on April 8, 2009
There have been many travel experiences for me before, many places I have seen, many people I have met. There were the sites and the grounds you step in for the first time. The impression you have when your eye can no longer focus because you just want to see everything. The impatience you feel while waiting to see and learn more about the place. Because in the end all that you remember from your traveling are your emotions and feelings. I have then decided to tell you about the most inspirational experience I have had while traveling Peru, which is the Larco Museum. When I first saw this place, I immediately felt home. The mansion seemed really impressive to me, but nothing like those cold lifeless pedant buildings. It was more like the sensation of entering a familial mansion, all painted white and where you expect giggles and children playing hide and seek in the garden. It even smelled of it. The colonial mansion overlooks wonderful gardens which seem to have been directly extracted from a painting of Claude Monet. The whole place appeals to all your senses and goes beyond just a "pretty" garden. The mesmerizing whiteness of the building is qualified by the blend of the various colors coming from all the flowers, the cactus and the birds and butterflies gently fluttering around them. There, I got to see a hummingbird for the first time. You get easily stricken and overwhelmed by the smell of bougainvilleas, orchids, geraniums, blue plumbagos, not to forget the famous "madre selva", a typical flower from Peru, the smell of which basically blows your mind away. After having wandered in the garden, at the entrance, I was welcomed by the melodious singing of Juan Diego, a canary named after the great Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez. The entrance is a typical South American patio, in the middle of which stands a lucuma tree, which gives those juicy Peruvian fruits I enjoyed so much. The museum itself exudes the wisdom of an Ancient site and imposes some kind of silent respect. I suddenly felt at a loss for words, nearly voiceless and humble while confronted to the finest collection of pre-Columbian art I had ever seen. The atmosphere took my breath away; I think the dim lightening helped me feel in harmony with the pieces of art. Indeed, while walking through the gallery, every single object is lit in its own particular way, making each one of them really special and unique. An experience in the Larco Museum can not be complete without a final glass of wine in the Café del Museo, enjoying the gardens and the comfortable white sofas.This museum is nothing like those big, impersonal and bureaucratic museums that are more of a cold company trying to make profit rather than an artistic and cultural center. The Larco Museum is warm and welcoming, probably because it is the story of four generations of art lovers who have devoted their entire lives to creating an exquisite place to share their passion and to extend their family to all the visitors who, on their way to discover the world like me, get the chance to stop by their museum. This experience inspired me, not only because the place is amazing but mainly because I will always remember all the sensations it gave me, it was just a human experience.
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