Well, we found the old cultural hub of Italy. Her name is Florence. She is hot, gorgeous and educated. She is the Italian leader in fashion, culture, history and art. She isn't just old, she's up on the new as well. She is splendid. Truly truly splendid.
It's unfortunate that I was hit with an overwhelming sleepiness when we arrived in fair Florence. It's such an amazing city with SO MUCH to see and do, but I was just wiped upon arrival. We did a lot. But we could have done more. So yes, I have some minor regrets. I know I sound ridiculous.
Museum Jazz Hands.
We toured the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia, where we saw some of the most amazing art, statues and sculptures of my life. Wow Italian art. It is just so majestic. Is anyone else making art like this today? Michelangelo's “David” is simply stunning. You could just sit and stare at the statue all day long. I walked past a few American girls who were giggling and overheard one of them say, “That's him. That's the perfect man. He is just, so, good looking.” And it's really true. It's astounding how Michelangelo captured so much emotion in David's eyes, body and posture. How did Michelangelo make the marble really look like skin? 600 years later, this statue is still not only relevant, it's overwhelmingly arresting. I literally can't shake the look in his stoney, unsure eyes.
// An outdoor imitation of the real thing. I can't help but ask... Should this statue be rated R? //
Hearing stories about his childhood and his gift is really inspiring. He was from a prominent family, and his Dad did NOT want him to be an artist. At age 13 he went to live with the fancy Medici family (who ruled all in Florence) to focus soley on training and sharpening his artistic skills. He hob-nobbed with all the big dudes of the day. He was not only a renowned sculptor at a ridiculously young age, but he was a fabulous painter (he painted the Sistine Chapel) and he was an architect (he designed St. Peter's Basilica.) This guy was legit. He believed he was merely a tool of God, and when the presence of the Holy Spirit came upon him he would work for days without rest. The church (often) didn't like the provocative nature of his work, which makes him all the more compelling to me. He pushed boundaries. He fought for what he believed. He wasn't a people pleaser. And he changed with world with his gifts. Maybe this is why his art still moves people today. Stevie and I stayed for a long time near David. It's unfortunate that we couldn't photograph him, but there's an imitation just outside the gallery so you can get the idea.
// Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore //
// Stevie drove us out of the city like a champ. //
We only had about 24 hours in Florence. We had to make the most of it (and I had to push through the lag in my energy.) But we thoroughly enjoyed this special city! We pranced along the Arno River and pretended that we were members of the Medici family as we took their route to work, from the Ponte Vecchio to the Uffizi. We marveled at the olive and peach Duomo (per the gorgeous design of Brunelleschi), meandered along the fabulous Via dei Calzaiuoli and gawked at the Orsanmichele. We surveyed Donatello's St. Mark sculpture, excessively loitered in the Uffizi courtyard (which is a museum in itself – so many famous sculptures displayed outdoors!) and, per Mary's fantastic request, payed homage to Dante by visiting Chiesa di Dante. Probably most important of all, we rocked some severe cappuccino. And croissants. Pizza. Bruschetta. Caprese. Wine. Ooh and gelato. Geez I love Italy SO MUCH.
Florence, yeah, she's super classy. Up next, a few days under the Tuscan sun!