I have been in Firenza (Florence) for the last four days and it
has been the greatest weekend. I left my laptop here in Roma so I have
a hundred emails to read, but before I do, Ill tell you about my
My hotel was spectacular located 20 yards from the Duomo,
Brunelleschi's Dome. As Michelangelo says, no good Florentine lives out of view of the Duomo. Oh, by the way, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" is (so far) probably one of the best books I have read in long time. I asked my father what appropriate literature I should accompany myself with while in Italy, and he suggested "The Agony and the Extacy" by Irving Stone.
Yes its a cube of layered paper, but I hate that Im not further along, because I know that Im going to want to go back to Florence when Im done. I have become most knowledgeable about the the city of Florence, the Medici, Michelangelo, and anything having to do with marble, or frescoes.
In the Academia, where David is kept, there were a bunch paintings by Grannacci, Cosomo, Donatello, and Ghirlandaio,(excuse the poor spellings) and I nearly flipped my lid seeing these names after reading about them in the book. I understand the network of these people and how they all fit together. They are sort of my friends, only a century and a half ago did they roam these streets. We climbed Brunelleschi's dome, which was terrifying, and visited a
small town called Fiesole...(from which Mino da Fiesole came from)
We sketched in every church Firenza had to offer (San Lorenzo, San Novella, The Duomo of course, San Vecchio, and a few more)
On Friday night, I met a nice girl named Tina from Bolivia. We went on a date on Saturday night and had a very nice time. She has been living in Firenza for 8 months, but she is moving to Paris this week following her job. We sat in a piazza listening to street musicians
having reflective conversations on how nice it is that we have met, and that its upsetting that we'll never meet again. Its just one of those things.
This morning me and my buddy David rented 125cc scooters and roamed the country side. It was beyond beautiful. I just cant say how much fun it was. The vineyards, and the groves, the stonewalls along the one-laned roads which contour the mountain side, it was an amazing ride.
All in all, It will probably be one of the most memorable weekends I
will ever have while I'm here in Italy...and Michelangelo has an amazing story. This book has inspired so much inside of me. My heart fills with helium when I read it, I'm going to have to sink a chisel into some Pieta Carrara before I die, and know what it means when Irwing Stone says, "The marble and he were one. They spoke to each other. And for him, the feel of marble was the supreme sensation. No gratification of any other sense, taste, sight, sound, smell, could approach it."
Welding sculpture, tables, and staircases, I somtimes feel that I have a nose for fresh steel, but this book makes me want to try my hand at Marble!
I actually looked for a marble studio here in Roma but the only thing
I found was a week long camp out near Assisi. It cost 900e so thats
out of the question. I did however find out that Georgia has a marble
quarry, and that perhaps I could finagle a crude block of it.
About the Pope: My apartment is a block away from the Vatican, and
yes, Its very crowded, like nothing I have ever seen before. I went to
San Pietro (Saint Peters) but I wasted all of my time looking at the
marble. I wanted to soak it all in and try to wrap my brain around
Michelangelo's creation, (which as he so humbly states, is a sister
dome to Brunelleschi's Duomo. Yes it is bigger but it is not better.)
Unfortunately the church closes at six, and when it closes, crazy
costumed solders come marching through and there is no arguing them. I spent an hour in the naive, and never made it to the dome. In other words, I was eating my broccoli with great expectations of a huge dessert, but the cake was snatched away from me. This was last Wednesday, so due to John Paul II death, I may not get a chance to see it again. Also we had an exclusive opportunity to watch an excavation which was going to take place under San Pietro this week, but that has now been cancelled. The feeling here in Roma is that of some kind of bitter sweet celebration, and the t.v. crews are EVERYWHERE trying to catch someone crying.
on the agenda this week is Roman Churches.
Oh, and the picture of "David" was a hip shot. -No cameras allowed.-