"Posters on the London Underground are currently promoting a major new exhibition, Caravaggio to Canaletto, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. Budapest? That may seem a long way to travel to spend a leisurely afternoon immersed in paintings, albeit ones created by some of the greatest Italian baroque and rococco masters. But factor in a morning tour of Pest's fascinating and largely intact Jewish ghetto quarter (Europe's biggest), an evening dip in the sublime Szechenyi thermal baths followed by dinner at a folksy restaurant in the Buda hills (complete with gypsy musicians) and Hungary's "twin city" capital makes for a perfect 36-hour break. (...)
The museum still thinks big. Three years after its hugely ambitious exhibition devoted to the Italian Renaissance (which attracted more than 200,000 visitors), it's amassed an impressive 140 works by 100 masters - including nine of Caravaggio's greatest - to celebrate 17th- and 18th- century Italian art; paintings on loan from 62 collections in 11 countries include many from the Prado, Uffizi and Louvre."