travelog 4

Oct. 15th, 2015 05:06 pm
[personal profile] winterlive

holy cats. there's been so much, and it's still happening. this is the best vacation i've ever been on, no question. so many new things, so much history and art, i just. okay. okay. breathe.

day 2 of the card (thursday morning), we set out for the accademia, to see michaelangelo's david. i've been surprised again and again by the vivid colors in the art; their robes are bright pink and blue. their cheeks are rosy and living, except of course when they've been martyred, and then they're grey and green and pale. turns out my favorite thing in art is hyperrealism, because i like the evocative expressions on people's faces. i like clear emotion. the things i remember most about the accademia are:

a) david, obviously. he's gargantuan, which is strange; i never really understood this statue to be about David & Goliath, you know, that david? but he's carrying his sling, which begs the question: if david is six times the size of a human, how the fuck big is goliath?? anyway, he's perfect. obviously he is perfect. the things i like best about david are the things i like best about men; his heavy hands (i know they're too big and i don't care), his strong jaw, his broad chest. he's even got a hell of a clavicle. but what i was most surprised by was how michaelangelo managed to imply softness in marble. when you see the curve of his belly and the inside of his thigh, it looks like you could press your thumb there, and it would sink into his skin. call me uncultured; to me, david evokes a response heavily colored by eroticism; sex can't be divorced from that piece in my mind. as an aside, i noticed that the huge skylight above him is littered with randomly placed 2x4s - are they to diffuse the light? i do not know, but it's neat; i like how unfinished it is, next to perfect, perfect david.

we also saw the journal of marco polo, along with his bible and his copy of dante's inferno. if you've seen netflix's Marco Polo, as i have, this journal will be hilarious to you as it was to me; happily S had also seen the show, and laughed with me about it.

lastly there was a giant room of scuplture. the wall facing the entrance was covered in busts; it felt like entering the senate for a hearing. there were a ton of pieces in that room i liked, though they were mostly plaster copies of the real ones. still cool, man.

that done, we were off to san marco. i've been to many churches on this trip, but this was the only one where i got to tour the monastery. teeny cells, but each one with a giant mural. big beautiful courtyard, though unfortunately we were a few years too late to see the giant cedar that once lived there; a flood took it. there was a long library full of ancient books the size of my torso, and a mural of the last supper in the fucking bookshop.

man, i tell you, one thing about this country. at home, an 18th century building is a museum. here, it's a pizzaria.

last in san marco was a long wall full of the ancient treasures of florence, things they didn't want to get rid of, but which weren't suitable to keep where they were, or they'd be ruined. i remain cranky that there isn't a lot of ancient roman empire left in situ, but i'm happy they saved what they could.

that was our morning! then il duomo. we only had time to do the baptistery, so in we went to the oldest part of the whole church, this big round thing in front of the church proper. they say it used to be a pagan temple, which frankly makes sense; it's oriented the right way. they also say only men are allowed to sit in the pews on the baptistery floor; when women attend, they have to be up in the gallery. #barbaricculturalpractices but it too was beautiful, this big open gold leafed thing with the moroccan-influenced mosaic floors of green and white marble that glow in the light, and you're not allowed to step on them because you'll ruin them with your filthy philistine feet. and there was a huge section of the floor that was the zodiac, a theme echoed even outside yesterday's galileo museum. the sun streamed in the windows and lit up all the gold and marble.

when we were done, we joined our new arrivals, D and M. the passel of us went for dinner, and then went walking in the piazza della signoria, which we had seen before, but was new to D and M. it's best at night, i find, with perseus holding up medusa's head to the crowd in the square, and the statues all lit up and majestic. we listened to the busker (classical guitar), and listened to D and M marvel about how beautiful the city was. already, we felt like the established pros, guiding our little newbies around. it was a great night.

i can't believe i'm not done florence yet, but there's just so much to tell you. right now i'm at the villa on mule hill, watching the dolled-up girls being beautiful, taking pictures, and awaiting the return of chef georgio - he forgot his cooler while he was here doing our cooking class, and he is driving 2 hours back here so he can pick it up from photographer J. i would certainly drive 2 hours to meet up with photographer J; she is a whole mess of sass.

more soon!

Date: 2015-10-15 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
IT all sounds so amazing and gorgeous and wonderful! I hope someday I'll get to travel there, too. Thanks for sharing your trip! :) I do look forward to these installments.

Date: 2015-10-15 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bdbdb.livejournal.com
I'm having so much fun reading about your travel! :)

Date: 2015-10-16 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bookishwench.livejournal.com
I'm really happy for you that you're enjoying it all so much!

Date: 2015-10-16 03:57 am (UTC)
halo: (so close to touching freedom.)
From: [personal profile] halo
sigh sigh sigh. sounds PERFECT. <3

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