was going to begin shortly, I decided to fit it in before heading home. The smaller towns tend to slumber like bears in winter and seeing the cash flow was at a minimum, I was sent out from the museum in search of change in order to purchase the ticket. Two stores later, I was in business.
I am always surprised that Italians get any new business because they never seem to advertise. I've walked into salons asking for a brochure so I can get an idea of services and price structure only to hear (what I interpreted as) an embarrassed little laugh that was always followed by a "no, I don't have any", or the more tactful, "we are all out at the moment". This experience didn't prepare me for the museum telling me that I couldn't take any photos and "no, we don't have postcards or memorabilia for sale."
So my tour in sub-zero temperature rooms remains a blur in my head. Tours are like that. You can't really absorb anything because the guide is anxious to move on, eager for another coffee break or perhaps convinced he will keep interest high if he kept the pace up. Or maybe he just wanted to keep moving to keep warm.
I do recall amazing curtain treatments (and there were a LOT of windows and doors); a ballroom that made me think they didn't have large parties (or many friends?); handsome leather-covered chairs that I'd love to steal away; a well-kept library filled with rare collections; rooms with the oddest ingress/egress; walls covered with delicate hand-painted paper, a room filled with an awesome yellow glow thanks to the wall color, the window treatment and a setting sun; paintings, paintings and more paintings of ancestors, of life at court, of conquests (includes wives as well as wars), of past-times and ....
And because I have nothing to show for it but the outside, I have to post a Castello di Aglie' link that is thankfully in english and includes a virtual tour. At least from the comfort of your home, you won't have to dig your hands deep into your pockets or armpits to keep warm.