I think I might have already found my favourite place in Florence. It’s La Specola; the extraordinary zoology museum housed in a old and splendidly dilapidated palazzo.
It is home to a spectacular collection of wax anatomical models. I am not normally a squeamish woman but there’s something about these creations that makes me uneasy. It’s partly that they are lying on yellowing drapes ( complete with discoloured fringing and tassels) which makes me think of Edgar Allan Poe – Ligeia and the House of Usher spring to mind. I find the still fresh tresses and plump young skin disquieting when it’s in such close juxtaposition to apparently newly flayed muscles or exposed bowels.
However I did like the birds.
And there were SUCH a lot of them….
I started wondering what it would be like if they all came to life suddenly. And I doubt they’d be very happy about being held in such a hugger-mugger fashion.
In fact I think they’d be like Rebecca in the eponymous novel by Daphne du Maurier. And they wouldn’t come kindly.