Did I mention that it has been raining? The first night that we arrived it was clear, but then the weather shifted and the mild sunny weather vanished overnight. It has been in the 50s with rain, drizzle and what the hotel breakfast menu described as “few rain.” I’m very glad that I packed clothes that layer well. I think I’ll need all of them for Friday’s outing to Mt. Pilatus.
But there is nothing like a little rain to make you want to visit museums, and luckily there are two really fabulous museums to visit right in Lucerne. The Picasso Museum has an extensive collection of photograps of Picasso and his family from the later years of his life. They also have a number of drawings and a few of his ceramic pieces. It’s a charming museum made up of little rooms in a former mayoral residence and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Then we went to the Rosengart Collection which has a quite a few of Picasso’s paintings and drawings along with works from Braque, Chagall, Kandinsky, Miro and quite a few more. The lower level has several rooms of work by Paul Klee. The spacious and light filled Picasso rooms were the highlight for me. I do not know when else I have seen so many of his later paintings (some of his finest) in one place. I forgot all about the fact that my feet were tired and I hadn’t had lunch and just lost myself looking at all that wonderful art. If I had to choose one to take home with me (a girl has to dream, you know), I think I would take Buste de femme (Jacqueline), 1963. It is one his most stunning portraits and, like most, looks so much more interesting in person. The thickness of his paint is amazing.
For dinner, we went back to our now favorite Italian restaurant, Valentino’s. This time we each had tomato soup to start off and then we split a pizza named “Santa Barbara”—eggplant, zucchini and peppers. It was just as delicious as the other night. And, like the other night, we struck up a conversation with the Swiss man next to us. He hesitated to talk to us at first because he heard us talking to the waiter and thought we were Italian. He was here on business from Zurich and happened to be staying at the same hotel we stayed at on our first night. It was interesting to learn a little bit from him about why the Swiss don’t want to join the EU (basically they don’t want to governed by someone else) and to hear about all the places that he been in the U.S. (more places than I’ve been).
On the walk back to the hotel it stopped raining and it was as mild as the depths of winter in Santa Barbara.