Enlightened Italian Departure

Well, it is my last night in Florence and I couldn’t help but run around the city one last time before I leave tomorrow morning. I hadn’t realized it, but it was actually my first time exploring the city at night! Part of me really regrets not getting out more in the evening, but my days have been so long, I have needed to simply retreat to my quaint, market side apartment to work on sketches or snuggle up with one of the many books I have on the go. So why did I head out tonight? With the intent of buying some last minute biscotti for folks at home, I also headed to the Uffizi to document all of the statues that line the museum’s outdoor corridor. Along the way and upon heading back, I

Materiality Baby!

The last week has been an absolute whirlwind of information and travel. I will warn you that this blog may be a little longer as I will give a brief review of my trips to Cinque Terre, Rome and Siena while trying to reflect on any observations or realizations that may have come to me along the way. So Cinque Terre, if you ever have the opportunity to visit this wonderful section of the coastline, pretend you are training for a marathon when it comes to attire and hydration. The day was spent climbing, descending and exploring with very little direction, but the vistas are breathtaking regardless of rain or sun. Of course all of the cool landmarks, like the quaint little chiesas (churches)

Finding shadows in unexpected places!

Once again, June 6th in Florence provided us with great food, architecture and plenty of information. We began our morning by back tracking to the library designed by Michelangelo that is attached to the San Lorenzo Basilica. Passing by a charming orange tree in the middle of a highly manicured courtyard, one enters into a dark and revered lobby occupied by a three part staircase intended to lift you to enlightenment. As you look up at the walls you notice that all the square niches are left empty, not only as a nod to Brunelleschi, my new hero of design, but also to invite each user of the bibliotheca to fill their own empty page with knowledge. It would seem that I am loving this chall

When the Inside doesn't match the Outside

Yesterday morning was interesting in that I started off waiting at the wrong church for our morning history lesson. It turns out there are 5 churches within 3 blocks of where I am staying. Once at Basilica San Lorenzo, a very modest building from the outside, we headed into the museum in its basement. Although dark, there were many fascinating things to be found including the grave of Donatello, the family tree of the Medici's and a large pillar serving as the Tomb of Cosimo the Elder. One of the big guys of the Medici family, who's legacy is apparently strong enough to hold up the entire church. The significance of the Medici's is found everywhere you look from the tomb monuments to the

Cultural Mashup inside Gothic Church!

Today started off with a jolt of adrenalin as I woke up only 35 minutes before I needed to be across the city for our second art history lecture! Upon arriving at the Santa Croce Cathedral I was greeted by an amazing sculpture of Dante towering over me. We entered into the church to find more exquisite stained glass, grave markers of the rich and influential beneath our feet and shrines carefully plotted around the room. Between the paintings, crypts, family crests, decorative accents and sculptural arrangements it was the beginning of our visual and historical overload for today. It became clear very shortly into the tour that Ranciere was right when all of the art movements have always

Raining & Climbing in Florence!

So my first night in Florence turned out to be quite informative. One, although convenient, the market square may not be the place to stay if you need peace and quiet to sleep. It seemed like the room was going to blow off this city on a Wednesday night until about 2:30 in the morning. I am worried what the weekends will be like. It does turn out that today was a holiday and so people may have went out to take advantage of their ability to sleep in this morning. Let's just say that my husband received an email today requesting earplugs. Being awake at this time of night allowed me do some reading in preparation for today's history lesson with our on site historian Dr. Katharina Giraldi

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