For Rome, she claims: “if you love the gritty, mysterious artist Caravaggio, go find him in three of Rome's churches! I like seeing these paintings in their original locations where lighting and position play a part. And the best part: they're all free!
They are (1) three images from the Life of Saint Matthew in the Contarelli Chapel, Church of San Luigi dei Francesi; (2) The Madonna dei Pellegrin in Sant'Agostino which shocked contemporaries for how Italian the mother of Jesus looks; and (3) be stunned by innovative use of perspective and lighting in the Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo.”
For beautiful Florence, Alexandra was keen to point out that it is: “famed for its museums - don't just stop at the Uffizi and at seeing the David in the Accademia. The Bargello also houses sculptures by Michelangelo, as well as by earlier sculptors like Donatello and Ghiberti who really paved the way for the Renaissance.
“The Pitti Palace is home to the famous Palatine gallery that has enough paintings frame-to-frame to cause Stendhal's syndrome - best skip that and head to the costume gallery (see Eleonora of Toledo's burial dress that they dug up with her corpse in the 19th century) or stroll in the historic Boboli Gardens behind the palace.”