Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday, September 8, 2006

We went to Florence for another adventure into the wonders of art that it has to hold. Jeffrey set it up so that we had a spare morning to do whatever we wanted before we were to meet at 12:00 for our reservation in the Uffizi.

A group of us decided to get up early and head to the Academia to see the David and all the other treasures there. We took the long trip in to Florence and headed in that direction. Since we got there pretty early, the line wasn’t that long, but it was definitely a slow-moving line. We stood there for quite a while waiting to get in, and we were finally able to manage it.

I was told that there was a lot of things to see in the museum, but it was smaller than I thought. We were immediately filtered into a room with about 8 unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo. At the end of the room, was a dome with the David sitting in it. The image of that sculpture stole my attention even though I was trying to look at the other works. I finally decided to pay attention to the demanding sculpture before looking at and evaluating the others. I was quite thrilled to see the David. I had just finished reading Michelangelo’s autobiography by Irving Stone, and it seemed that the creation of the David was so important to him as an artist. I think that it really deserved the place that it got. There were a lot of people there looking at it, but it was worth the crowd. I was so moved by the experience of being there that I was almost in tears. I was in the room with a living, breathing piece of art from 500 years ago. In fact, we went to see it on the 502 anniversary of it’s unveiling by the artist himself. When I return to Florence after this trip, I will be visiting the David again.

When my attention had been sucked dry by the masterpiece that is the David, I was able to look at and evaluate the unfinished works by Michelangelo from different projects. I got to see a lot of the unfinished figures that were to go on to Pope Julius’ tomb. I also got to see the first unfinished sculpture that he was commissioned by Florence to do of the 12 apostles. He got called to Rome before he was able to finish even one, but I got to see that one.

After the Academia, we headed over the Uffizi. We were going to be in there for 2 hours looking intensively at paintings that were the important turning points in the history of Art. Jeffrey took us to the first room, which showed the first paintings before the Renaissance, and then led us through all the way up to the Baroque. I saw paintings by, Giotto, Ucello, Leonardo Da Vinici, Fra Angelico, Filpo Lippi, Boticelli, Carravaggio, Titian, etc.

The work that I saw in the Uffizi really moved me. One of the most important things for me was the fact that I was able to stand in front of many Boticelli paintings that I had admired and studied for years and years. One of his major paintings was missing, but I was able to see Venus and Primavera. The intense emotion at seeing those paintings in person really overcame me, and I was unable to choke back the tears of joy. I got to spend a good deal of time in front of them, and I felt like the connection I had made with Boticelli earlier on in life strengthens.

We spent some really intense time in the museum, and it was relaxing to finally be filtered out through the gift shop. I did take the chance to actually stop and buy some post cards of the art that I had seen that had inspired me.

We walked back to the train station slowly ensuring a stop at the best gelato shop in Florence.

I used the Internet in Pistoia to my great frustration. That experience made me decide that I would not attempt to use the Internet until we get to Paros. When I got back to the villa, I talked to Jared on the phone, which was very nice.

Dinner was corn grits, rice with zucchini and celery, fried grits, calamari and shrimp, fish, salad, cheese, fruit and coffee cake.
Of course, Dante followed Dinner.

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